Rose is exactly 2½.
What's that like, you ask? It's backwards pants, mismatched shoes, I've fallen and I can't get up" puddles of despair,and then presto change-o: irrepressible glee over a handful of raisins.
I can't help but muse about what life would be like if we adults still harbored a little two" in us. We'd go to a
party, see our friend, run over for a hug and then snatch her chicken satay skewer. Maybe we'd apologize; maybe we'd
push her down. Next we'd stand under the sign reading no nudity" and tug off our clothes while making sure everyone is
Rose is such a tween, at 2½. She's no longer on the floor with the lumpy babies marinating in their own drool; but like
a preteen who plans a wild adventure then remembers she has to ask her mom to drive, Rose needs a lot of help she
This makes for tricky times, like when Rose insists on getting in her car seat and buckling up by herself. Great!
Except, whoops, she can't; and when I approach to help, she yowls as if I'm baring pliers to pull her tiny teeth out.
I'm sure there's something creative and Montessori-like I could say to her, disarming the two-ness that keeps us
stranded in the cold driveway. But the last power struggle, the one over the shoes, three minutes earlier, has chipped
away at my polish.
I breathe and pace, breathe and pace until Rose finally whines accusingly I can't dooooo it," as if I had set her up
Poor Rose. I know she's just trying to figure things out, like if I got Col's muffin by hitting him and snatching it,will that work with my friend Iris?"
It's a valid question, when many of life's rules must seem so arbitrary (why don't we eat box
elder bugs?). Rose's friend Chloe says in a fit of toddler indecision I waaaant that cheese. No, I caaaan't want that
cheese." I'm sure that's how it feels: the pink hiking boots they loved yesterday? Can't be loved today.
Two is really like living with a very short comedian. Like how Rose will peer into her car seat, screw her face up and
ask, what all dese crumbs in dere?" Or how she'll solemnly hand me a plastic bag containing one rubber band and
instruct you put dis up high so Coley don't get it."
Sometimes I don't even know how to answer her bizzaro questions, like when she opens a kitchen drawer, points to the
rolling pin and asks, what dat rolling pin called?"
But we hardly take Rose seriously - that's how it is with the second. When Col was all jacked up on being 2, I was full
of strategies." When Rose stubbornly sweeps the walls with her small broom, and you can hear the piped-in toddler
music crooning I did it myyyy way," we just shrug and state the obvious: She's 2."
Rachel Turiel's column runs the
first and third Sunday. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out her blog at 6512andgrowing.wordpress.com