One of my favorite phrases as a mom is, “You know, when you’re two you’re two.” 🤷♀️ You’ve gotta hand it to those toddlers- life is not always easy at that age; they’re curious and vivacious and sometimes frenetic and pretty clueless about how most things actually work in the world. They’ve got all the fuel they need to run a country, but they’ve got no skills to do it 😂
My current toddler is a real hoot. He’s got a passionate personality, he learned full sentences before two-and-a-half, and he’s got brawn coupled with a very tender heart. But, you know, when you’re two you’re two.
In other words- there’s so much depth to those toddlers, so much to their heart and their mind and their soul, but they’re just two. They’ve been on this Earth for only two years. They have so little experience. And yet they want to do so much.
Our little family lives on a fair amount of land, and our house is situated further back off the road, and I’d been taking a walk the other night with my kids and my son’s dump truck. As we began the trek over to the house, I explained that we would not be able to push the dump truck back up the hill and that we would pick it up later with the Jeep. Naturally, my son was devastated. “No Mama! No! Whyyyyyyy?” 😩 I explained again, efficiently and with reassurance, “We will get it tomorrow. Let’s go back to the house for dinner.” I continued in the direction of the house and he continued to wail. Because, ya know, when somebody’s two they’re gonna be two.
He was still standing next to his dump truck, and though he was not in his hysterical he was also not relinquishing, and I figured that I could either address the little tantrum or I could encourage him, again, to come along to the house. But I chose to do neither- I walked back the few yards over to him, knelt down in front of him, looked at him empathetically, and held out of my hand to my two year old. He instantly stopped crying, stepped forward to close the gap, and asked, “Carry me?” Because when you’re two you’re two….
You just want to be understood and loved and carried. We say that the two year old stage is most difficult because they’re prone to throwing temper tantrums left & right. But what if they’re not in it for the tantrum? What if they’re hoping to be understood, loved, and carried? What if they just don’t know how to communicate their feelings, their desires, their fears? When you’re two, you’re two.
It sounds trite. It almost sounds despondent. But that’s not how I mean it.
I mean for myself, and maybe for you, to know that children can be understood, they can be met with empathy in any situation they’re experiencing. They can be guided and shown another way, and they can also be carried.
Sometimes -when you and I are having the worst time and maybe even throwing our own tantrum- we just need someone to kneel down to our level, look at us kindly, and hold out a hand.
Because, you know, when you’re two you’re two.