Part of the reason why the age of two is called "Terrible Twos" is because the kids are trying to work through conflicting feelings of wanting to grow up vs. wanting to remain dependent babies. It leads to lots of times when they'll make a decision and then immediately reverse it, or show boldness only to immediately cower in fear. From a parents point of view it can be demanding and confusing. It definitely requires a lot of time and patience.
Parts of the reversion back to baby behavior can be very nice for me, though. A couple of examples happened with Alisa this week:
- On Thursday evening we were rough housing on the futon playing horsey. Both girls were riding atop me when they decided to pitch forward. I obliged by lowering my head and shoulders. Alisa, in front, knocked her teeth against the back of my head. It cut open her lower lip and lots of blood flowed forth. Of course it was painful for her; but, she really became scared when she noticed the blood. Through a series of responses trying to comfort her we finally got to the point where she was laying on my lap, her head cradled in the crook of my left arm. My right hand applied pressure to her wound with a wet wash cloth. We were sitting in a darkened closet and I was singing the songs I sang to her when she was just a few months old. I had a repertoire of four or five songs that I sang to her whenever she cried at night as a little baby. She wanted me to sing through every one of the songs while laying on my lap. I found it both sweet and sad. By morning her lip was fully healed.
- For many months as a baby we had to separate the girls in order for them to sleep. I often slept in the nursery with Alisa while Hirono slept with Leia in our bedroom. We washed laundry today. When it was time for the girls to take their nap the sheets were still in the dryer. So I offered to take a nap with them in the nursery. The girls were both excited; but, Alisa snapped into a sort of glazed sleepiness. We settled down and tried to sleep. Leia at first was a bit rambunctious, never having napped in the nursery before. Alisa, however, seemed in her element and instantly settled down to sleep. I finally got Leia to stay down and the three of us took a long nap. After waking up, Alisa started pointing at familiar objects and grunting a question - just as she did when a baby. She seemed to be asking the names of all these familiar objects: Princess Bear, Miffy, blanket, pillow, etc. Finally she was satisfied and laid back down. By this time Leia wanted to go out and play; but, Alisa kept saying: "Leia go. Daddy stay night-night." Such a sweetheart! So I told them to run to the bedroom where Hirono was also taking a nap to tickle her. They both leapt up at the chance to tickle Mama.