I’m starting to feel that parenting a two-year-old is preparation for caring for someone with multiple personality syndrome. There are times when H is the sweetest, cutest, most thoughtful child on the planet. A few minutes later she is screaming and kicking on the floor. Sometimes I can at least follow the logic stream from one to the other, but often I am baffled as to how it all went so terribly wrong.
Despite the bumpy ride, two is a lot of fun. H’s verbal communication improves daily. She is constantly curious about the world and asks me all day what things are and how they work, "This? This? This?" We read books, most of which I’m pretty sure she has memorized. Most importantly, we sing and dance.
On Saturday we visited the Peach Festival at Fifer Orchards. You may not have realized that Delaware grows fantastic peaches. We have juicy, softball-sized peaches for most of the summer. It’s probably one of the top five things I like about Delaware. For the first time, we were able to really take advantage of the attractions. H started off with a pony ride. While we waited Josh and I debated whether she would love it or hate it. As it turned out, she rode like a pro. Looking all around and acting totally calm.
Next we moved on to the petting zoo. I have to admit, I am not a fan of petting zoos. I love the animals, but I get all weirded out about how germy I get touching them. (I’m one nervous breakdown away from full blown OCD, so don’t be surprised.) Fifer luckily had both hand sanitizer in large quantities and a hand washing station set up, so I persevered. It’s only fair to admit, however, that the only animal I actually touched was the bunny. But I was taking pictures. H was fearless. She patted the donkey, visited with turkeys and chickens, patted the calf, and stroked the soft bunnies. It’s amazing to see her running around like a kid. She’s ready to take on the world.
Hello, Donkey. Let me pet your eyes.
Chickens! Bock, bock, bock.
I am no longer sure I want to hold this bunny, thank you.
Our free peach ice cream cone (the real reason we went) was followed by listening to some great local country/bluegrass. Live music clearly requires dancing, and H did the dancing for the whole crowd. She just pranced in circles around Josh and I over and over, with a huge grin plastered on her face and her little dimpled thighs flashing in the sun. Every once in a while she’d run over to me and put her head in my lap for a millisecond to receive a kiss before dashing off to dance some more.
During the slightly less glamorous moments, like the meltdowns, I am surprised to find that I am generally less frustrated than just feel bad for H. It is hard to live in a world where everything is really big and you don’t generally get to pick what you do or where you go or even what you eat. It’s even harder when you only kind of speak the language and the nice lady who takes care of you only sometimes understands what you’re trying to say. I’d have tantrums too. On the days when everything seems harder and I do get frustrated, I try to remember these facts. Sometimes it’s hard to keep it in perspective, but no two-year-old is out to get you. It sure seems that way sometimes, but it’s just not true. They just have a unique perspective on the world, and it can cause them to act in ways that are truly inexplicable. But when she asks to go potty five times and then hops off the pot after 20 seconds, sometimes it’s because she’s constipated and her bottom hurts. All you can do as a mom is keep hoisting her up and washing her hands afterwards, because on trip number six, she’ll work it out and everyone will feel much better.
Then it will be dance time again.