With Ivy being in the "Terrible Two's" stage I've come to learn two very valuable things. For one, the "Terrible Two's" stage ain't no stereotype that gossipy 3 years olds made up, man. That girl knows how to throw a tantrum like it's her job these days. And (more importantly) number two, that it's crucial to focus on all the sweet and adorable stuff that comes along with this difficult age. Otherwise you'd probably find me laying facedown next to her on the cold grocery store floor; sobbing, kicking, and screaming along with.
For instance, when she whiningly begs me to hold her at the most inconvenient times by yelling, "Hold you peez!", I need to forget the fact that it's an inconvenient time and remember that there will most likely be a day that she doesn't want me to hold her anymore. Hopefully that's not until high school though.
Or when she throws a screaming fit because its time to change clothes, I need to remember that before long, she won't have to hold onto my shoulders for balance as I pull up her pant legs anymore. I love that. She'll probably grow out of saying, "ahh-m...ahh-m!" for each shirt sleeve I slip onto her arms, too. I'm going to miss that raspy little voice that can't even come close to pronouncing it's "R's".
Of course I need to remember that when she's stubbornly refusing to sit in her highchair or booster seat at restaurants, there will one day be a time where her weekends and lunch dates will be spent with people much more awesome than her own lame parents (or so she falsely thinks!), so I need to appreciate the time spent chasing her around the restaurant kitchen and parking lot while she can still pencil us in.
When she gets all dramatic about an "ouchie" (even a fake "ouchie"), she won't always insist I kiss it better. That I need to remember every time she gets "hote".
When she marches into my bathroom while I get ready, relocating all the toys she had previously been playing with from the other room to the floor and pulling out all my makeup and toiletries, I need to forget about the mess she's making and remember that it's only a matter of time before she won't want to be in the same room as me every second of every day. I'm convinced that the day she goes into her bedroom and shuts the door behind her will be the saddest day of my life. Or pretty close anyway.
When food is flying across the dinner table and she's refusing to eat anything, I need to remember that there will most likely be some nights in the years to come that she's too busy with friends, sports, or school to make it home in time for dinner. I'll sweep up the peas any day over that.
When she's totally stalling for bedtime, asking for her 8th drink of water or one more story each night, I need to remember that I can't tuck her in for the rest of her life (contrary to what the book "Love you Forever" portrays. I just don't see myself climbing through any 2nd story windows in the middle of the night during her adult life...) So even when the bedtime routine takes over 5 hours--and yes, it totally has taken that long and that is no exaggeration--I need to remember that there's nothing I'd rather be doing at night, and to enjoy the time spent with her now (even if at 1:00 am!), while the feelings are mutual.
Basically I need to welcome Ivy's toddler tantrums and attitude and "NO's!" with open arms, because with this age comes many more perks than anything; snuggling and reading to her each morning, her sweet innocence, "opening" her banana peels and buckling up her sandals, playing the most thrilling games of hide and seek, dance parties that fill the room with squeeky laughter, nightly baths that are the perfect amount of bubbly, and the ability to smooch her whenever I want without any eye rolling. Two year olds aren't so bad after all, now it's the teenage years I'm worried about. ;)