When my youngest was born I found it really tough. Zee had not long turned 2 and he was in full on “terrible two’s” mode. I found it hard to leave the house alone with both the boys, knowing that if JJ needed to feed I would have no way to keep Zee under control. His mood could flip at the slightest thing and there was just no predicting what was going to happen. Dealing with the terrible two’s wasn’t something I found easy!

I’m not alone in struggling with that age. His behaviour is not uncommon, but the addition of a baby sibling really made the juggle a struggle. Now that JJ has reached 2 we are back in to it in all it’s glory. He is determined to follow in his brothers footsteps, with epic tantrums and amateur dramatics that the cast of Eastenders would be proud of. We are knee deep in trying to survive the terrible twos, and this time with a preschooler along for the ride too.

Second Child Syndrome

This time around though, I’m finding it a lot more manageable. It may be that I’ve developed a thicker skin when it comes to the stares. It could be that I don’t have a newborn to balance too. It could just be second child syndrome – we worry less this time in general.

With your first child I think you are naturally a bit more uptight. I have a few friends who are at this stage with their eldest and are really starting to question their life choices. I have been able to laugh it off a bit, explaining that it is just a phase and although it feels like it lasts forever it honestly does end. I just fail to mention that in Zee’s case it lasted for around 18 months because that’s the kind of negativity no mother needs to hear!

I do feel like, tantrums aside, I’ve been able to just enjoy this stage more second time around. There is less of the unknowns, more certainty in my own decisions and a big brother on hand to help as required.

A toddler screaming
Related Post: 20 Things To Do Before You’re Two

The Terrible Two’s Aren’t All Bad

We are quick to share the horror stories when it comes to toddlers, and it’s easy to skip over the amazing bits that come with it too. Looking back I want to remember the special times I had with both my boys, laughing at their little quirks and embracing their uniqueness at such a young age. The terrible two’s aren’t always terrible – you just have to look for the joy too.

The Best Bits About Life With A 2 Year Old

They Always Wake Up In A Good Mood

When I hear myself summoned to the boys room in the morning I am always greeted with a joyful shout of “Mum!” and the biggest smile on their faces. JJ in particular is full of excitement for the day and keen to get started with whatever it brings. I wish I had an ounce of a toddlers good mood at the start of the day.

Everything Can Be A Toy

Laundry baskets can be boats to sail away in or turtle shells to hide in. A cardboard box is the worlds best hide out, a stick is a sword and a remote control is a makeshift telephone. Two year olds are the best at taking every day objects and turning them in to a toy, and we could really do with taking a leaf out of their book and looking for the fun all around us.

A two year old playing with a basin of water in the garden
Related Post: 5 Thoughts I Had In A Nightclub As A Mum

Their Mispronunciations And Unique Phrases Are Hilarious

Increased speech and a broader use of language is one of the perks of being 2, but a ream of mispronunciations come along with that. Almost every child goes through a hilarious phase of saying “clock” wrong, which always brings about a chuckle no matter how many times you hear it. My nephew used to call chocolate “crot-chit”, and custard will forever be known as “cow-pie” in our family.

Even better are the new names they come up with when they don’t know what an item is called. I know of someone who’s daughter called the toilet brush a “poo duster”, which is both hilarious and logical.

The Find Excitement In Even The Most Mundane

Have you ever taken a walk with a 2 year old? Every leaf on the ground gets a squeal of excitement, every pebble is examined and sticks are picked up and carried. The can spend an age looking for spiders on a rock wall or following ants as they go about their day. I always try to soak up their wonder when we’re doing something that is new to them, the things that we take for granted are what makes it exciting when you’re two.

A woman holding a toddler and looking out at the countryside
Related Post: Facing Your Fears In Front Of Kids

Their Personalities Really Start To Shine

The first 2 years of your child’s life do have them showing aspects of their personality, but once they turn 2 you can really see the person they are going to become shine through. They don’t get embarrassed in the same way that an older child does, and so everything the do is unashamedly them. Whether it’s revealing the things that can make them give those big belly laughs, crying at things that make them feel emotional or throwing themselves to a ground in frustration in rage. It is a very pure way of living and, although it can feel intense to be on the receiving end of the mood swings, it’s a wonderful way to live.

Two Year Olds Are Fearless

Or completely terrified of little things. There is no in between. Spiders and beetles are items of curiosity rather than to be run away from. They love to get to the top of the climbing frame, content in the knowledge that you’ll be there to catch them. But the sound of the blender can make them completely lose. There seems no logic to it, and it’s both endearing and funny to watch.

They Still Need You

Now that I’m on to my second child I’m able to see how much my 2 year old still needs me, and I’m hoping he continues to let me help him for a long time yet. They become more and more independent every day but are still quick to shout for you whether it’s for help or reassurance.

A little boy in a striped rugby shirt sitting on a brown sofa
Related Post: Should We Rely On Dads To Take More Photos?

They Love Intensely

Toddler cuddles are amazing. The way they grab on to you and squeeze like their lives depend on it. They love you with their whole heart and are not afraid to show it. The first “love you” is so special, and all of the days battles can be forgotten in an instant.

The reaction you get when you’ve left them, be it for 10 minutes or 3 hours, and then return is wonderful. The beaming smile, full body cuddle where you can feel them relax into the safety of your arms, and garbled excitement where they tell you what they’ve been doing. It can’t be beaten.

Many thanks to Me, Them and the Others, The Platinum Line, Cruise Mummy, Rice Cakes And Raisins, Maidenhead Mum, Sophie’s Nursery and Tippy Tupps for their contribution to this post.

Please note this post may include some affiliate links. This has no effect on you - to find out more please check out the disclosure