One of my all-time favorite posts on OG Priss & Vinegar was The WHATEVER, DUDE Guide to Surviving Your Two Year-Old. It was funny and true in that cringe-worthy sort of way, and your reaction in the comments section made me feel like I’d really nailed the essence of raising a two year-old.
But then I had another two year-old, and man oh man, has it been different. Better different. Is it because he’s a boy? I don’t know. I try not to gender stereotype — I dressed my infant daughter in navy blue and my son’s first truck was pink! — but nevertheless my kids express pretty gender conforming traits. But my son’s greater propensity for risk-taking behavior and yelling should have made the toddler years harder instead of easier, right?
Maybe it has nothing to do with him being a boy at all. Maybe it’s because he’s not my first. Maybe it’s because I’m desensitized to tantrums or parent with more confidence or just plain ran out of f**ks to give.
Or maybe it’s Charlotte. Two is roughly a billion times easier with a cruise director on staff. Whenever Brooks is bored, my “Whatever, Dude” is asking his sister to entertain him, and this usually works because four year-olds are the BEST. (More on that another day.)
There’s still the standard two year-old drama over itchy shirts and my callous disregard for his preferred dining utensils. But instead of freaking out that his tantrum means I’m failing as a parent, I crack up and take a picture. Whatever, dude!
It’s just so loud. All the time. Forever. But at least 40% of the time he’s yelling in his husky little voice, “I LOVE YOU, MAMA!” so whatever, dude.
Because we ignored him way more, his independent play skills are off-the-charts awesome. #secondkidproblems or #secondkidwinning? It seems to be working so whatever, dude!
FOOD. I have a hard time letting this slide and regularly question whether we should be saving him from his massive caloric intake, but he’s never barfed from overeating and continues to be perfectly proportional at every doctor check-up. Gross, but whatever, dude?
He takes idiotic physical risks on a fairly regular basis. I truly don’t know how we haven’t been to the ER more often. Oh sh*t, did I just jinx myself? And there’s nothing I can do to stop him, so whatever, dude?
Man oh man, is he sweet. He calls me his “Cutie Mommy” and makes up songs for me on his ukulele. I mean… Someday his endearments and serenades won’t be for me, but for now he’s all mine so WHATEVER, DUDE. ?