I’ll Take the Two-Year-Old Tears Any Day

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There are many uncertainties with children, but one thing is undeniably true – two-year-olds cry. A lot. I have one of these precious toddlers and over the last six months I’ve quickly realized why they call this age “terrible.” Now don’t get me wrong; she is absolutely adorable. She is funny, playful, determined and growing faster than I’d like. But then a minute passes and she’s crying. Again. Because that’s what two-year-olds do.

I think the reason the two-year-old tears are so difficult to handle is because they can come out of nowhere. You moved a toy off of the table? Tears. You told her she had to take at least one bite of the chicken nuggets she begged for? More tears. And heaven forbid you mention things like potty, naptime or cleaning up. The tears will quickly become full out temper tantrums.

But the other day, as I was desperately trying to ignore a tantrum that I knew would soon pass, I had a realization. Her little tears are just that – little. She cries over little problems: needing milk, not wanting to share or maybe being denied her second Popsicle of the day. Sure, at times there are tears that mean a bit more. My heart breaks when she cries in pain when she’s sick, or if her favorite toy breaks. And I know she is experiencing real anxiety when we have to wash her always-by-her-side kitty. But even still, these are little tears compared to what’s to come.

I’ve tried not to think about the pain she will feel one day, but to do so puts things in perspective. One day, she will have her heart broken. She will likely be made fun of or bullied. She will not make the team and she will be denied entry into the college of her dreams. Even further down the road, she may lose someone who is close to her. I pray she does not experience serious illness or the loss of a baby, but it could happen. And when these things do happen, she will cry big tears. Real tears. And I’ll think back to the time when they were little.

Her tears right now, at age two, are very real to her. I don’t deny that she has big feelings and that I need to help guide her through them. Her language skills haven’t quite caught up to those feelings, which means we deal with a lot of crying. But for now, I’ll recognize that it makes her sad when I don’t let her wear pajamas to school; but in the back of my mind I’ll take comfort in knowing that these are little tears. Two-year-old tears. And I’ll take those over grown-up tears any day.

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I am a native Cincinnatian and thanks to a lot of moving, I know this city pretty well. I grew up on the Westside, attended Walnut Hills High School, and then headed to Oxford for an education degree at Miami University. After a few years in Hyde Park, my husband and I are settled in Northern Kentucky for the time being. One of the great things about the Cincinnati area is the abundance of wonderful neighborhoods, schools and family friendly activities! My husband, Andrew, and I have a son, Aiden (2) and our baby girl, Audrey. We didn’t exactly plan all of the “A” names, but it allows us to keep our family nickname – the A-Team. I am an elementary school teacher, but am on a leave of absence right now to be home with my kids. My days are filled with entertaining my babies, taking way too many pictures on my phone and changing a lot of diapers. Thanks to recent open-heart surgery, I have an aortic valve that ticks (like a clock!), I have ornithophobia (Google it) and I broke my hip when I was 18 (I will never ice skate again). But, I do love photography on my “real” camera, pretending I’m a good enough chef to have my own cooking show and playing outside. I turned to writing/blogging in order to document my family’s journey to better health and as motivation to keep myself on track. You can read more about my personal journey at www.limkelife.blogspot.com. I look forward to sharing the adventure of motherhood with you!

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