two. dos. два. 둘. zwei. deux.

Beckett will be two next week.

It blows my mind. But before we get all sappy about how much I love the face off my two year old little boy…I want to take a second to talk about what age 2 looks like, because a lot of people forget. Or block it out. Or drink their way through it.

It can be a real struggle.

Like when toddler speak is virtually indecipherable. Only by sheer luck (and lots of time alone with Beckett) do I know that “fok” never means exactly what it usually sounds like (the f word), but rather means any or all of the following: frog, fork, fire truck. Or “carrot” means either carrot or parrot, depending on context.

Sometimes two is a struggle because of volatile emotions, like this moment of distress brought to you by not buying the fuzzy, pink chair from Ross.

Sometimes it’s a struggle because toddlers are weird as crap and very strong in their convictions. Like the need to wear mittens and/or an infant-sized winter hat in the middle of a Texas August.

Or insisting the fireman’s hat is worn like this (and freaking out if told otherwise):

Or markers. In the mouth, on the belly, on the walls…pretty much anywhere other than a coloring book.

Two is the prime age for “BETETT HOLD IT” or “BETETT DO IT SELF!!!!” which tends to go over about as well as this:

or this…

(The right picture is the final product for Taylor’s birthday, by the way. Cake decorating was a complete disaster, but Taylor loved every second of it. One of the countless reasons he’s such a sweet dad.)

Toddlers are a strange breed.

Their preferences and personalities and independence are out in full force and life with one of these species can be…exhausting. And terrifying. And embarrassing. And exhausting.

Parents live in a constant state of “Do we have the worst child on earth?” Especially boys. They’re messy and smelly and constantly moving and…crazy.

But, oh. my. word.

Two year olds can be so much fun.

When they are happy, they are THE HAPPIEST THEY’VE EVER BEEN AND WILL EVER BE AGAIN THEIR LIVES.

And this level of joy is brought on by something as small as a bug on the sidewalk or a trip to the park or a Dairy Queen Blizzard.

They have friends for the first time. Friends they like, ask to play with, fake-talk on the phone to, and pray for when they get in bed at night.

Their language development is in overdrive. They say stuff you didn’t even know they knew – like new phrases. Or counting to 10. Or recognizing letters. Or knowing 10 different colors. You often find yourself asking, “What?! Who taught you that?!” The answer is sometimes no one. They just pick it all up.

I love when they can’t quite get the words right. Or when they run through 8 sound combinations before they remember how to pronounce what they’re trying to say. And their little high pitched voices? Oh my heavens.

My favorite is when Beckett says “dinothaur thirt” or “motorkyklekle” or “helicopkerker” – words either right in his toddlery speech impediment sweet spot or with way too many added syllables.

Or when he sings. He sings a lot.

(Disregard the crazy hair. Please and thank you.)

Two year olds also say funny things and, for the first time, parents are able to understand what’s going on in their little brains.

Like when Beckett stopped what he was doing, turned me the other day and said, “Dinosaur. ROAR.” before he continued playing. Of course that’s what’s going through his mind. What else would he possibly be thinking about? (Besides how much he loves his momma, but we’ll get there.)

Or when he puts on Daddy’s shoes, gets the car keys, and informs me he’s going to work. Oh, and, “Bye, momma. See ya. Be back.”

Pants are optional at his place of employment. Mine, too, actually. Suckers.

At two, they really start pretending. And imitating every little thing they see going on around them.

Beckett “fixes” his truck about 8 times a day with his tools. (He also is always opening and closing the “sunroof” on his truck, complete with imitating the motor noise my real car’s real sunroof makes.)

They make sure their animals and toys eat, drink, and get diapers changed, too. Like in this instance where we had to smell caterpillar’s butt to see if he went poo-poo.

As crazy and tiring and dirty and unpredictable as this stage is, it is also hilarious and fun and sounbelievablycute.

Watching a baby transform into a kid, man. It’s amazing.

I bet all ages are hard and fun in different ways, two year olds being no exception. But may I always be able to enjoy the finer parts of each age in addition to laughing (and crying and banging my head against the wall) through the hard times.

Hey, age 3: we’re working our way towards you starting next week. I can’t wait to see the unqiue joys and challenges you bring along with you.

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