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Not Terrible Twos: 26 Happier Words To Use

December 3, 2015

Sam, left and James, right, playing with the choo choo.

I feel twice blessed.

Two little boys.

Two toddlers now!


Both now turned two.

Happy Twos.


Two little boys who think sitting on the “froggy potty” is fun and grown up.

Two little boys getting their first crack at baking cookies with Grandma or Aunt Doreen.

Two word sentences—sometimes strings of three!

Two toddlers trying out “Hi Crampa” on the phone. Not sure why one of them puts a hard “C” pronunciation close to “Crampa” and I’m just Gramma. And I don’t know if I’ll ever get used to calling myself Grandma Davis, rather than Grandma Miller. Grandma Davis to me was Grandmother Elizabeth on my husband’s father’s side. NOT me! And I think it’s because I was always used to calling my mom “Grandma Miller” when I talk to my daughters about their Grandma Miller. So I tend to think of myself as Grandma Miller. But for the boys, Grandma Davis I am, and that’s okay, a nice melding of family somehow.

Two little boys learning to share. Give and take. Wait turns. How to be happy when it’s someone else’s birthday.


I feel many many many times blessed. Abundance!


James and Sam enjoy Grandma’s favorite book, “Puppies.”

I try not to take these grandsons for granted.


Tanya, Sam and Aunt Doreen.

I also try not to compare the two precious little ones: each one so special, each unique; even though being just two months apart, it’s easy to push them into one mold, or worry about who does what first. When they are 18, we will think of them as totally the same age, with developmental milestones being a thing of the past.


Grandma Jeannie, Michelle, James, and Brian.

Notice I wrote all this about being two without using the “T” word most normally associated with Toddlers and Twos.

I always tried to refrain from using that self-fulfilling prophecy when our own daughters were two year olds. While we had difficulties ranging from potty training to refusal to eat certain foods and much more, the TWOs in my alphabet of words are:

Petulant  (okay, I had to look that one up)

Many two year olds learn their ABCs. It’s also time for many parents of twos to learn a new alphabet of words that describe these years, with no terrible on the list.

I’m also aware of parents and children who wish they were living a list like this, but instead are facing serious illness, disabilities, or difficult behavioral diagnoses.

To all mothers and fathers of twos—which indeed can be challenging—my hat is off to you. My hat is also off to all grandmas or grandpas who ARE the childcare providers for their grandchildren. Whew. I just spent one day at it and even with an unusual 3 hour afternoon toddler nap, I was exhausted (could have had something to do with the 2-3 hour commute both ways!). I also think of grandparents who are serving as the PARENTS for their grandchildren. While I know many enjoy and flourish in this role, it is not without heartaches and wishes that circumstances were otherwise.

I had so many reasons to be ecstatically thankful this Thanksgiving!

* * *

What words would you add to the above list to describe the unforgettable twos?

Do you think it helps to banish the “terrible twos” from your thinking and vocabulary while in this stage with kids? Or thinking the teens have to be traumatic and tumultuous? What role do you see “self-fulfilling prophecy” playing?


From → Faith, Family Life

  1. Yes! to all of the above. And it is refreshing to find another Grandma who goes by the traditional “Gramma,” even if it can make you feel elderly (or like your mother.) I have no need to distinguish myself from the other Grandma by adding a name. She goes by “Nai-nai,” which is also traditional. She’s Chinese.

  2. Nancy, thanks for the nod of affirmation, and for putting your finger on that it may be finding myself in mother’s role of Grandma that feels strange. 🙂 But great for this phase of life. I love the similarities in so many languages of sounds for “na na” or whatever.

  3. Love this home-spun blog post, Melodie, underscoring another way we share parallel lives. (I’m NaNa to distinguish myself from the others: Grandma and Gramsy.)

    I admire your taking the time to create a list – kaleidoscopic stands out. The only thing I can think to add is “memorable” – the journal you are creating here to fix memories in time.

    • This post kind of evolved … and the list just grew as I thought about it. I started with ABC and then I kept going, so it wasn’t hard except for a couple of the letters!

      Thanks always for weighing in! This one seems to be striking a chord.

  4. Beverly Silver permalink

    Hi Melodie! I was/still am Nana! My mom was Nana to LRS, and I had my Nana too! Thanks for sharing with som many of us. We are grateful t be able to follow your family in this blog! I had a ball with the boys – A and B – when I kept them. Wonderful memories! And such fun with them that I did not have all the chances to enjoy when LRS was little and I was teaching!

    • Beverly, I never thought about how you were able to enjoy your grandsons in a way that you weren’t able to when Lauren was little. So even though you did childcare full time for them, it was a blessing, I can see. They are fine young men! Serendipity out of life’s turns!

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