The terrible twos: Even better the second time around!

I had completely forgotten how the term “terrible twos” is a misnomer, as it actually starts way earlier. Way. Or maybe it just feels that way because when you’re deep in the throes of it, a few months is a damn long time.

Or perhaps, skipping the terrible twos and heading right to bershon.

Sage is now creeping up on 23 months (is it possible?) and, like her sister, has decided to enter the wonderful world of dog-poking, cat-jabbing, cereal-flinging, tantrum-throwing, block tower-wrecking, couch-scribbling, mommy-torturing fun.

Of course unlike her sister at this age, Sage has a sibling whose hair she can pull too. So that’s excellent.

I swear I never thought I’d utter phrases (generally yelled from another room) like DO I HAVE TO SEPARATE YOU TWO? And STOP BITING YOUR SISTER. And I AM DRAWING AN INVISIBLE LINE BETWEEN YOU AND YOU ARE NOT GOING TO CROSS IT.

I sound just like a bad Bill Cosby routine from the 80s and I kind of resent it. Just once I would like to be like, IF YOU TWO KEEPING HUGGING EACH OTHER AND BEING NICE TO EACH OTHER ALL DAY I WILL HAVE TO COME IN THERE AND MAKE YOU EAT DESSERT!

It could happen.

Indeed Sage is finding plenty of fun ways to keep us entertained even when she’s not in the room with Thalia. Nother binkieeeeee! she screeches every night. Two binkies. She needs two now. Can’t sleep with just one – oh no, that would be akin to putting her to sleep on a bed of barbed wire with a dog poop pillow. The two binkie thing is particularly awesome considering the fact that we can hardly ever keep track of the first one. If there is a sock monster which steals your footwear from the dryer, then we have its cousin, the binkie monster, which chews up pacifiers in the night.

We know it’s not about second binkies. It’s all about the insatiable id of the nearly two year-old.

Sage’s own favorite expression these days is ME TOOOO! Usually repeated and with great consistency in rhythm and tone (Me toooo Me toooo me toooo Me tooo) until we agree to do for her whatever it is we just did for her big sister. It could be giving her a cookie. It could be giving her a time out. Really, it doesn’t matter as long as she does it toooo. Otherwise – pouting. Tears. Screaming.

Her next favorite word is nowwwwww, as in BINKIE NOWWWWWWW. We are trying very hard to replace it with please.

Also, pertinent to nothing, she likes to scour the apartment for things to put on her head.

At least under a colander I can’t see her snarling at me.


56 thoughts on “The terrible twos: Even better the second time around!”

  1. F.U.N. And SCORE!, you’ve been lucky enough to get extra months in the two’s! yipeee.Hang in there…Work on your Cosbian accent (“I.HAVE.HAD.ENOUGH!”) and procuring Pudding Pops. Bribe often with Pudding Pops!

  2. I’m right there with you. Mine is 20 months old and we’ve been in the terrible twos for MONTHS now. Yup, definitely 2 binkies. Actually, 2 of everything. Damn me for teaching him numbers.

  3. Ohmigod, I’m so there with my 20 month old. Her 4 year old sister returns home after 5 days and suddenly she can’t bear to share me. Or toys. Or air. If she’s not throwing playdoh, she’s throwing shoes at the cat. Or books at my head. Or screaming because I’ve confiscated all throwing materials.I can’t wait for this phase to pass.

  4. @marketingmommy Thanks for reminding me of the other favorite phrase around here: NO SHAAAAAARE.

  5. Oh, I knoooooow! Phe will be two in May and, AHHHHHHHH!! Her favorite phrase is “Datz MIIIINE!” Ugh.

  6. I think you guys need to check her mattress for all the hidden binkies. If that fails, you should keep a super secret binkie stash, to avoid chaos. We had a huge problem when our youngest came home without her blanket. We had to go to the store to get another one at 10pm or she wouldn’t have been able to sleep.

  7. You’re right, it starts much earlier than 2. The first word out of my daughters mouth EVER was “Mine!”. Nothing to do with having an older brother, I am sure. Hah!

  8. If you wrote he/him it would be my life. Right down to the colanders on the head. My boys are the same ages as your girls. Evan will be 2 at the end of the month. Brendan will be 4 in August. I love them to pieces…I’m not having any more.

  9. Oh my, this is the best line ever: <>“We know it’s not about a second binkies. It’s all about the insatiable id of the nearly two year-old.”<>This will be me in about a year–although my almost-1-year-old is showing numerous signs of early-onset 2-year-old-itis. It’s not going to be pretty!

  10. Wow, I just totally had an epiphany.I think my almost-11-year-old is going through the Terrible Twos. AGAIN.

  11. Our little almost-two-year-old loves to say, “I dooo!” in response to all questions. “Who wants a bath, “I dooooo!” Will you come eat? “I doooo!” Can you just stop screeching for 1 second? “I DOOOOO!” (in a screech, of course)

  12. Feel your pain! I will say though that the two’s with my son was worse then my daughter’s. (So far) His started at 18 months and went on until he was four.The daughter is now almost 3, and three was so much worse then 2 for us with Jake. I’m a little nervous.

  13. What is Clinton Portis doing in your house (and why does he have a colander on his head)?

  14. We had “Mr. Invisible” for long car trips. He sat in the middle, between my sister and me.I don’t know if it reduced the issues, but I clearly remember whining: “Mooooom! Sister’s sitting on Mr. Invisible!”Thinking about this makes me wonder why I decided to have a second baby. Well, actually, the all day morning sickness already had me questioning that decision.

  15. My 16 month old has not gotten there yet, but you are making me reconsider our current “project” of providing her with a sibling. Or is it better that she pull her brother/sister’s hair and not mine?

  16. Wow, mine does EVERY SINGLE THING yours does, just with her big brother. And at night she demands chapstick NOWWWWWWWWW!

  17. oops, accidental delete.. Wow, I am deep in throws of the terrible two’s with #1, and #2 is 4 months old… I am not looking forward to this… lol… but, is it possible that I will be lucky…? hehehe, I didn’t think so!

  18. It’s funny that I both feel for you and am also totally amused because I relate completely. Our oldest will be 4 in July and the youngest turns 2 in a couple of weeks.Her phrases of choice are, “It’s mines!” and “Berry do it!” There is a lot of hugging and cuddling — but that’s both of them demanding to cuddle me (not the worst thing in the world, I admit). And having an older sibling to copy does mean that getting dressed and undressed and learning to use the potty is happening earlier than it did the first time around.

  19. I had the most insane me too moment yesterday morning. Day three of their dad’s business trip and doing the routine by myself is getting old. 4 yo accidently dumps entire bowl of cold cereal/milk onto table in front of it. While I clean it up and curse at him under my breath, 20 month old smiles and dumps hers over in exactly the same fashion. There are no productive parenting words at a time like that. SCARLETT, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD ARE YOU KIDDING ME??? seemed like the right thing to say.

  20. Thanks for reminding me what I have to look forward to! =) My oldest is 22 months and my youngest is my angel at 7 months! The favorite word in our house is MINE!!! Especially when the younger one is gumming something that the older one USED to play with when he was all of 6 months, and he yanks it out of his hand and screams MINE, as the younger one looks at the older one with eyes that say “okay I’m sorry, I know it’s yours, but I was gumming it right now, can I give it to you when I am done?” Such sad eyes!!

  21. I feel your pain! Mine will be 2 in 2 weeks and I think I’m going to lose my mind! At 44, I’m way too old for this – I think Mommy needs a drink!

  22. We have the NOOOOW! And the MIIIINE! and the [somewhat bizarre] NO PAAAAAY! when we go into any kind of store whatsoever.The back-arching, fish-flopping, going boneless temper tantrums. At 22 months.And I hear that three is WORSE than two. Someone send halp.

  23. I am right there with ya, sister. I get, “No, Mommy, NOOOOO,” sometimes for literally, no apparent reason. 2309470 times a day. At least.

  24. Liz, I just love the way Sage looks in the first picture. Defiant and strong and sassy and beautiful. With a twinkle in her eye. This kid is someone I want to be friends with when she grows up. A friend of mine told me to always look at your children’s trying behaviors as traits that will suit them as grownups. Like: “he’s a stubborn asshole, but my, won’t he be excellent on the debate team!”. Or “what a strong will she has, she won’t be pushed around in the future!”. I think I like Sage.

  25. Dude, yesterday my 23 month old flipped her bowl of cereal (cheerios with milk) off her tray like a frisbee because she was so pissed off that she had flung her spoon to the floor and no one was picking it up for her.I can’t in good conscience just let her starve for the morning, so I made her some eggs and gave her a slice of bread before school. But I was pretty close to just making her clean it up off the floor and making her tough it out until lunch time.

  26. I’m so there with you- with twins! 22 months old. It is the most exasperating thing I have ever experienced. Oh, the 3.5 year old doesn’t make it any easier. One day at a time…

  27. Dang! They grow up so fast. Sage is adorable. Even in the second photo with her head covered 😉 -Monica

  28. Good grief she is cute. It doesn’t get any easier, I’m afraid. They will bicker their whole lives. But I will tell you this…my boys might spit on, pound on, pick on, and beat up on each other….but woe unto anybody else who dares to do so. They defend each other to the death.

  29. Bea and Willa fight so much that I feel like bursting into tears much of the time. It is horrible. It makes me want to raise them in different houses. Luckily, they usually leave India out of it, but now that she’s almost four and has pretty strong opinions of her own, she starting to get in the mix. I’m beginning to understand why the neighborhood moms have wine every night at 6. I, however, may need valium.

  30. I suppose it would not be good for me to mention that my younger sister and I who are two years apart kept fighting until I was . . . 16, or so? (She started it. She STOLE things. Things that were MINE. And then she would lie and say that I had given them to her, when OBVIOUSLY I hadn’t, but my mother would always believe her because she was smaller and cuter and IT WASN’T FAAAAAAAAIR. And she would whine and want to do all of the stuff I could do even though I was older, and she would get upset whenever I had anything that she didn’t and, and, and–)Where was I? Oh, yes. Sisters are wonderful and I would not trade mine for the world. They do really come in handy when you want to double your selection of clothes, or complain about your mother to someone who will understand. And they are also among the only people who will come and jumpstart your boyfriend’s crappy car at three in the morning when you’re stuck in the club district. One day, your children will thank you.

  31. My favorite thing my terrible two year old does is screech, “My do myself! My do myself!” every time I try to help her with something – from putting her shoes on to buckling her car seat.Good times.

  32. Right there with you – holding on. ;o) I read somewhere that the “terrible twos” actually peak a little before two – and I’m hoping that is the case, for my sanity and yours. ~ Suzanne

  33. ahh yes, this is all familiar and I have to tell you that the volume has risen over the months and my 3.5 year old is challenging me way beyond where her brothers did!!

  34. My mother said they call it the terrible twos so you let them live. And then come the threes. I found three much more difficult with my first two, but it looks like baby B is already tuning up at 20 months. Gawd help me.

  35. I don’t even remember my son’s twos. But I’m in the valley of my daughter’s phase. Holy. Crap. I did think that the effin fours were pretty bad as well.

  36. Wish I could forget the terrible two’s. I have a perfectly sweet eight-month-old baby right now, but I know one day soon she will be consumed by inexplicable frustration and rage. Her older sister did not go easy on us, and I expect we will soon do it all over again. Ignorance was bliss.

  37. My 2 year old says “Do Mine self” and while I am glad that she is being independent, it would really go quicker if I helped.

  38. Oh, the terrible twos…only to be outdone by the tortuous threes. Sigh.We had to wean Maya from the binkie because she would wake up in the middle of the night wanting it, and was too lazy to find it for herself. Getting up to feed/change/cuddle your baby is fine. Getting up to return their plug to their binkie hole? Not fine. At least, it wasn’t fine for us. Of course, she’s 13 now. I assume she would have given it up sooner or later anyway. 😉

  39. ha ha ha I have to laugh because I start every Saturday and Sunday morning with a vision of the type of clam, collected, considered parent that I am going to be… then the boys wake up and it all turns to crud. Within minutes I am ALL the things I despise, a shouty, naggy, ragged mum just waiting for nap time.Luckily for them, they have moments of brilliance in between beating each other up which ensure that they stay out of the gutter :-).So glad this is true for other mums too!VP

  40. Wow, Sage and Mira could have staring contests with each other. I often find myself blaming Mira’s behavior on being two, and then remembering that she isn’t even two yet. Tearing the kids apart is the worst, especially when it’s the little one who is the instigator. Oh, and I don’t have to deal with demands from Mira yet, because she still won’t say a word. But the whining – ugh!

  41. My Girls are 11 and 15. The other day I screamed as I drove:Don’t talk to each other, look at each other or touch each other. Call me in 10 years. The fun just keeps on coming, LOL.

  42. My daughter is now 20 months and wow I didn’t know the terrible 2’s were this terrible?!!! I really thought it was more of a little phrase that went along with a temper tantrum here and there. WOW was I wrong?!

  43. I am in the throes of all this, too. The 3.5 year old is all that weird logic that only a pre-schooler can come up with and the 21 month old is all about pushing and insisting “my turn! my turn!”

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