I love two year olds. I really do. They are fantastic creatures. I am on my third two year old so far, and she is by far the most two year oldey of them all- if that makes sense. It seems like the year of being two gets a bad rap though. You hear lots of complaints about the things they do, but in reality, it is such a great age.
They are all different, but even my less verbal children could do a few signs around two. I think some of the frustration that the two year old experiences is simply due to the fact that they desperately want to communicate but can't always find the words. But when they do figure it out it is so amazing to get more of a glimpse into their little thoughts. My little one now is so verbal and fun and spunky. The other kids sit at the table with her and tell her what to say and she repeats most everything back. (Occasionally that is embarrassing when she repeats back what I shouldn't have said, but that is my problem, not hers.)
Again, they are all different, but my kids have usually started going in the potty some time just before or after turning two. Since I do cloth- this is just so FANTASTIC. I love when they go in the toilet. Sure, they miss sometimes, but I would have been washing diapers anyway, now I just wash more underware. And even when I step in poop, have extra laundry, or must follow brown tracks around the house to clean, it ends up being a good story for later on. Totally worth it. Plus they feel so proud of themselves (when they make it to the pot). Nothing like seeing a little one that thinks he/she is awesome.
Two year olds still love you. Always. They want to go where you go because you are mom and you are the most fun ever. They quickly forgive. When my girl gets really angry and has that "fit" people complain about in two year olds, I just hold out my arms to hug her and she comes right over for some comfort. I wish I was that easy to console when I get mad at the world! And we would probably all have better relationships if we forgave one another like that.
They love to be naked, which can be difficult on occasion- but...it is just so great when they are becoming self aware but still totally uninhibited. What a wonderful time of life and it doesn't last long. I love that they just let their little bellies hang out proudly. No sucking it in to look skinny for a two year old. They like themselves just fine the way they are, thank you very much.
I was so worried about having my fourth because in part I was worried about how the two year old would handle it. Would she be horrified, sad, mad, and all those things moms worry about? Turns out, she was just fine. She loved the baby. She nursed her baby dolls, she talked to the baby, she was a great little mother. Now, she is of course two, and they don't quite understand their own strength yet, so there is a learning curve of sorts, but- I love how the two year old never ceases to surprise me. What I thought would be a hard transition was a breeze. And it turned out that she was a more pleasant child than before, being a big sibling made her feel better, bigger, and more capable. What a wonderful baby gift.
Maybe I am just a lazy mom, but I love it when they say "I DO IT MYSELF!" in that way that two year olds do. It is actually quite nice to have a child able to do more things for themselves. It makes them happy and proud and confident and it makes my life easier in a lot of ways. Getting dressed, getting water, getting shoes, getting to the car door, picking up, cleaning up- all things a two year old can start to do on their own. I LOVE this.
Mine still like to cuddle at two. Some actually only figure out HOW to be good cuddlers at two, if they were babies that just liked to sleep without being touched or roused. This is so nice. They are like a giant baby that can talk and say "I love you" and give hugs and kisses. And then they get up and run, so I can still get stuff done. And they are not in school yet so I get to spend the day with them and they are still all mine.
Maybe it is fun to be sarcastic or complaining about this age- I have been there too! But sometimes it is better just to find some joy in the journey instead of wishing for the next stage. Now I hope my two year old is nice to me tomorrow after I have said all these great things about her!