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Terrible Twos Behavior

22 Traits That Hopefully End With the Terrible Twos

Congratulations to me! My kid is about to be out of the terrible twos. It's time to say goodbye to tantrums, diapers, and incoherent arguments, right? I know, I know. Keep dreaming, Mama. But even as a veteran mom who's lived through one round of the terrible twos and the even-worse threenager year with my daughter, I can't help but hope my son's upcoming third birthday will also mean the end of some of the least fun parts of parenting.

In a perfect world, on the morning he officially turns 3, we would be done with all 22 of these terrible things.

  1. Diapers. I can think of one thing, and one thing only, that's good about having a kid in diapers: it means I don't have a kid I constantly have to ask "do you have to go potty?" Other than that, the ick factor, the expense, the rashes . . . it's all sh*tty.
  2. Gleefully running into danger. Oncoming traffic, busy sidewalks, playground equipment designed for kids more than twice his age — my 2-year-old is sprinting towards it all, with me anxiously trying to catch him.
  3. Screaming. I get it, you have a limited vocabulary and are frustrated by it, but seriously, the screaming needs to stop.
  4. Irrational independence. No, you actually can't cook that corn dog, put on your lace-up shoes, or take a bath all by yourself, but thanks for making my life a little harder by insisting you can.
  5. Biting. Maybe you've forgotten, but you have all your teeth now, and they're designed for eating, not for gnawing on your sister's arm.
  6. Willful disobedience. My kid literally has a dance with hand gestures that he does when he decides he doesn't want to do what I'm asking of him. I see it a lot.
  7. Hitting, kicking, and throwing things. Use your words, man. Violence is never the answer.
  8. Baby talk translation. Three people in the world (me, his dad, and his sister) can understand everything my son says right now, and translating for the rest of the world is getting tiresome.
  9. Day-night confusion. Three-hour nap, then up until midnight? Why haven't we figured this one out yet?
  10. Illogical meltdowns. Things my 2-year-old has recently cried about: that we don't have a dog and can't get one today, that we don't have four dogs, that both of his grandmas weren't there when he woke up from his nap, that I put his meatballs on a plate. Enough said.
  11. Wrestle dressing. Dude, I look forward to the day you can dress yourself, too. Today is not that day, so please don't make this harder than it needs to be.
  12. Middle of the night wake-ups for no reason. If you're not wet, sick, or scared of a bad dream, I see no reason I should see you at 3 a.m.
  13. Rocking to sleep. I'm sure I only have myself (and my husband) to blame, but my kid insists on hours-long rocking sessions in our glider before he'll go to sleep at night. He's 40 pounds. I think it's time for a big-boy bed.
  14. Follow the leader. I love your big sister, too, buddy, but she can be a real piece of work. Just because she's crying and screaming does not mean you have to follow suit every single time.
  15. Haircut hatred. I promise, haircuts don't actually hurt. We've done this enough times for you to know that. Cool it on the dramatics.
  16. Fingernail-clipping fights. I let it go (again) until you literally sliced your face with one of your claws — I mean, nails — so please let me give them a trim without acting like I'm trying to kill you.
  17. Nap battles. You need a nap. You've taken one every day of your short life, so why, oh why, do we have to go through the "no nap" cry fest so often?
  18. "One more" everything. One more hot dog. One more book before bed. One more toy for the car ride. One more minute on your iPad. It's never just one more, kid. I've got you figured out.
  19. Picky eating. My son's basic food groups include encased meats, carbs, sugary treats, and the occasional piece of the three kinds of fruit he'll actually eat. This does not seem like a balanced diet.
  20. Crazy climbing. Much like his lack of a basic understanding about running into traffic, my kid also doesn't seem to get that pulling over a bar stool to climb into the refrigerator is not a great idea.
  21. Big-box store hide and seek. Just so we're clear, I am not having fun finding you two aisles over at the grocery store, in the middle of a clothing rack at Target, or behind a display of board games at Barnes and Noble.
  22. Moodiness. I appreciate that you can turn that frown upside down in the blink of an eye. I just wish the opposite wasn't equally true.
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