Lately I've been thinking a lot about the term "terrible two's." My tiny princess lady is getting very close to her two year birthday marker and with that I have seen an increase in temper tantrums, a little sass here and there and me-oh-my is she Miss Independent or what?! But then the other day someone asked me, "Why does it have to be the terrible two's, why can't it be the terrific two's?" And I kinda wondered the same thing. Our society is great at labeling things - great at labeling people. I'm guilty of it already with Georgia for sure. But what I don't want, what I want to intentionally strive to prevent, is that those labels become any sort of identity for her. Anyone who spends five minutes with my child can see certain personality traits right of the bat - strong willed, stubborn, independent. But a lot of times people miss so many other traits - her gentleness, her passion, her nurturing ways (she immediately picks up her stuffed animals and kisses them when she accidentally drops one!), the way she has learned to be so careful around mommy's belly. It's all so sweet.
I guess what I'm trying to say is that it's easy to focus on the former traits - the one's that come out in public and cause a scene. The screaming child leaving the pool or the little girl who will. not. share. that turtle pool toy because it is M-I-N-E! And then another unassuming mama passively referring to my child as "bossy." Well, talk about wanting to shrivel up in a corner and cry! But why? Because I felt judged that's why - especially when it comes to sharing. Not sure why but since G has started playing more with others I always want to make her share, make her give her toys to others. It scared me (and embarrasses me) to think that my child was entitled or greedy or something that I never want them to be. So I ripped the toy out of her hand and handed it to the little boy. Was the the right thing to do?: Probably not. I really have no idea. But guess what? My child is 22 months old and her mama is a work in progress. And while yes I felt inadequate to "handle" my 22 month old ball of fire that day, frankly it's not about me. It's about teaching her. Teaching her to love others and give to others and that doesn't happen over night. Thankfully, I don't hold myself or my parenting to a standard of this world. I'm held to a standard of grace. And most of the time I really have no idea what I'm doing - zero - zilch - nada. Lucky for Georgia (and Matthew soon), we've got Jesus. His love. His grace. His guidance.
And while Miss Priss races through life faster than some, isn't that how they are supposed to act at this age? Isn't it my job to take the "temper tantrum moments" and try my best to turn them into a learning lesson. How is she supposed to learn to share or take turns if I don't teach her? And how can I teach her if she never gives me the opportunity. I love that G is strong-willed and even a little stubborn. I pray her "stubbornness" takes her right into high school and she is able to stand-up for what is right or wrong. Her passion may come out as screaming at the top of her lungs right now but one day I pray it comes in the form of fighting for someone who may not have the voice to fight. Every single night I ask God to help me be a better parent - listen better, have more patience, and most of all point my babies to Him. So to all the moms out there (me included) who find yourself in a battle with your tiny two year old human, just know this is a terrific time. In your life and in their's. It's a time when their personality shines through even more. Know that God hand picked your child's personality and also hand picked your child's parents. There was no mistake. God doesn't make mistakes. And if your little angel has the best table manners at home, but then decides to throw her milk clear across the restaurant at some poor old man the ONE time you try to take her out - so be it. Teach her. Love her. And give her grace. Our little ones need it just as much as we do.
Ps - how great is it that it's Friday?!?!