Adventures in Attachment Parenting: I’m sick of ……….Two! By Allison Silver

When our daughter turned two people told me how challenging two year old’s can be and welcomed me to the “terrible two’s.” For the past six months, I haven’t seen any real difference in her overall behavior. Yes there have been some trying moments and challenging times but nothing too different or extreme. This week our daughter is turning two and a half and in the past week the two year old behavior that people warned me about has started to show it’s ugly face in our house.

Now for the record her behavior isn’t terrible by any means but oh honey is it trying! I have begun to refer to this year as the trying two’s. She is trying to communicate and I am trying to be patient. She is trying to assert herself and I am trying to be understanding. She is trying to push back and I’m TRYING! Let me tell you, I am trying but being patient and understanding is so hard some days.

Her latest phrase is, “I don’t want to.” (You know you are saying it in your head right now in your best two year old voice.) It has become the catch phrase for everything lately. If I need to change her diaper……..I don’t want to. If I merely suggest sitting on the toilet……..I don’t want to. It’s time for breakfast……..I don’t want to. It’s driving me a bit nuts!

We try very hard to practice positive discipline in our home and I feel comfortable with the recommended techniques including prevention, distraction, and substitution. Most days I’m great at it and other days, especially when I’m tired, every little thing sets me off and I catch myself falling back into an authoritarian style of parenting rather then my typical positive parenting. It’s hard to be positive and understanding all of the time! And anybody who says different is a damn liar!

And on days when I’m not able to be as compassionate and caring as I would like, I do see the repercussions. This week we were at a playdate and I was getting frustrated because my daughter was whining about wanting a cupcake (which no one had), falling down a lot (because she insisted on wearing this pretty pair of shoes which have no traction), and to cap it off she happened to find the one lone mud puddle in the area. Most days I wouldn’t care but we weren’t dressed for stomping in mud puddles with our “pretty” shoes and to be honest I just didn’t want to deal with mud! So I told her, “No mud.” She immediately walks through the mud and I said, “No mud today.” She then throws a rock in the mud puddle misses and walks right through the mud to get the rock! Ugh! At this point I said, “I’m getting sick of you, no mud.” Less then thirty seconds later she turns to a little boy at our playdate and tells him, “No mud. I’m getting sick of you.” Ugh! This is not what I want to role model for her. And to tell you the truth I’m not sure what was worse her remark to this little boy or the smirk that another mom gave me. Hey thanks for the support, lady! So I tell my daughter, “Thank you for telling him to stay out of the mud. But let’s not tell him, I’m sick of you. And it’s not ok for mommy to say it to you either.” I was satisfied with the way I handled that situation but quite honestly there are days when I’m just sick of her!

I definitely see a difference when I try to keep my wits about me and practice positive discipline and it’s something that I’m trying to get better at. The one thing I keep reminding myself is that each day is a new day. A new day to try and be more compassionate and caring, a new day to try and be a better role model.

I now understand what people are talking about when they talk about two year olds. They can be super loving and sweet but they can also drive you to drink! I told my husband last night, “It’s like living with an unreasonable little terrorist!” Thank goodness we only have six more months!

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