Friday, December 8, 2023

I Know You Heard Me!

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( When my oldest turned two years old, it was a tad bit hectic. His birthday fell on the day before I was to go in and give birth to his little brother. Not to mention we ended up celebrating his birthday on mine to keep down confusion and give him his own special day leading up to my labor. At first, I was excited because it meant my baby boy was growing up but on the other hand, he was turning two and that comes with its own can of worms. My kind, gentle son slowly morphed into a Tasmanian devil with its sights set on destroying everything in front of him. Where did this kid come from? Was he playing coy and waited to turn up? I honestly had no clue until a brain blast hit me. He had finally reached the much lauded and despised “Terrible Two” phase.

In talking to another #boymom, she announced that she had declared it to be the “Terrific Two’s“. No matter what you call it, it still is a phase that causes every parent great frustration. According to, this developmental stage can begin around 18 months and last up to your beautiful baby is three years old. The hallmark signs that your child might be in this phase: tantrums, defiant behavior, and easily frustrated. During this stage, children are starting to be more independent and want to explore their environment (within good reason) on their own. It can be pretty jarring for a parent when compliance to simple requests are met with tears and scream of the newly learned word, “No.” I had to reboot my brain the first time my oldest son told me no or jerked away from me while I was holding his hand to walk somewhere.


My first thought was, “Has he lost his damn mind? Because if he hasn’t, I’m about to regulate his whole existence.” After a LOT of deep breathing and meditation, I had to take a step back and remember that he is learning just like I am. He has all these new emotions, a great curiosity since he can walk, and wants to imitate everything his parents do. Being patient is the lesson that I have learned from this phase. I had to learn that he’s probably throwing a tantrum because he’s upset that he’s asking for something, but his words aren’t clear enough yet. I am getting really good at charades to decipher what he means. It’s a daily struggle but it’s one that helps him learn the right name for objects and being able to say what he wants. I also had to learn not to be upset when we are walking, and he jerks away because something catches his eye and he wants to examine closer. Instead of jerking and pulling him away, we walk in that direction so I can see what he sees. If it’s safe, we explore it and I can show him whatever it is. If it’s not, well you get the picture. I know there are parents reading that and going crazy.

However, I read in Post Traumatic Slave Disorder by Joy DeGruy that as black mother’s we keep a tight grip on our child because on plantations a wandering child could be disastrous. Over time, our children developed a sense that they cannot explore their world like other little children because Mama can’t see me when I walk off. To ease my fears, I had to shake that habit and take the approach of walking and discovering the world with him. It did wonders as he is more willing to walk with me when we go out. You may also find sharing to be a hassle too. Your home could start sounding like the seagull scene from “Finding Nemo” with a symphony of the “mine” anytime your child opens their mouth.

At times, it can be worse if you have a child close to them in age. In my case, I have a six month old as well and any time his older brother sees him playing with a toy, he rushes to lay claim. To navigate this, I started shared playtime on the floor where all the toys were laid out and illustrated sharing. He caught on but being stubborn, and he wasn’t having it. I had to remember that it takes time for him to get the hang of it

It is a challenging time in both you and your toddler’s life. If you’re a slightly new parent, it can seem unbearable. You and your child are learning your new roles and rules of how to govern yourself. Just keep swimming.

Staff Writer; Jessieca Carr

One may connect with this sister online over at Instagramsusiecarmichael1920 and Twitternoladarling1920.

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