We’ve all heard it. “Oh, just you wait until the hit the terrible twos!” Terrible twos? How about the terrible, “I decided to lose my mind the second I blew out my candle on my first birthday”?!?!
I have very strong willed children.
They are active, full of energy, and like to constantly be entertained. They also have a very strong opinion about most everything. For the most part, my son (now four and a half) was a good baby. He was generally happy and although he always wanted to be on the move, you could please him.
And then his first birthday came.
I seriously remember it like it was yesterday. At his first birthday party he just started throwing these tantrums. Tantrums I didn’t think babies should throw. Like, what in the world just happened to my sweet baby boy? And so it began. Starting at age one year and one day my son entered the terrible twos. I dove into books about how to raise a “spirited child” and prayed every night that my child would not grow up to be a serial killer. I mean if my child was like this at age one, what will he be like by the time he really does turn two?
Going out to eat, over to a friend’s house, birthday parties, oh you know, ANYTHING, was hard. Disciplining at that age is so difficult. They aren’t old enough to understand consequences and although repetition is key, sometimes our patience runs out before we can get there! When my son was 18 months old we were at the beach and by the end of the week I just burst into tears thinking that I was totally alone and if things were going to get worse from here, I simply could not do it.
But, I kid you not, right about that time I saw a glimmer of hope. And I do mean glimmer.
Things did not change overnight but they STARTED to get better. By his second birthday we could see light at the end of the tunnel. We powered through that year with LOTS of tears (from both of us) and LOTS and LOTS of time outs. By the time we had our daughter, right before his third birthday, I started seeing this boy in a whole new light. I felt like our months and months of hard work were finally paying off and that we may actually survive!
Then came my daughter’s first birthday.
Let me just say that there is a reason that I had my son first. He is what gives me hope on a daily basis that my daughter is not going to grow up to be a total psychopath. My daughter is a force to be reckoned with. She is 21 months old and is a total spitfire. The temper tantrums are constant and her strong will cannot be compromised. I end my days with deep breathes and wine (don’t we all), and I look at my son who, while is still strong willed, has the absolute sweetest spirit and honestly is a true joy.
When your child enters the terrible twos at one year of age it can be kind of scary. You feel like if this is only the beginning, and some people say that three is even worse, that you really might not survive! It can feel isolating and the thought of things getting even more difficult feels unmanageable. But I am here to tell you this, all while in the absolute thick of it, you WILL SURVIVE.