Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Not So Terrible Twos

2 year olds have a bad rap. Call me crazy, but my favorite age is 2. Now, it's true that I am not the oldest parent in the book, and have yet to experience kids of all ages, so my favorite age may very well be 16...but I'm gonna say that 2 might be a safe bet. I'll get back to you on 16. 

I've spent a lot of time with my almost 2 year old this week. He was stuck inside watching videos very patient with me the past few weeks while I've been battling the never ending flu. So, this week I decided enough was enough, and we spent some good "QT" (Quality Time) together at the parks, the merkaz and just walking around and dilly-dallying through our days. 

He has decided that he is too big for the stroller, and for some dumb reason I still take it with me. What ends up happening is me running awkwardly after him pulling an empty stroller behind me, and trying to balance that and him running into the street. With his backpack on. He always needs his backpack. 

So, why do I love the not so terrible 2s? First of all, BH my kids are early speakers, so it's around now that they can finally start to communicate with us and tell us what they actually need as opposed to screaming for hours on end for "no apparent reason."

But to figure out what I really love about the 2s, you have to catch a two year old in action and just watch, and listen. It is this little tiny person coming into his own; discovering the world around him one rock at a time, one puddle at a time, one dirty pigeon at a time. 

As we strolled through the merkaz, my every fiber  silently screams, "Ew! Get out of that puddle! Don't lick that pole! Put down (someone else's) dirty bamba!", but I sucked it up and let him do his thing. He splashed, he ran, he chased birds, he climbed the ladder that was too high. And all through it he was running a dialog with me. 

"Mud? I go mud?"
"No, no mud."
"Ha! I splash mud!" (Mud goes flying, jeans are filthy.)

"I chase bird. Bird fly away, sky. Airplane sky. WOW! Airplane sky! Imma! Imma! Look! I see, I see airplane!" (He runs into street after bird, airplane.)

"I climb steps. One, two, three, four...OW! Boo boo! Abba, you ok?" (looks to make sure Abba didn't slip, too)

"Mayim! I jump mayim?"
"No, let's not go in the water."
"HA! I jumped mayim! Sorry, I sorry. I like mayim." ("jumped" = "sat down directly in deepest, dirtiest puddle)

And with each small step, he is learning more than I could ever describe in words. It's funny, when you are younger and are relishing the joys of your first toddlers, you know that whatever "tricks" they know were learned either from you or your husband. There are no real surprises. But when you have bigger kids and toddlers, the bigger kids are constantly teaching their eager shadows new tricks. 

Today, BAW and N and I were on our way to go look at a Gan for next year. We passed by several big empty covered lots in the merkaz, and he runs up to them and yells in, "Echo! Echo! Echo!" And then he stands and listens until one of us drags him away. Neither one of us taught him that one.

On our way into the Gan (Hebrew speaking only!) I introduced him (in Hebrew) to the teacher. Not really thinking he was listening, I said, "This is N." And he very deliberately stops and pokes his finger at his chest and says indignantly, "NO! Zeh NACHO!" The kid has a preference and wants us to know it. 

It's a lesson. We're all finding our way. We're all testing the puddles waters with our Parent. And sometimes we listen, and sometimes we gleefully don't. But as long as all the while we keep up that never ending dialog, and are always looking over our shoulder with assurance that Someone is there, we'll have the confidence we need to learn from every step of our way. 


Anne said...

K, my very favorite time with my son was 18 months through his twos. For all the reasons you listed, and he was the most helpful and loving, and I think happiest then.

Eli said...

lol, as I sit here reading the post, I have N on my lap.
N: I beep button? (points at power button on the PC)
Me: No!
N: Yes, I beep button.