The terrible twos - Our version

My almost-two-year-old toddler is assertive

I knew that Ari had a strong character, but I never knew to what extent. I had never seen her interact with other kids (her age or even older). She had been to crèche before the lockdown started so I was confident that she could relate to other kids. I finally got an opportunity to see her in action when we visited her granny's place. She was suddenly surrounded by kids and a lot of other family members. It was a very interesting visit. 

Watching Ari interact with other kids was an eye-opener

Being around so many people highlighted so much in my girl. At two years old she felt confident enough to express herself to her older cousins. She would go as far as saying “No”, with a finger pointed at whoever was upsetting her. With a very serious frown on her adorable little face. My baby girl was always happy to defend her cousins (all of which were much older than her) from whoever was not being fair in her eyes. She had become a bold little public defender for her loved ones.

Ari formed a pact with her cousin to do their naughty deeds 

When her cousin (five years) pulled her into the kitchen for them to do some “exploring” - I say this because they were definitely up to no good. I knew five minutes alone was enough to bring the house down, toddlers can never be on their own for too long! 

I got to the kitchen after a solid ten minutes and found Ari chewing with her mouth and clothes covered in a white powder. She could not explain what she was eating (still working on the talking) and her cousin would not blow their cover. After sniffing and doing a little detective work with the girls. I finally settled on tasting the powder on her clothes. Only to find that it was powdered milk. 

What surprised me the most was how Ari was not pleased to see me enter the kitchen. She was more interested in their little naughty escapades. She went as far as trying to bang the door in my face so I could leave. She understood that they were being naughty and NO adults were allowed while they do so - my girl was committed to the adventure. But she was mostly happy to be in a pact with her big cousin.

I found it difficult to reprimand the kids without being biased towards my child

Stopping fights between Ari and her cousins was tricky for me at times. I didn’t want to choose or favour Ari over the other kids. All the other kids were much older than her, surely that should count for something. The biased mom in me always crept in!

I tried my best to be fair and understanding. I always felt a slap on my face when I realized Ari was the one on the wrong (in their little big disagreements). My cute little girl would be the monster terrorizing others. My sweet little girl with her adorable smile would make me instantly want to defend her – see that biased mom in me again! 

I came up with a trick to help me be fair and understanding with all the kids. I tried to remain objective, which sounds easier said than done. My main priority was to make sure everyone felt heard and seen. After all, as their aunt, I had to act the role. Ari being around other kids who were mostly older than her was tricky for me. 

Firstly, this was a first for me. Secondly, my Ari was sometimes in the wrong for some of the disagreements. She was the youngest child at two years, with the next being four years, five years, and then teenagers. So for her, it was a transition, being an only child who got all the attention. Then suddenly having to share everything with so many kids must have thrown her completely off. And for me keeping a cool head was a challenge.


Life after turning two years old...

The terrible twos are real and alive! Ari has us on our toes constantly hoping she would just stay calm enough for us to have the energy for the next tantrum. She thinks she is our boss and walks around grabbing whatever she wants from whomever and expecting us to just fall in line. 

I give in to her tantrums sometimes because I cannot handle twenty minutes of rolling on the floor, banging her head, and screaming her lungs out. I am trying to find my way too, this is all too overwhelming!

The pressure of being a first-time mom with a toddler has its days

I want my child to be kind and at this point, it doesn’t seem like it could happen. I am clouded by the unpredictable, rebellious phase of being a monstrous two-year-old. It will pass and she will grow into her character, so yes a kind human sounds good. 

Being a first-time Mom has been a challenge for me, with all the amounts of advice I have been getting on how to raise Ari, how to discipline her, and what to teach her. There are just so many stories that all moms are so ready to share on the number of experiences they had with their kids. It can get overwhelming trying to find my voice and rhythm with so many voices coming at me. 

I understand more than anyone how being a mom and a first-time mom can be, and sometimes I wish someone could whisper in my ears how much of a good job Hubby and I are doing. But honestly whatever we do and teach our Ari in the way we do, will be the best...Our best and nothing can surpass that! 

Love Ari's Momie...