Before our session Rachel asked me if all two year olds are horrible or if it's just bad parenting. I laughed and told her I lovingly refer to my 2 year old as the devil. I mean don't get me wrong, we adore her. She's hilarious and spirited and we love her to pieces. But there are moments. And I wish I could say it'll be better soon but if I recall, 3 isn't any easier and is sometimes harder.
I treasure the occasional mom who smiles knowingly and says, "there's light..." or "it gets better." I'm pretty certain the ones who say they'd love to go back to this stage, have totally forgotten what's really like. The continued sleepless nights (umm...I've been tired for like 6 years now). The hour long bedtime routine: I need...no wait...but...I need....waaaaaaahhhhh....no...one more hug....one more kiss...kiss the dog...no like like that!...kiss sister...kiss the poster...hug my stuffy...that doll....no not that doll!! Oh and don't get me started on refusing to eat dinner and suddenly being starving at bedtime. Pulling out the tiny little voice, "tiny bit milk, please" and "pretty please." And every word dripping with, "How you could you tell me no? Don't you see I'm precious and tiny and in desperate need of milk? Don't you love me??" And how about the mommy/daddy wars. Currently I am not the favored one. I can do nothing. No rocking, no teeth brushing, no taking to the bathroom in public places. And all I hear when I try to pour the milk or open the car door, "Noooo! Not you!"
But then again...there's the occasionally bedtime kiss that I didn't beg for. Planted on my lips with tiny, soft toddler lips. The hug that's a little tighter than usual. There's after bath cuddles and sick snuggles and watching Frozen over and over. And a sweet toddler voice singing Disney tunes. There's that last bedtime hug and the favorite bedtime stories. There's uproarious laughter every time we sing the Itsy Bitsy Spider and knowing that we'll hear, "again!" every time we sing it, no matter how many times it's already been. There's the precious tiny, "little bit milk," that I can count on hearing every night at bedtime. There's itty bitty toes and tiny fingers that caress by cheek. There's giant emotions because no one has convinced them to hide their emotions yet. There's puzzles and little games and a willingness to soak up any minute I'm willing to give her. Yeah that's the stuff. The stuff we'll hold on to and remember when the worries change from "why won't they eat" to "who are they spending time with." It's the stuff we'll look back on and wish for when our 16 year old starts acting like a 2 year old again. So mama, it's hard. And it gets better. And you'll want it back. Well...some of it, anyway. ;-)