Things I wish I knew when they turned 2…

I was chatting with my friend the other day, about dealing with ‘The Change’.

Not of the menopausal kind you understand, more of the two and three year old variety.
You know, the one where one day they are all sweet, and innocent and telling you how beautiful you are and the next where THEY HATE THE WORLD, AND ALL WHO LIVE IN IT, AND THEY WILL NOT EAT THEIR SODDING DINNER (even though you carefully and gently made sure to tailor it to their specific *dietary requirements at that precise moment. *sausages again) OH, AND HERE’S A KICK ON THE SHINS AND A SQUEAL IN YOUR EAR, JUST FOR THE HELL OF IT. One of those Jekyll and Hyde combos?
I really hope it’s not just me, or I’ve done some seriously crap parenting between the ages of two and four. Three times. 

I nearly daren’t say it, but I think for the most part we are on the other side of this wide tantrumy river. Although Annie did have an apocalyptic meltdown on Mr M in Toys R Us a few months ago. Over the non-purchase of a doll I believe. He is still a tiny bit traumatised by it all, and twitches a little when he speaks of it.
Toys R Us incurred PTSD – now there’s a headline. 

But it got me thinking, that chat (thanks Lis!) about how unaware I was, when they were babies, of all that was to come.  How I looked at those little babygrowed, swaddled bundles snoozing, and wondered how I ever could shout at them, or be pushed to my limits. 
What an idiot.
Perhaps it’s good that we don’t know.
So…in that vein, take note all you first time mummies and daddies of gorgeous, round faced bundles of one-year-old loveliness. Here’s what’s a-comin’… (mwah hahaha)

Things parents of terrible twosers and threenagers really should know.
*Not a complete guide. (the brats are still working on ways to outwit us)


1.  You will be able to do nothing correctly. Every choice you make, even if they have contributed, will be wrong. Walk away from confrontation if you value your ear drums my friend. Walk away.

2.  You are going to encounter more poo. Potty training does NOT mean less hassle. Ditto, Wee. Likewise, your relationship with public toilets will become special and longlasting. Armour up folks – hand sanitiser and a Dettol wipe. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

3.  That child you have? The one who eats shellfish, and duck a l’orange and loves a bit of Asian fusion? Overnight they will be replaced by one who favours a diet of carrots. Just carrots. And mashed potato, but only if it’s contained in a skin of a) fried coating or b) breadcrumbs. And even then they reserve the right to pick the potato out.

4.  They will save all their best tantrums for public places. I mean, if you’re gonna’ put on a show, you want a decent audience, right? Tread carefully peeps, a calm morning at home does not always mean a respectable afternoon shopping trip. They’re conserving their energy for a bit of squealing and shoe-throwing down the freezer aisle.

5.  Treat Quiet with suspicion. Always.

 6.  Afternoon naps will almost certainly always be refused. Arguments will ensue, squealing will occur, sleep will not be had. And then they’ll fall asleep face first in their dinner at 5pm.

7.  Snacks will be asked for, oh, pretty much constantly. NOTE: the definition of ‘snack’ is something containing chocolate or E numbers. Fruit and raw vegetables do not apply. And any sort of ‘dip’ will incur that WTF look. And possibly end up down your wall.

8.  Disney / Pixar / Barbie movies will become an essential part of everyday life. Your eyes will begin to glaze over the moment the opening sequence of Barbie: The Princess and the Popstar begins. Fight it. You will be asked to recreate several scenes at a later stage, and receive an interrogation if you can’t recite the ‘castle scene’ word for word.

9.  There will be a favourite toy. Out of the whole cuddly toy emporium residing in the bedroom / playroom / bathroom THIS will be the toy that goes missing at bedtime. Learn from a veteran – buy spares!

10. Before you know it they’ll be four, and torturing the pre-school teachers instead, and you’ll kinda hanker after these ‘innocent’ days (ha!).

Trust me, I’m a survivor.

E x

The Reading Residence

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19 Comments

  1. March 26, 2014 / 1:12 pm

    I have a two year old girl, I wish your list was handed out when I left the maternity ward to prepare me lol

    • March 26, 2014 / 5:46 pm

      Oh goodness! It WILL end though, promise :). E x

  2. March 26, 2014 / 11:08 pm

    To say I nodded in agreement and giggled my way through each point is and understatement. As babygirl turns 5 in August I am well aware of the 2-3 yr old fun and as babyboy turns 2 in June he looks like he is ready to up the stakes! I can pretty much recite gnomeo and juliet, be the prince/wicked step mother/ugly sister in various plays, crawl around on all fours like a horse and suggest dinner that involves everything in our fridge to no satisfaction most afternoons. And as I am about to try potty training I am ready for the toilet trips that make it look like I have the runs when all babygirl wanted to do was look in the mirror but I couldn’t take the risk. Quick question are boys difficult to train because babygirl was a breeze- maybe write a post on that !! Thank you again for letting me know it isn’t just me who has the pasta plate pushed away/put onto head/rubbed into walls etc because these are precious times (that will be used as evidence and or bribery for future use) and I do love every moment x

    • March 26, 2014 / 11:14 pm

      Oh Nicola, I giggled through your comment too!! Hilarious! Eek, the potty training. I hated it! Noah took a little longer to even get started at it, but when he did he got it pretty quickly. I think my girls were trained not long after they were two, but the wee man was closer to three. You’ll know all about it having done it before! It’s brilliant just getting to the other side, isn’t it? Thanks so much for your lovely comment, and taking the time to write – I really do appreciate it! E x

  3. March 27, 2014 / 9:07 am

    Your children look like butter wouldn’t melt! I’m not sure how to tell you this Emma…..it sounds like you’re describing my Tween! Ok, minus the poo bit the rest is going full pelt and the ‘kick in the shins’ is twice as hard! Get some good practice in now, while you’re bigger than them 😉

    • March 27, 2014 / 10:43 am

      Hee hee, oh Noooo! I am truly, truly dreading the teen/tween years. I fear the girls will be my biggest problem, I remember what I was like myself!

  4. March 28, 2014 / 11:11 am

    Love the list. Your children look adorable. Laughed at #9. lol!

    #Po.Co.Lo

  5. March 28, 2014 / 11:15 am

    Haha – loved this. I have a little boy entering this stage now. The other two are safely annoying school teachers ha #poloco

  6. March 28, 2014 / 10:49 pm

    I felt 4 was the worst…you know when you stop reading books about what to expect, and begin thinking you’re an old hat at this ! Nothing prepares you the the Fearsome Foursies …you’ve been warned! 🙂 xxx Linking via #PoCoLO

  7. March 29, 2014 / 12:30 am

    All so very, very true! I love that first photo and point 3 particularly resonated with me. Grace loved fish when she was small – now you can’t get her anywhere near it!! Thank you for linking to PoCoLo x

  8. April 2, 2014 / 4:46 pm

    Oh yes – simply every parent in the world will be able to relate to this post!

  9. April 8, 2014 / 9:25 pm

    Haha great post. I have seen the terrible twos through four times now and I have this feeling, deep down in my soul that little miss Belle here will be the Queen terrible twosome toddler of them all, lol. #madmidweekbloghop

  10. April 9, 2014 / 10:21 am

    YES YES YES!! We are haivng all of this at the moment and it is wearing thin!! So frustrating isn’t it…The big little took off her tights three times this morning. WTF
    #MMWBH

  11. April 15, 2014 / 9:47 am

    Oh yes! You are so right!! A post that has made me both laugh and sob a little! My daughter went through this, more at 3, and I’m now thinking about my sweet little 19 month old hitting this time, too – can’t wait 😉 Good advice there for us all, too 🙂 Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame x

  12. April 15, 2014 / 3:24 pm

    Lol, the joys eh? We are approaching 2 and getting a glimpse of these days, food is a nightmare and the tantrums are becoming epic! Good to know we aren’t alone though and will follow your tips! xx

  13. April 15, 2014 / 8:33 pm

    Excellent! I’m at the potty and poo stage now with my second and life is all about bottoms-he even loves to place his bottom in my face just to remind me. And I’m always doing the wrong thing, even with the 7 year old….Thanks for sharing with #TheThemeGame

  14. April 20, 2014 / 1:54 pm

    Classic! I can still sing all the songs from Barbie’s Princess and the Pauper – perhaps forever (I actually loved the Dogish Cat song). My husband did a LOT of yard work during the Barbie movie phase.

  15. April 24, 2014 / 3:40 pm

    LOVE this post! I have a threenager who is forever telling me I haven’t done things ‘properly Mummy.’ I am lucky that he’ll eat pretty much anything but his preferred snacks are of the chocolate/e-number variety. And he either doesn’t nap or naps for three hours (he’s hard to wake if he’s really out) and then won’t sleep at night. Today might be one of those days :-/

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