Life with My Two-Year-Old
Life with a two-year-old is busy, tiring, and beautiful and I wouldn’t trade my days with Greyson for anything. Being a mama is an adventure, but keeping up with an active, growing, little man can be exhausting. I thank the universe for Greyson, hi sweetness, and his smarts. He truly amazes me. I’m lucky enough to be home with him every day, which allows me to see all of the special moments, but I also see all of the tantrums, because I’m the one there 24/7. Mamas, it’s okay to admit that our two-year-olds are a lot to handle at times. They don’t call it terrible twos for no reason! They’re discovering their little voices, but they still can’t fully explain what they want, need, or how they’re feeling, which leads to frustration and the infamous tantrums. I do have to say that Greyson is really good and I’m grateful for that, but he does have tantrums. How do I handle them when they do occur?
The key to handling a tantrum is to ignore most of the dramatics. Toddlers are famous for over the top gestures because their emotions are overwhelming and they know tears and fits will lead to attention. The fire will burn out and they’ll snap out of their agitated state fairly quickly, but yelling, spanking, and overreacting make the situation worse. I don’t believe in spanking, at all. I’ve lost my cool from time to time and have yelled at him when he’s had a tantrum, but I don’t like to yell, either. I remain calm, which makes a huge difference.
If Greyson is really having a moment I just sit him in his height chair, or on the couch in our living room for a moment, and I tell him to sit there until he calms down, which usually works. Sometimes, all you need to do is redirect their attention and focus. Toddlers don’t like when they don’t understand, or when something they’re playing with isn’t doing what they want it to do. If your toddler is playing with a toy that’s bothering them, take it away. Give them something else. Take a moment to show them something interesting, whether it’s a trick, a book, or something around them. They love to learn, discover, and feel as though they’re included. I’m always asked how I keep Greyson so well behaved while grocery shopping, or browsing the aisles at stores such as Target. Well, one Greyson loves Target…haha. He clearly takes after his mama. Two, when I’m grocery shopping I make him feel included in the process. I ask him what he wants (even though I already have a precise list), I give him his own little list to hold, I point out all of the colors, shapes, and foods around us and ask him to name them, I talk to him constantly, and I allow him to say hi to people, giggle, and talk, which makes him feel as though it’s a fun experience. It’s important to make them feel as though errands, chores, and daily activities are fun, not an issue. I’m a positive, upbeat person and I feel as though that rubs off on Greyson.
During the colder months it’s harder to keep your toddler active and sane (I know it’s a challenge), because we’re indoors for most of the time. Also, COVID-19 hasn’t helped. We really haven’t gone too many places, because we’ve been cautious over the past year. We did spend a lot of time in the snow, but Greyson got tired of it after a while. I’m a cold weather gal, but after the amount Lviv snow we had this year I’m ready for summer! When it was too cold to be outside I let Greyson watch movies that he loves, play for hours with his toys, we’d eat lunch together, and I’d include him in my daily activities from cleaning to fun projects. We have a farm, luckily. Now that the weather is warming up we go to the farm once a day, at least and he runs around with his two sheep that we raised, Olaf and Juniper, and he spends time with the other animals (goats, sheep, alpacas, chicks, etc.). He loves the animals and being outside, just like Andrew and I.
I know that being a parent isn’t always easy, but your day is as good as your outlook. If you walk through life with negative energy, that vibe will rub off on your children. Greyson is very much like me and Andrew. We’re both optimistic and full of energy. No day is perfect and even the ones that are pretty damn close aren’t without minor inconveniences. Let the little things go, smile and laugh more than anything else, and enjoy the time with your children. You want your child to know at the end of every day that no matter what, everything will always be okay. It’s our job to make everything okay. I’ve also been asked what are my favorite foods to feed Grey because we all know toddlers can be picky.
I love healthy choices for myself and for my family, but Greyson doesn’t always want what we’re eating, which is okay. Usually, he does eat what we give him and if he doesn’t we try the same food again later. Don’t allow your toddler to dictate every meal, give them only a couple of choices per meal, and be firm with the choices. My favorites (and Greyson’s favorites) are…
- Eggs (scrambled) 🥚
- Organic, all-natural Apple Juice 🧃
- Vanilla Almond Milk 🥛
- Pears 🍐
- Bananas 🍌
- Kiwi 🥝
- Pineapple 🍍
- Cubed cheese (sharp cheddar, Colby Jack, or Pepper Jack) 🧀
- Dr. Praeger’s organic, frozen meals (fish sticks, carrot puffs, broccoli littles) 🥕🥦
- Organic chicken nuggets (sometimes with ketchup) 🐔
- Goldfish (he loves these as a snack and they’re way healthier than most snack foods)
- Cereal with fruit 🍌
- Homemade pizza bagels (I make these constantly and he loves them!) 🥯
- Homemade pita bread pizza with sauce and cheese 🍕
- Corn muffins
- Croissants 🥐
- Apples 🍎
Life with my two-year-old is a beautiful chapter and I love that he’s my best friend. He makes me smile, laugh, and think about life differently than I did prior to becoming a mommy. I love hearing him say new words, discover new things around him, and play independently with his favorite toys. He’s such a light in a world filled with chaos and darkness. Also, allow your child to grow up at their own pace. Never compare your child to another because they’re all different and special. If your toddler isn’t ready for potty training just yet, that’s okay. If your toddler is still learning to put together sentences, that’s okay. Tell your little one how special, smart, and funny they are every single day. Enjoy the little moments because they’re the big ones.