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    The Twos

    “Patience is the companion of wisdom.”

    Saint Augustine

    I’m a big fan of alliteration, but I don’t like the term ‘the terrible twos.’  Perhaps it’s because I have a two-year-old; and if the past ten days are any indication, it’s going to be a very long year!

    I feel for Fig.  I really do.  They may be ‘terrible twos’ but for whom are they terrible?  I would argue that it’s a far more upsetting age for the toddlers themselves.

    Take naps, for example; Fig has been a consistent afternoon napper from day one.  Her morning nap was cut-out months ago, but she has always enjoyed an afternoon kip from about 1-3pm.  In the last month, however, there have been several days when she hasn’t napped.  One o’clock has rolled around, the normal nap routines have been followed, but Fig hasn’t seemed the least bit sleepy.  So, she has some ‘quiet time,’ but she doesn’t rest.  By six o’clock, she is a mess.  She wants to be picked up, she doesn’t want to be picked up, she wants a cuddle, but she doesn’t want your hand on her back, she wants a blanket on her, but not THAT blanket.  As another mom of a two year old recently wrote of her two-year-old son, “He hates everything!”

    When Fig gets into that teary, fitful zone, it’s impossible to appease her, because even she doesn’t know what she wants.  How terrible for her!  Haven’t we all felt that way at some point or other; unhappy, crying at the drop of a hat, not able to articulate what will make us happy because we don’t even know it ourselves?  Imagine feeling that way at least once every day!  I’d go nuts!

    When I feel my patience running a bit thin with Fig, it’s helpful for me to try to jump into her skin for a minute.  It must be frightening for her to feel so many intense emotions and not know why she feels them, or how to deal with them.

    So in honour of my dear Fig, you won’t hear me refer to this complex young age as ‘terrible.’ Tumultuous?  Sometimes.  Terrific?  That too.    But not simply ‘terrible.’

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