My daughter knows she is two, and has been playing the “terrible two” card quite a bit lately.
She has the typical symptoms: she can easily be sent into a fit when she doesn’t get what she wants, she has random mood swings (or maybe a better way to describe it is that she is easily distracted into momentary breaks from the crying).
But mainly, it is about being in control. She wants to do things on her own terms.
It started innocently enough; she wanted to feed the cats, she wanted to brush her own teeth. But then the fits started when we didn’t let her do something on her own – usually when we just forgot. For example, lately, if we put her on the changing table and don’t let her turn on her touch-lamp in her room, instead of just asking, she acts like a spoiled pro football player and throws a fit.
She wants to do things on her own terms. Just this morning, I told her it was time to go down stairs and eat breakfast. She wanted to play. As soon as I opened the gate, she threw herself on the floor and started wailing. After about a minute, she stood up and walked over to the stairs and said, “follow Marshy* down-stairs,” and started heading down the stair, as happy as can be. Control. She found a way to go downstairs on her own terms.
I wish I had advice on the terrible two’s, but so far, the only thing I’ve gotten is telling myself, “Just 11 more months, just 11 more months.”
* ‘Marshy’ being our older cat, Marshal.