Asher will be 2 in less than 3 weeks (what!?) and I have been delighting in the fact that when people start to talk about the Terrible Twos I’ve been able to say, “Well, Asher’s really more of a ‘yes’ man, and so far he’s been a dream”.
Smugness is a social crime, team, and I’m serving my time.
Here’s what our Sunday sounded like:
“YAY! Asher! That’s so good! You’re such a goo—ASHER! PLEASE do not get on the coffee table. That’s right, climb down. That’s very good baby, thank you for being a goo—ASHER! What did mama JUST say? NO sir, you may not—that’s right. Thank you sweet boy, than—ASHER! That is dangerous! Didn’t I just tell you to please NOT get on…”
And then it sounded like this:
And then I stepped on a toy train and said, “ah shoot! dang! durn! darn!” because I live with a parrot and my sailor days are slowly slipping away. Durn? Durn just does not cut the throbbing-foot-mustard, you know?
So it would seem that indeed the terribleness of the twos is the constant constant constant boundary pushing. I say no, I calmly explain why (you’ll bonk your head, baby) I distract and divert and take a beat and ask myself WWMPD? (What would Mary Poppins Do) and at some point I yell a booming and terrifying NO, right after he bites my arm and smiles at me, and put him in his crib for time out–for both of us–and then when I pick him back up he pats my cheek and asks for the “twains? book? weed?” (Trains? Book? Read?) as if I didn’t just yell at him and close him in his room and I melt and feel like a major butt.
Terrible twos indeed. The things is, some bigger picture part of me knows that this is par for the course and that Asher has to do all of this but…I don’t especially like looking at the clock and thinking, 45 minutes until bath time. I know that every single parent out there has made that mental calculation, I know that I have a lot more of those moments in my future, and I completely get that part of parenting is providing boundaries and being the one to keep an eye on the prize as the full-speed-ahead ramming of those boundaries occurs. But I also get why parenthood drives people to drinking. You know that tired definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result each time? Well, I think it’s fair to say that toddlers are insane. That insanity is mostly awesome when on a less intense scale it’s lovingly described as insatiable curiosity, but there is a fine line between being curious and just being difficult, and for the very first time (though certainly not the last!) I got to cruise that second gauntlet this weekend.
And of course the other completely cliche but nonetheless amazing thing about this whole scenario? After all of the no-ing, the tears, the redirecting, the endless stream of parenting drivel that I hear myself saying all afternoon, after all of that, Asher will do 30 things exactly right with heart-melting conviction and sweetness and I see the gorgeous child and get all gooey and silly over him because he’s such an awesome kid and because he’s our kid. He’s our kid that is determined to break his head open super-manning off the coffee table, but he’s also our kid that looked at me yesterday and spontaneously said, “Ashers yuves mama” (Asher loves mama) and told me that submarines swim in the water and birds and planes fly in the sky. He’s the kid that’s not quite two that started asking to potty all on his own about 3 weeks ago. And my favorite right now? He’s the kid that wakes up in the middle of the night begging not for mama or papa, but to be woked, because it feels good to have someone you love slip in in the dark and rock you for a minute before going back to sleep.
How do you describe it as anything other than a roller coaster? Highs and lows and then….HIGHS!!…and then…LOWS!!…and then…3 tiny seconds of normalcy and then…HIGHS!!…and then…
and I know that some part of me was smiling as I was hopping around holding my throbbing foot and saying, “didn’t I JUST ask you…” and watching the clock because this is my favorite job that I’ve ever had and even though my boss is a little demanding and disrespectful at times, I would sign up for this every single day of the year if asked to do it again.
But Asher, if it’s 2030 and you’re reading this right now? I’m completely confident that I still enjoy massages and large vases of peonies.
You hear me, son?