I'm only a few days into having a two-year-old, but this is my observation so far. It must be the best of times and the worst of times. (Janelle, did we have one conversation this morning about how great TWO is and then another tonight about how challenging TWO is with all the contrariness? Did I make that up?) I keep thinking, "Oh my! He's never been cuter! He's never been sweeter! He's never been more fun!" And then he grabs a stuffed toy out of my arm and says "Mine!" Or he starts his morning off by seeing if today will be the day he can hit Mommy. He's had two time outs for that every morning this week. Or he throws a temper tantrum for ABSOLUTELY NO REASON AT ALL. I think that has been the biggest difference so far in this new, slightly more grown-up phase. The tantrums are seemingly unprovoked. There is no explaining them and there's no helping them.
Today our play group went to/braved Chuck E. Cheese. I told the girls that I felt like I had entered a new depth of motherhood having been there today. It was such a grown-up thing to do. I'd been before, but Jackson was really young for it then. Anyway, I took Jackson over to the prize counter as we were leaving to find something to get for his 67 tickets (most of which were won on the Spongebob gambling game). After I got us a Fun Dip (for me) and a rubber insect (for him), he threw himself down on the floor and had a fit. The Lord only knows why. I'm sure I picked the two items in the case that didn't appeal to him. I then had to carry him out screaming while the teenaged "security guard" verified our hand stamps. I made myself smile to keep from losing it. Then I carried him sideways to the car - kicking and carrying on. It was so ridiculous that I started laughing outloud...and then he did too. So maybe the theme of this year will be laugh it off?
Despite having had pizza for lunch, the Jones family picked tonight for our weekly trip to DoubleDave's. I had promised Curt we would go twice this week to make up for not going last week. I needed to be disciplined in my eating for the wedding and a pepperoni roll buffet was not exactly fleeing temptation. With the week coming to a close, I figured I'd better start making good on my promise. Janelle and Ella met us there. Oh, bless all those poor people sitting around us. Two two-year-olds screeching back and forth and having their unprovoked, unreasonable mini-fits. It is a lot to take. I need to remember though that every single hard phase we have entered has been just that - a phase. Nothing seems to last.
So I am resolving to enjoy this time because it will pass before I know it. Truly, my son steals my heart several times a day. He talks non-stop and is suddenly saying tons of new things. I can hardly believe my ears! He loves to run to me and fall into my arms. And I got an unsolicited hug and a very sweet kiss this afternoon. I keep thinking that this is my favorite stage and I'm going to let it be. I love that little Mister so much, I can't even stand it.
On Saturday Jackson and Ella are going to celebrate their second birthdays together. They are only two days apart and our guest list is basically identical, so it is the best way to have this party. I'm so excited. I will save all that for later, but I can't wait to show pictures of my boy in his birthday outfit. Not his birthday suit, mind you. I'm dying over his new hat and shoes. Hopefully at the party we'll be blessed with no tantrums and lots of those big, cheesy, toddler smiles.