Sunday, November 25, 2012

Two-la Belle

 Every child has a time when they really turn "2" in the meaning of two.... like BIG attitude, handful to parent, deliverer of so much joy, yet a tester of patience "2".  Ivy was "2" early and by the time she was really 2 in age, the newness had worn off and I knew how to handle the very "2" moments.  Tula is now "2".... at age 2 years and 3 months the time has come. I really thought it may never arrive- but slightly late, her "terrible 2's" are here! 

This age can be so trying as they are stuck in between wanting to be BIG and wanting to be BABY.  It isn't odd to hear Tula command us with...."Stop" "Don't touch MEEEE!" "I do it!" "Weave me awone!" She wants to put her clothes on alone, pick out crazy outfits, do her lotion after bath, climb into her high chair, and eat food that isn't "broken."  She is so grown up!

On the other side, they are still such babies.  {Enjoying Graham's bouncy seat!} Tula still loves to be held and cuddled.  She loves her paci and blankie.  She is comforted by the lap or shoulder of Mommy or Daddy when she is sleepy, hurt, or just being needy.  At these moments, they are just as demanding as a newborn only it is done with a foot stomp and a tantrum instead of a tiny fresh baby cry.  

So what are we doing with our little "Two-la Belle"? 

Poor Ivy was the guinea pig for my parenting, and bless her heart she always will be.  But man, I really have learned a lot from my parenting mistakes and have done things much differently this time around.  I would LOVE it if I could transfer my "go with the flow" "it's just small stuff" attitude with the way I parent Ivy now.... but I still struggle with that.  Maybe because she will always be the first?? (Another post, for another day).  

So "Two-la".....
We are being CALM.  CALM Mommies make for a CALM toddler.  Now this doesn't mean she is without tantrums, but I have found that they quickly blow over rather than the excessive tantrum marathons that used to be commonplace.  With CALM, I am trying to remember "little kids, little problems" that my Mama taught me when I was a fresh parent with my 1st "2" year old.  So if she sits down for dinner 10 minutes after us because she is engrossed with petting the sleeping cat.... who cares?? I can enjoy the 10 minutes of peace at the table and it will not set the tone that we aren't eating together as a family.  Nor do I believe that it sets the tone that Tula is in charge.  It just is a little problem- so I pass on the battle.

CALM also comes when I am delivering the consequence.  I am not raising my voice, I am not getting mad, but instead I have been calmly telling her that she isn't making a good choice by [insert crime] and that she will sit in time out until she is ready to say sorry and [insert appropriate action].  She sits, she comes out, and she makes a better choice.  I haven't been bent out of shape about the time limit.  Sometimes she sits for 5 minutes when she isn't ready to turn her behavior around.... sometimes she sits for 40 seconds when she is ready to put on a smile, say sorry, and move on! This helps the good moments seem to outnumber the bad ones instead of the battle of sit in time out that I used to play forEVER! This also gives her control of her behavior.... control seems to be something that Tula is craving and letting her choose when to get up takes the pressure off me.

I am making sure to wear her butt out.... not with spankings.... but with PLAYING!  Tula loves to run, play, swing, hop, dance, sing, squeal, and be silly.  We are doing plenty of this.  We really don't watch TV or movies unless we are in the car.  We play inside if it is raining but otherwise we are bundled up and running around outside.  Ivy like to do a lot of sitting activities at her "2."  We read a lot of books, watched movies, and colored but maybe she had pent up energy that came out as a strong willed tantrum.... instead of being able to run the energy off.  Some of Tula's favorite ways to get wild inside- dance parties, Hullabaloo, hide and seek, and Simon Says.  When she is worn out, she is a lot less likely to wear me out!

I am enjoying it.... so. much. more. I don't need to be so "IN CONTROL" like I used to be. (Thank you, Jesus, for changing my heart in a good way!) In stead of worrying that if I let the small things go that it may doom my child forever, I am just remembering that she is a child.  I don't remember much about what I got away with at 2.... so I figure Tula won't either.  This age is really fun and I am remembering that so much more the 2nd time around.  She loves everyone so hard! Tula will hug your neck until you are blue in the face, she lights up the faces of family members and friends, and oh how she loves the people who live with her Great Pawpaw.  Those oldies swoon over my little "Two-la!"  

I laugh at the things that aren't hurting her or anyone else.  
Shaking up dog food.... her favorite past time.... who does it hurt?? NO ONE.  She shakes, she spills, she cleans, REPEAT.  Not hurting anyone.  

Pulling toilet paper all over God's green earth.... not hurting anyone. We don't judge, we still use the crumpled piles.

Carrying yard art around.... not hurting anyone. She loves animals, real and fake.

Here is one naughty Tula story that we ignored the 1st time.... but have since been sitting in time out for.  She learned a bad word in the midst of a temper tantrum at school.... the "s" word. 

No, no, not that "s" word.... this one: SHUT UP! She was eating her fruit snacks at a lightening fast speed and Ivy was sure to boss her around.
Ivy: "When they're gone, they're gone, Tula."
Tula: "Shut up, Ivy!"
Ivy: "Well, they will be!"

No she didn't! No my 2 year old did not just tell my very bossy 5 year old to shut up!  Yes, she really did.  The first time we laughed.  The next 2 times we didn't.... she sat in time out.  And in our bed time conversation about being a "little light" Tula has professed that "little lights" do not say shut up!  No they don't.... so we are working on that.

We are always thankful for a sleeping 2 year old- never wake a sleeping toddler!

 So even though our Tula is now "Two-la" we are still so much loving parenting her.  It makes me so thankful that my heart has changed from it's rigid beginnings and I can enjoy this little age that passes so quickly.  

Is she wild? YES!
Is she tiresome? YES!
Is she wearing us out? YES!
Are we remembering "little kids, little problems"? ABSOLUTELY.


  1. LOVED this post!! Loved your new attitude you shared - I need to remember that! We had our first try at a time out. Not sure if she's too young or the right age, but who knows! Thanks for always writing so honestly!

  2. Love me some Tula!! and love you, too--you're an awesome momma!!


Thanks for your encouragement as I travel through this season of life called mommyhood!