Two year olds...
Still small enough and adorable enough to incite a strong desire to kiss their messy haired sweaty little heads whilst holding them tight as can be...
Yet...old enough, determined enough, and physically capable of doing things which also make you want to drink by 3 in the afternoon...
Yep. I think that about sums it up.
If you're having a really rough day with your little one, hold out-they usually alternate the halos and the horns, mama (or daddy)!
I think it's all about communication-they seem to understand us-yet they are still very confused about much of what we say or what is going on around them. Then, add to that the very important developing sense of self and of boundaries (which are begging to be pushed) and you have the two year old dilemma.
I am practicing being completely specific and mind numbingly repetitive. The trouble is that when the mind is spread in the many different directions necessary to prepare food, watch baby, answer phone calls, remove child from various situations she gets herself into that end with the words, "Uh-oh, I'm stuck!", etc...the specificities poof right out of the head.
This is when it's a good idea to breathe-maybe with eyes closed, maybe not-and realize that this is just today. I am not and never will be perfect. My child doesn't require perfection-she needs to see my response to the unexpected and she needs to know that changes in her mood, my mood, or our environment will not alter how loved she is.
Usually, I can get out of the beginnings of a chaotic outlook by sitting down at her level and doing something to make her giggle-which makes her compliant enough to let me hold her-which allows me to inhale her sweet little smell (her special smell is kind of like bread being baked)-which reminds me of countless other moments that have linked together to make our bond-which ends with me feeling kind of giddy, more together, and aware.
When this time has passed, she'll be speaking clearly and will no longer have the kitty dishes I so love (a friend calls them that-the little indentations on a babies hands over their knuckles-she said her mom was sad when she noticed the kitty dishes gone from her children-marking their passage out of babyhood). I will be willing to lose all the hair from an eyebrow (or worse) just to spend a few moments with two year old Ever...and with any luck, the smell of fresh baking bread will give me the shadow of one such time that I stopped, held her, and breathed.