A is for Anger. I can tell when my son is angry. At two, he has no mask, no guile. When he’s angry his face screws up and he reminds me of when he was a newborn, all wrinkly, red and blotchy. He grimaces and grinds his teeth with a crazy intensity. Sometimes he throws things, pushes things over, or just hits the nearest object. The anger is so intense, sometimes it’s shocking. And then a second later, it passes. He sees the cat and smiles, or I blow a raspberry and it breaks his concentration, and he forgets what he was so angry about.
B is for Booze. If you weren’t a drinker before, you will be now…
C is for Crazy. There are times you’re going to feel like a mental asylum would be more peaceful than your home.
D is for Damn. You’re going to want to swear, but you know they’re going to copy you so this is as strong as it gets. Then they’re going to start yelling it at everyone.
E is for Early riser. Apparently once they’re teenagers they sleep all day. I can’t wait, because this whole getting up with the sun thing has gotten old fast.
F is for Food. The world now revolves around food. Meal times will be a toss up about how much ends up on the floor, ceiling, walls or his mouth. Snacks will become the grand savior of all things. Instagram pictures of perfect toddler meals will make you snort into your tea in the morning and donuts will be used for stress relief.
G is for Grab. Grabby hands, oh those grabby hands. Often sticky, moist, grabby hands. On my cleanest of clothes, pulling at my necklace and my hair, it’s one way of showing love… I guess.
H is for Help. My advice is take all the help you can get, from friends and family, passing strangers… anyone who wants to help out, let them!
I is for Ice. I have pacified numerous toddlers with ice. This is my pro mothering tip – if they’re fussing waiting for food, ask for an empty glass of ice. And let them play with it, water is better than a tantrum in a busy restaurant.
J is for Jokes. My son thinks I’m hilarious. Literally every single one of my jokes is a hit. He also thinks I’m funny when I drop something, when I trip over things, or when he hides and I can’t find him and I start freaking out. You’ll never be as funny again as you are to a two year old.
K is for Kisses. Toddler kisses are a special thing, extra extra extra moist.
L is for Laughter. See J. The terrible twos isn’t all doom and gloom, there will be lots of laughter. There just might be tears two minutes later.
M is for Me Time. You won’t get it anymore. You know how people complain about babies? Toddlers are worse. They actually follow you, everywhere. at least when he was a baby I could pop him in his rocker and walk away to go to the bathroom. But in the terrible twos, expect to have someone watching you 24 hours a day.
N is for No. This is going to be the word you hear most often, so you might as well get used to it. Also reference Y.
O is for Octopus. You will be expected to be one.
P is for Potty. The potty is going to become your worst enemy. I don’t want to talk about it because I’m so sick of it. You’ll be saying “do you need to potty?!” a million times a day.
Q is for Questions. You’ll be asking and answering a lot of questions. Most of them begin (and a lot of them end) with the word why. Why, mummy, why?!
R is for Riches. You won’t have any. You’ve spent them all on organic snacks and wooden toys. If sticky fingers and moist kisses count as riches, you’ll be overflowing.
S is for Stuff. You’ll have a lot of stuff. Toys. Clothes. Bathing stuff. Swimming stuff. Education stuff. Stuff stuff. God knows where it’s all going to go.
T is for Tantrum. One a day? Two a day? Ten a day? The sky’s the limit! You’ll get through it, one terrible tantrum at a time.
U is for Understanding. Or a lack of it. You won’t understand them, and they won’t understand you. But together you’ll come to an understanding. It’s confusing.
V is for Victim. You’re going to start feeling like the victim of a war where the general is a tiny two year old.
W is for Wee. It’ll get everywhere. Enough said.
X is for Coax. I know I’m taking liberties but look, there’s an X in there so it counts. You’ll get used to coaxing them about the tiniest things, convincing them that yes, coats are indeed useful when it’s snowing and nappies that are full definitely do need changing.
Y is for Yes. Which is probably a word you’ll rarely hear, even when you’re offering them exactly what they want. Don’t even bother trying to combine it with please – let’s not over reach.
Z is for Zzzz. That beautiful, perfect moment when your tiny little cherub is asleep and you can finally head to bed… after the dishes, and the laundry, and a bottle of wine. Good night!