Everyone has heard about the terrible twos, but I think it’s more of a catchy name than a real thing. I braced myself for the terrible twos and I was met with an obedient, well-behaved, and fun-loving child. I thought we dodged a bullet. I thought we had the perfect kid. I laughed in the face of the terrible twos. Cara is the best kid ever! Then she turned three and I was left wondering how I, the father of the most awesome two year old, went wrong. There’s no way I’m the first person to think this. If you think you’ve been lucky so far, you still might be because every kid is different. But man….the sass and the attitude on this daughter of mine. If you want to brace yourself for what might be on the horizon, then let me share a few ways that we got duped:
THEN: Cara was great when it was time to drink milk or eat. She used to be able to finish 8 ounces of milk in just a couple of minutes and then ask for more. She also used to inhale her food and then ask for more.
NOW: It can take up to two hours to finish that same 8 oz. milk, and eat four mini waffles. If she’s not playing with her food, she’s singing songs or looking at a spot on the chair. When she actually does manage to take a bite, it stays in her mouth for a couple of minutes while she looks around for something to play with. We try to bribe her with a nice dessert if she finishes quickly, but it doesn’t work. She’ll get excited and then go back to playing. Then after we tell her she lost her chance, she starts to whine about how she really wanted the dessert.
THEN: For two years we had a consistent bedtime routine, just like all the books recommend. We would always change into pajamas, brush teeth, read a story, have some cuddle time with some bedtime songs and prayers, and then hop into bed with a few more kisses and calming gestures. Then she’d put herself to sleep in about 5-10 minutes.
NOW: As much as we try to stay with the routine, the only routine is that there is no more routine. Sometimes she doesn’t even want stories. Cuddles? Forget about it. She says she doesn’t need anything from us so we kiss her good night and leave. As soon as we’re out, she’s calling for us to come back because she needs something. I used to enjoy bedtime. Now I can’t wait to get out of there and hope she puts herself to sleep sooner than later.
Eighteen months seems to be the most popular age to start potty training. However, it’s highly advisable to not force the child into doing it. If they’re not ready, try again later. Well what do you do when your kid says no every time you ask or try to sit them down? Cara was, and still is, very stubborn when it comes to potty training. She never wanted to do it. When she turned three, we had had enough. She no longer had a choice in the matter. It took her about two and a half weeks but she can consistently go pee in the potty now. We’re still working on the deuce though. For some reason it gets scared away when she sits down. That’s if we can even get her to sit down.
Every Kid is Different
To all the first-time parents whose children haven’t reached three years old, I wish you the best of luck. We will all get through this together.