“Watch out for the terrible two’s!” they said.
“Oh man, they get bad at two!” they said.
“Two years old? Good luck!” they said.
They weren’t wrong. Povi has most certainly and most definitely hit the big t-w-o. Suddenly, his tantrums are more epic, his stubbornness through the roof, his innate ability to drive me bonkers has no parallel, and…(what they don’t tell you) gosh, has he suddenly become so much more fun, too. When he isn’t driving me crazy, he’s just so stinkin adorable. I spend half my days teetering between whether I should be insanely mad or ridiculously pleased with his cleverness. A few examples from the past week:
On Wednesday, I asked Povi to come over to me. More often than not, when I say “come here” he tries some method of stalling. Sometimes it’s shouting “NE!” (“No” in Lithuanian) or throwing himself to the floor. Other times, it’s simply running to the opposite end of the room. What I wasn’t expecting, however, was for him to tilt his head like a small puppy, clearly taking a moment to listen to the Michael Jackson music playing on the radio. Then, smirking impishly, he began to – in the most excruciatingly slow and ridiculously exaggerated movements – shimmy over to me. I’m talking crazy-low, squat position with lots of hip movement. He did this all the way across the living room, taking as much time as possible, all the while grinning gleefully at me like, “See, Mama! You can’t yell at me. I’m doing what you asked!” Mental note: figure out clear way of expressing that “now” means “now.”
On Thursday, I asked Povi a question only to have him ignore me. He does this a lot lately, which is infuriating – especially because I can’t figure out whether he’s purposefully ignoring me, or just so entranced with whatever he’s doing that he genuinely doesn’t hear me. I’ve begun using the phrase “Please use your ears (I point to my ears to emphasize this) to listen to me” a lot recently in the hopes that he will not only listen to me, but also understand that listening is important and that’s what our ears are for. Yes, I’ve become that weird parent who uses weird phrases to try to get through to my weird toddler. Weirdness aside, however, I’ve noticed that he really does listen better when I make a point of saying that it’s our ears that hear. Anyway, on THIS particular occasion, instead of thoughtfully touching his ears, or nodding and coming over, Povi got the most devilish grin on his face, reached over behind the sofa cushion, and – seemingly out of nowhere! – found a pair of earbuds, which he promptly put into his ears. -_- Thanks, kid.
By Friday, it had been a LONG week. I was so excited to put the kids down for their afternoon naps, even though Povi has been hardcore fighting his naps recently. In an effort to avoid a fight, I let him carry his HUGE truck upstairs, but made him leave it out of the crib. Faaaar out of his crib. Way up on his train table, that’s several feet away from his crib. Up to this point he has only ever climbed out of his crib once and it ended with him falling and lots of tears. He hadn’t attempted it since. On this particular day, I didn’t put him into his sleep sack, so there is that. After putting him down, I began making myself lunch while I listened to him rock his crib, shriek happily at the ceiling, and make truck noises. He kept getting louder and louder and LOUDER. Finally, deciding that his noises were at an unacceptable level, I walked upstairs to chide him. Walking into the room, I find him in bed, cheerfully chattering to himself, and hugging his GIANT TRUCK. Don’t ask me how he got out of his crib, lifted this thing INTO his crib (seriously – how!?! He’s too short to throw it in and there’s absolutely no way he could have climbed up with it in his arms), and then climbed back into his crib. When I asked him out he climbed out, he kept shrugging, saying “Ne, ne, ne” and demonstrating how he can’t lift his leg over the railing. Clearly my two-year-old is either a master actor, a master climber, or a master magician. Possibly all three.
One of my biggest delights recently has been watching Povi FINALLY begin to talk. Don’t get me wrong – he’s been able to say words since about his first birthday, but he would only use the ones he wanted (so primarily the words for food, more, water, and all done) and when HE felt like saying them. Since the primary language we speak at home is Lithuanian, I knew he’d have the slightly more than normal amount of language delay that comes with being bilingual. Despite this knowledge, I was still getting unbelievably frustrated with his stubborn refusal to communicate effectively. Lately, however, words have been bursting out of him like shining jewels. He takes great delight in describing events to us and pointing out trucks and planes with their appropriate word (“šiūūūū” for “šiukšlių sunkvežimis” (“garbage truck”) and “dai-ooo” for “gaisirinkių sunkvežimis” (“fire truck”) — sidenote, if you wander why he can’t say the full word yet, just look at the length of those words- NINE syllables for a fire truck!). Povi loves informing me when something has gone wrong and also praying for his cousin across the street, his Myma and Dadū, and for all the fire trucks every night. It’s been pretty interesting to see him pick up English words from his cousin, too – words that he doesn’t even hear often! He told me to “get up!” the other day, alternates between using “NO!” (his cousin’s favorite word) and “NE!”, and began singing “Ooookeeedokeeeee!” to me this afternoon. I’ve made it a habit of asking Povi “taip” (yes) or “ne”, when he’s being uncommunicative and when he answers “taip,” I make him follow that up with a “taip, mama.” It sounds ridiculously cute and polite and I love it. When I changed Aidas into a new onesie earlier this morning, Povi completely surprised me with his wide-eyed look over the onesie, then his gleeful shout of “BAAAAAATMAN!!!!!” (yes, Aidas was wearing a new-to-him Batman onesie).
Last story: this past week I’ve finally caved to Aido demands and began feeding him solid food for every meal and not just as a treat. He’s a ravenous little beast who takes great delight in his food. He and Povi have also found a new level of camaraderie, now that Aidas more closely resembles a little person and not just a smiling potato. They adore shrieking to each other and then bursting into alternating patterns of laughter. Povi also adores feeding Aidas, which means I have to keep a pretty close eye on what he’s handing him. I like to have Povi help, though, to really try to ingrain in him that Aidas is his little brother and its his responsibility to help him and look out for him. With this in mind, I often ask Povi to bring Aidas a toy, watch him while I leave the room for five seconds, or to hand him his food. As I was prepping dinner the other night, I gave Povi a teething cracker to give to Aidas. Povi happily trotted over to his brother, hands him the cracker, and then – when Aidas merely grabbed it to begin gnawing, Povi firmly but confidently pulled his hand back for a microsecond and chanted “AČIŪ” (“thank you!”) before handing his brother the cracker. Apparently our rule on expressing gratitude is being passed down!
What is a favorite terrible two’s (or wonderful two’s!) moment from your kids’ lives?