Beatrice is 2.5 now and while parenting a 2 year old is fun and wild and exhausting and exhilarating, it is also hard. Really, really hard.
The hardest part about 2 is the endless battles over everything/nothing. My child is very strong-willed and is determined on doing the opposite of whatever I tell her.
"Put on your shoes, please."
"Imma put on my socks instead, mama."
"Take a sip of your water."
"No, Imma eat a grape."
"Let's go outside."
"Imma stay here and color."
It's frustrating and adorable at the same time. It's mostly frustrating though because obedience is important. And since she's determined to do the opposite of what I tell her, she is disobedient a lot of the time. Disobedience yields discipline and discipline is the hardest thing about 2.
It was just a short time ago that she was a baby and totally compliant and happy with whatever I did for her. Now she gets spankings and consequences and lectures about obedience. 2 is so hard.
I want to raise her to be honest and kind to people, to respect authority and to love God. Discipline is hard, but it promises to whittle away the rough edges of selfishness, pride, and disobedience.
I find myself really struggling with which battles to choose. She's little and is still learning how to express her emotions. She is testing the waters on which behaviors are allowed and which are not. I am doing my best to make on the spot decisions on which ones are allowed as well. Most nights I go to bed repenting for my shortcomings and asking God for wisdom with this little one. She's 2 and 2 is so hard.
I was told if I stayed diligent with discipline at 2, there wouldn't be a great need for it at 8. I'm hanging onto this wisdom. Please be true, please be true, please be true.
2 is hard, but I love this girl madly. She can be difficult and disobedient, but she is also sweet and helpful and hilarious. She is precious to me.
I want to enjoy this hard stage with her, I want to survive it with her, but mostly, I want to do right by her. I find myself fumbling a lot because it is so hard to have such a cute, little person be downright defiant to my face. I want to get it right before she remembers how mommy wasn't so natural at this parenting thing.
Training up a child is hard and most days I don't know if I'm doing anything right, but I'm up for the challenge. This girl is the best. I am honored to be her mama. This makes me really proud to call her mine:
2 is hard, but it's almost over! I hear 3 is harder. Oh boy...
All photos by my talented friend, Sara Rose.