If you ask any parent of a young child what their least favorite age is you will usually get the standard answer of “the terrible two’s”. You might get “threenager for sure” and some may even tell you that they didn’t really enjoy the newborn stage and found it to be the most difficult (they are lying, run away from them). I’m here to tell they are all wrong, the worst age is from 12 months to 24 months and if you keep reading I’ll explain why in a nice convent list!
My child was not an early talker. He wasn’t necessarily a late talker, but he wasn’t saying any more than like 5 words when he turned a year old. In fact, he didn’t really start talking until he was 2 years old. For him, not being able to properly communicate, meant lots of tantrums and meltdowns. The thing about tantrums with a 1-year-old, there is no helping them to reason. Now that my son is almost 4, tantrums are few and far between, but when they arrive, he’s able to communicate and tell me whats going on, at least for the most part. At a year old, that was impossible, and everything set him off.
Toy not doing what he wants, tantrum. Missed his mouth while eating, tantrum. Can’t knock down all the books on the book shelf and then pull the bookshelf on top of him, tantrums. I’ll be honest, that whole year is a haze and all I remember is screaming and bending down a lot to pick my flailing toddler off the group so he doesn’t give himself a concussion. Luckily, the tantrums stopped as soon as he was able to talk, which again, was about when he turned 2.
2. Running away
Yes, my child was a runner. Holding hands was like some kind of torture for him, or at least that what his screams made it seem like, and any chance he got, he bolted. From the moment he got the walking thing down, he was running. Parks were out of the question unless they were fenced in because he could care less about the jungle gym and would run off in nay direction he could. I met up with a bunch of other moms once for a walk and after we finished all the moms with their darling little infants sat down for a much-needed break. I of course wanted to enjoy a break myself but my son was already screaming and climbing out of his stroller by the time my butt touched the bench. I will never forget that day, chasing him around the park while all the other mothers sat and talked and enjoyed being outside with their little ones who couldn’t walk yet.
J is still a runner, but in a good way. He’s now capable of listening and stops when you say “red light”, and he even enjoy holding my hand now.
3. Touching everything
If you walked into my apartment now you’d never know a toddler lives here. Well, I guess the toys everywhere would clue you in, but that’s not what I mean. I have stuff, on tables, and end tables, stuff that is breakable and in his reach. Two years ago my apartment was a bare as possible because if he could reach it, he would grab it. When J was about 1.5 I had a candle on out bathroom counter that I thought was far enough back that he couldn’t reach. Nope. He grabbed and dropped it on the ground, where it obviously shattered into a million little pieces, before I could even finish the word NO! We had a small book shelf in out living room that I had cleared the two bottom shelves off of when he stared crawling. Once he was walking I had it almost barricaded between the couch and a chair, he still got to it. Pulled almost every book down and had I not stopped him, probably would have pulled down the whole shelf as well (cue a tantrum). Taking him to a friend’s house was out of the question. He would scream if I tried to keep him in my lap, but letting him down to roam free was just asking for trouble.
Eventually as he got older he learned what he could and couldn’t touch. Now he doesn’t even seem to notice all the breakables in his reach.
4. What is No?
One is an interesting age when it comes to discipline. They are too young for time outs, too young for reason, and just too young in general. I can remember saying telling J “No, please do not touch that” and without hesitation, he would touch that. It’s not because he was defiant, it’s because at that age they truly don’t always understand no, and have absolutely no impulse control. I would find myself redirecting him from the same thing over and over and over again before I would give up and just put away whatever it is he was trying to get to (hence the extremely bare apartment at that age). Baby proofing was a never-ending task as once you thought everything was out of reach or safe, you’d find him in the bathroom splashing around in the toilet and having the time of his life (a toilet lid lock was purchased from Amazon that very second). I think I said no so much in that time that he may have thought his name was no!
Now that J is 3 he responds to all different sorts of discipline! He even fully understands the word no, and I know this because he so often tell me no when I ask him to do something (every age has its pitfalls).
5. Lack of Communication
Like I mentioned in the beginning, J didn’t talk much before he turned 2. This was frustrating for him and I for so many reasons. While the tantrums were definitely exhausting, just simply not understanding him was almost worse. He would point to the cabinet and say something that vaguely sounded like a word, so I would repeat what I thought he said and if I was wrong he would fall to the floor. We started picking him up and letting him show us exactly what he wanted because it was just easier. When he did start talking, some words didn’t make sense or they sounded like something else. He would become so frustrated with us when we couldn’t understand him.
Still this day if J is trying to say a word and we aren’t understanding it, he get annoyed. However now he’s able to explain himself or show us without any help what he means.
I stand by it, the 1’s are the most frustrating, most difficult, most exhausting age. I know at this point you expect me say “but they are also the sweetest and most fun”. I’m not going to say that though, because I’d be lying to you and I don’t think you’d appreciate that too much. The one’s are tough, but they don’t last, so guess we should cherish them or something at the very least. I don’t know. J is 3 now and his favorite thing to do is run up behind me (and other people) and say “big butt, big butt” so maybe I’m wrong and 3 year old’s are really the devil.
Thanks for reading!!
– Just Your Average Mom