Tender and Terrible, For Sure: A Note About Two-Year Olds


Yesterday, India Jane was playing with her My Little Ponies on the stairs, and here I got to snapping.

Yes, she's turning into a ham (and yes, her hair's almost always a little scraggily). In just about 20 minutes, I was able to capture the gamut of her terrible to tender two-year-old self.

So, for us, it's true: the Terrible Twos exist. Before this stage, she was a sunny dream--what the child development books call The Easy Child :). She slept through the night early, dealt with new situations with ease, and was a good eater. This kid, to be true, was born strong and ox-y--all ten pounds, eleven ounces of her! She crawled early, walked early, and almost never complained. I once watched her pull and fireplace grate over and ontop of her whole body when she was just one...she fell backward and didn't even make a peep. What's else: I watched an older boy tackle her flat when she was about one-and-a-half, and she gave wide eyes and a shocked look, but not one tear.

Still, she's a bear. She puts herself to bed (what?) by saying, "I'm tired, I need to sleep," and then up the stairs she goes. (Aw, come on, don't hate, moms! I'll get to the terrible stuff soon.) She sleeps sounds and hard, still, too, and she's still pretty sunny.

But. But, but, but. These Terrible Twos have revealed some other things: extreme rigidity, a quick temper, and stubbornness beyond what I've known that word to mean. Did you know that it's only acceptable to eat Indian food from one restaraunt, or that chicken quesidillas have to look all the same in order to be consumed?

And. Um, yeah. Two weeks ago, little girl started a hitting spree. So, some kids bite (at least that's not the phase we're in). But hitting's just as bad, right? And she REALLY HATES sharing with any child her age or under (oh yes, she idolizes older kids, and will do their bidding in a blink). So there's difficulties sprouting up here and there...

A whiny sqeak has inched into her voice, and a little grumpy nose scrunch is no surprise around here.

And, still, a fun little girl, a joy to capture on camera, to sit with, to be present with. We had a great time just talking about her ponies, and she enjoyed scrolling through the screen on my camera and seeing just how she looked with each funny face (and yes, I was made to take pictures of every one of her ponies).

So, cheers to two-year olds--terrible, tender, and still, like any child, I think, such a joy to be around and to capture through images.