Wednesday, January 21, 2015

The Year I Feared

Mary is two.

This stage has filled me with terror since the day we decided to start trying for kids.

It might have been the day, now seared permanently into my memory, of being at the grocery store and hearing a toddler screaming from the other side of the store. For 15 minutes straight.

We were starting fertility treatments at the time, and all I could think was, "We're draining our savings account for...this??"

My perception of toddlers used to be that they were somewhat akin to cats. Babies, like kittens, are so adorable that we seem biologically hard-wired to want them.

The problem is, kittens turn into cats.

And babies turn into toddlers.

However, less than a month into having a 2-year-old, I have decided to come out and announce that the "terrible twos" are only a half truth.

Yes, Mary throws tantrums.

Yes, I have been that mom at the store with the screaming child.

Yes, she hates sharing, hits when she's mad, pulls her shoes off and promptly starts crying for me to put them back on, and occasionally pounds on the piano.

Yes, she draws on the walls and tables, ruined a good shirt of mine the other day by drawing on it with a pen, and last week discovered her cousin's poopy diaper and used it to decorate the walls, the floor, the furniture, and her face. (I missed that incident, but Janae, I'm truly sorry.)

But I want to announce that there is another side to two-year-olds that I never knew about.
Riding the horsey on the couch. Wearing my necklace.
There's the thrill of watching her master skill after skill. Counting to 10, then 12, then 20 (she skips 15 and 19, but those are ugly numbers anyway). Colors. Shapes. Jumping. Pulling on her own boots. Stirring cake batter. Communicating increasingly specific desires.
Reading on the laundry basket. Of course. 

There's toddler hugs and wet kisses. There's chubby little hands and feet. There's the prayers she insists on saying herself (she always blesses the food, even at bedtime).
Pushing her beloved stroller.

There's the unbridled enthusiasm with which she encounters life. Whoa! A train! An ice cream cone! Stars in the sky! Swings at the park! Grandpa! Cousins! CHEEEEESE!!!
Using any means necessary to maintain order at church. 

There's snuggling her on my lap and reading stories or singing songs. (Or watching YouTube...on bad days).

There's the adorable way she speaks about herself in the third person (Mawy do it!).
Accessorizing herself.

And the way she learned not only to do somersaults, but also to cheer for herself beforehand (Mawy! Mawy!) and congratulate herself afterwards (Tada!).

And the way she sits at the piano and sings an entire song by herself...getting 80-90% of the words right. (For the record, she gets about 10% of the tune right).

And, of course, there's the heart-melting "I yuv you!"

I know for some that 3 is harder than 2. I know many toddlers are more difficult than Mary.

I'm just saying there's more to love about 2 than there is not to love.

Also, she's not a cat.


  1. Aw, I love this! Mawy is adorable and two year olds are my faaaavoooriiiiiiite. Ever. Seven year olds are cats.

  2. You have such a wonderful focus. Continue to focus on the good and 3 won't be as bad as you hear either. You are amazing and I miss you!

  3. P.S. Mary is ADORABLE!!!!! In case you hadn't noticed. :)