Okay, if I could start the process all over again, I would have taught Lil' Lewie to sign, and I probably would have bought him those 'Your Baby Can Read' videos. In the end, I'm sure it would have helped me communicate better with my two year old, and perhaps, it would even have helped me explain to him why certain rules exist.
In any case, I feel like I'm constantly telling my two year old what he can and can't do. I try to rationalize with him, and when all else fails, I even try to bribe him. Whether you refer to them as the "terrible" twos or the "terrific" twos, you have to admit that this is an interesting age. They're old enough to get into mischief but still too young to understand why they're not allowed to do certain things. In my house, I sound like a broken record as I repeat the rules over and over again. (Can you imagine? Our children aren't going to understand the meaning of this phrase unless any of us have a record player at home. I feel old.)
If anyone has a toddler right now or remembers the toddler years, this top ten is for you.
10. "No. You can't flush the toilet anymore. What did I say? Yes, there has to be pee pee in the potty. Uh, did you flush it again? That's it. No more bathroom for you. Common we're done. March, march, march."
9. "Books are our friends. We're gentle with the pages. See. Look how nice Mommy flips the pages. Okay, if you're not going to be gentle, Mommy's going to take it away!"
8. "The stove is HOT. No, you can't go near the stove while Mommy is trying to take out our dinner. What did I say? No, you can't come here. Okay, let's sit in Mr. Highchair (or Mr. Booster-seat), okay?"
7. "Mommy has to get ready for work, okay? I can't have you touch the HOT curling iron. Come here. Let's watch some TV. Let's see--how about Little Bill or Ni Hao Kai Lan? There. That's much more fun for you."
6. "No, you can't have Daddy's potato chips. (Stern glare at Daddy from me.) Come with me in the kitchen. Hmmmm. I see something yummy. Why don't we have this banana? No? Yes, bananas will help you grow big and strong. Common....Um, look Mommy just took a bite of the banana. Mommy loves bananas..."
5. "No. No touching the buttons on the TV please. What did Mommy say? Right, Mommy said NO!"
4. "No throwing things. We don't throw things in the house. Look your toy is your friend. You don't throw it. Now give your toy a kiss and tell him you're sorry."
3. I said you can't touch that water cooler. Alright Mister, if you touch it again, you're going into time-out. That's it. Off to time-out we go. You know Mommy said no, right?"
2. "Please eat these last few carrots for Mommy. Yum....you only have three more to go. Here let's count them while we eat. If you eat them, Mommy will let you have a yummy treat....maybe you'll get a cookie."
1. "Please stop screaming in the car. I know you're tired. We're almost home. I can't concentrate with the screaming. Please. Okay. Okay. Here, I'll give you some of Mommy's snack. Please stop screaming..."
Bonus: "What did Mommy say? Yes, if you're a good boy in the store, Mommy will take you to the park. Yes, we'll go on the SWINGS (emphasis) and SLIDE, and you can play with your SCOOTER. We're going to have a good time. Mommy just needs to get a few more things. Yes, you have to be patient! Please be a good boy, please." (Desperation at its finest...)
Still, no matter how many times I say these things throughout the day, who can resist a little munchkin like this?