January 23, 2018

The Terrible Twos Take Over

“Chalk-let” she says, as she hands me a small piece of leftover Christmas candy that she likely found hidden in the couch cushions. “Morley, it’s 7:30am in the morning, you can’t have chocolate yet. Let’s save it for later” I say, trying to reason with her. I really should know better.

“Pweeeeeeez???" she says, with the cute side head tilt and toothy grin, thinking she's got me hook line and sinker. I savour the moment and her cute face for two whole seconds, knowing full well that when that two letter word she doesn’t want to hear comes out of my mouth, all hell will break loose. "Morley neeeed it!” is her reply, instantly followed by a foot stomp and her taking off down the hallway as she awkwardly tries to unwrap the chocolate and shove it in her mouth before I can get to her. Oh, and I should mention, she’s laughing, no more like cackling, the entire time.

My friends, the terrible twos have started to take over. That sweet sweet girl, who always said please and thank you, has now turned into a sassy, independent, and very opinionated, two year old toddler. And my head is starting to hurt.

Strategies to Deal with the "Terrible Twos"

The toddler years are a time of rapid growth - mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s a time that they’re developing their mobility, their communication skills, their independence and their sense of self. Mine is clearly also learning that she likes chocolate. 

And, because they are still developing, it’s also a time when things won’t always go their way, often resulting in frustration, anger and some seriously epic meltdowns. 

Strategies to Deal with the "Terrible Twos"

While we are just entering this joyful phase, we’ve already learned a few coping mechanisms to help mom, dad and Morley through the rough patches. And while every toddler is different, today I’m sharing the tactics that seem to work for our family… so far.

Beat the boredom. Keep them occupied with fresh, new activities they love. Stickers and play-doh work magic in our household. 

Keep the snacks coming. Yes, the word “hangry” can even apply to a two year old. Stick to a schedule with meals. Plan outings at times when your child won’t be hungry. For longer trips, pack healthy snacks and drinks so your child has something to nibble on, if needed.

Don’t give in. This one is a constant struggle. It always seems easier to just give her what she wants. Like let her eat that piece of chocolate at 7:30am because it’s better than the alternative, the epic meltdown that will make us late for both school and work. But then, I keep reminding myself, it will only be harder next time. 

Respect the nap. (And bed time.) While Morley has her usual nap and bedtimes, we never wanted these to be set in stone. From early on, we wanted her to be flexible in terms of location, noise and time. So far, it’s worked. But when girlfriend is tired, girlfriend is anything but sleepy. Common sense would say the more tired a child, the easier it will be for them to fall asleep. Wrong! The witching hour turns them into just that, little witches.

The Newton Crib Mattress has played a large role in Morley getting a good night's sleep. The mattress is 100% breathable, washable and recyclable, making it unlike anything else on the market. It is firm enough for your little one's growth and development, but also comfortable enough for use into toddler years. Also comfy enough that mama sometimes wants to curl up in there with her. I said sometimes. 

As we have begun to think about potty training, one of the things I like best about this mattress is that the cover fully unzips and can be washed in the washing machine. The patented Wovenaire core is 90% air and 10% food-grade polymer, making it easy to wash in the shower or bathtub.

Strategies to Deal with the "Terrible Twos"

Redirect when necessary. When Morley misbehaves, the educator in me always tries to explain why the behaviour isn’t okay. But, there’s no point seeing as she’s tuned out about 2.3 seconds and has probably already done it again before I can finish. Instead of offering a lengthy explanation, redirecting her either verbally (talking about something else) or physically (moving to another location) to help her focus on something else seems to work well. 

For example, the other night Morley was adamant about being in the kitchen while I was cooking on the stove. I tried to explain to her she couldn’t stand right under me because it was hot, but she didn’t care and it didn’t work. So instead, I gave her a simple task, to help mix the salad and she stayed occupied for at least 15 minutes while I finished.

Strategies to Deal with the "Terrible Twos"

Let her work it out herself. You want to flail around on the floor at the grocery store because you need to walk and eat your cheese string? Be my guest. Despite the side eye from other customers, the only person you’re embarrassing is yourself little missy. I’ll be down at the end of the aisle when you’re ready to get back in the cart.

And if all else fails, remind yourself that it won’t last long. Take a deep breath, push the frustration aside and cherish the memories being made. You got this mama. 

Have you made it through the terrible twos? What are your tips and tricks? I’d love to hear!

Disclosure: We received product and/or compensation in exchange for this review. However, all opinions are 100% that of To & Fro.
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