Age Two – Take Two

Now that Daddy O. and I are in the throes of age two for the second time around (thus Age Two – Take Two), we can’t help but feel it’s a little easier. Some possible explanations:

  • Maybe we’ve honed our parenting skills for the toddler years, remembering what worked well for big sister’s two-year-old antics.
  • Maybe we’re just a little more laid-back this time around.
  • Maybe God has answered my prayers for patience.
  • Most likely it’s a combination of all of the above.

It’s true that little brother is different than big sister in many ways.  He’s much more talkative, a little more easy-going, more physical in terms of biting and hitting, and is definitely into trains, cars, and balls. Big sister is more than happy to tattle on him whenever he breaks a rule.  She is very black and white and likes things to go HER way when she plays with little brother, though they can be so sweet together (see my post One Thing that Surprised Me Most as a Mom for more about the brother-sister relationship). During moments of conflict, I tend to give them space to see if they’ll figure it out on their own, but intervene when I hear screaming and crying.

Big Sister and Little Brother Age 2

My Two Year Old Cutie-pies (and 4 Year Old Big Sister). I think they are pretending to be kitties. 

Just like his sister (and parents), Little Brother is prone to stubbornness. This trait can lead to monumental tantrums – especially during times of conflict as we have learned!  A few ways that we try to stop tantrums that seem to work:

  • Distraction.  While little brother cried & screamed on a car ride over the holidays, I quick yelled, “Look – Christmas lights out your side (of the car).” The shiny Christmas cheer magically quieted him down.
  • Food Bribe. Little brother and I were having a standoff at the grocery store.  All of our gear and big sister were loaded into a shopping card already.  He didn’t WANT to go in THAT cart.  I didn’t want to reload everything in HIS chosen cart.  We waited. He screamed. We waited some more.  I checked in with him to see if he was ready to join us, and he screamed some more.  I waited more. Finally, I offered him a granola bar that he could eat if he rode in Mom’s cart.  He finally agreed. Another kind mom came up to me, having witness this all unfold, and complimented me on how I handled the situation.  It was really kind of her! Don’t we ALL hate tantrums in public?!
  • Asking questions. After some crying and screaming, I’ll calmly ask little brother, “What do you want?  I can’t understand you right now. Can you use words?” This can typically help.
  • Get favorite blankie & paci.  We find his favorite blanket and pacifier to help him calm down.  At two and a half, he doesn’t use his paci THAT much (mostly at night), but it still gives him comfort. Our dentist and pediatrician have encouraged us to simply let him give it up when he’s ready, so for now the pacifier and favorite blanket bring some peace and quiet to the raging two-year-old.
  • Time and space.  Sometimes you just have to let it out! Little brother has been wanting to hear the end of songs when we drive home, which means sitting in the car.  Sometimes, I oblige and let him listen until the song is over.  One day with below zero temperatures, it wasn’t going to happen, so I carried him unwillingly inside. I gave him time to cry & scream by himself, and in a few minutes he was ready to return to calmness and fun.

I’m curious to see how we continue to navigate Little Brother’s second year.  As is common with kids, just when you think you have things figured out, things can change! How do you cope with the terrible twos and tantrums?

In the spirit of #ThrowbackThursday, here are some older posts I wrote about parenting:

Have a great day and almost TGIF!

Bye Bye Baby Gear

Bye bye bouncer.

Bye bye activity mat.

Bye bye burp cloths, diaper bag, and butt creams.

Bye bye baby washcloths.

Bye bye pacifiers.

Bye bye sleepless nights (mostly), and newborn screams.

Bye bye white noise machine.

Bye bye music & light projector.

Bye bye touch & feel book, sippy cup, and baby toy.

Bye bye infant car seat.

Bye bye onesies.

Bye bye crib, bib, and my little baby boy.

Image of my son two years apart.

My baby boy is growing up for sure. As I pack away the baby gear, I can’t help but reflect on the past two years and how much we’ve all grown. 

Inspired by Good Night Moon by Margaret Wise Brown (another “baby” book that we don’t read as much anymore).

Airblasts, Toots, and the F-word

“That was an airblast,” declared my almost three year old nephew very seriously as he sat on the potty seat, while I kept him company.  I asked if poops were coming, but he said, “No, just another airblast.”  I sat with him a bit longer, trying not to laugh at the new term he has just used.

An airblast?! What is that?!  In our house, we would refer to it as a toot, or more endearingly, a toot-ski.  Special thanks to Daddy O. for coining that term and explaining the difference between burp and toot to our then 2.5 year old! (Read more about the funny things my kids say in Talking with a Toddler and a Preschooler and in Choose your Words Carefully)

In another home, fart is not used, but instead is the f-word.  This mom shared that her son’s elementary school teacher called her, saying that he used the f-word in circle time.  Unfazed, the mom explained THEIR definition of the f-word in their home. 

It’s crazy! With one word alone – fart, or flatulence, goes by so many other terms! This leads me to believe that every family has its own vernacular and special way of communicating. As parents we have to decide what we will or won’t say in the hopes that our children will refrain from picking up the bad words. However, when children go out into the wider world – for example another home or school – these family terms can easily be misunderstood or simply humorous. 

All this airblast, toot, and fart (or f-word) talk reminded me of the New York Times quiz that went around via social media, “How Y’all, Youse and You Guys Talk.” They clearly pegged me for a Wisconsin resident, or Sconnie as some call us. Our use of the term “bubbler” instead of drinking fountain is a dead giveaway of our origin.  I though my time in Pittsburgh, where I heard “yinz,” “katty korner,” and “stillers” (oh you mean STEELERS), would have some affect, but apparently you can’t take the Wisconsin accent out of the girl so easily. 

Did you take the quiz too? What terms are a dead give-away on where you’re from?  Does your family have some phrases that you have invented?