Terrible Twos, Fascinated Fives
The 2nd year of a child is frequently called the ‘terrible twos’ and with Karthik about 2 months into his 2nd year, he reminds me everyday, why that phrase came about. With Kavya almost 5 years old, I’d also like to propose that the fifth year be called the ‘fascinated fives’.
Physically, a ‘terrible twos’ baby is always on the move. Having learned the wonders of not being stuck in one place not too long ago, these babies don’t stay at one place for more than a second. A day spent running behind Karthik is enough to tire me out. Most lethal is the combination of not being potty-trained and being mobile. It makes diaper changes truly dreadful.
Emotionally, that is the time when characteristics like stubbornness manifest themselves in kids. Younger babies are content to reach out for things they want and look on quietly when we take it away from them. Not so with toddlers. When Karthik now locks his eyes on something (usually wires, TV remotes or telephones), he goes after them with single-minded determination and doesn’t rest until he has it in his hands (and then his mouth!). Any attempt to move the item out of his reach or God forbid, take it out of his hands, is met with a puppy-dog expression of sadness that quickly changes into tears and high-pitched crying.
Based on personal experience, I’d say that the ‘terrible twos’ is also the time when sibling rivalry rears its ugly head. All this while, Karthik was a sweet little thing who loved to be cuddled by his big sister. But lately, he has started needling Kavya in his own ways. He always has his eyes on any toy she is playing with and is willing to hit, scratch and grab to gain possession of it. Poor Kavya, with a mixture of affection and fear, ends up giving up her toy or worse, crying.
Not that Kavya is completely maintenance-free. Turning 5 pretty soon, she is in the phase where she is fascinated by everything around her, which leads to an almost non-stop barrage of questions on every topic she can think of. The tough part is that it’s not easy to get out of these questions. An answer that doesn’t completely satisfy her leads to a chain of questions that exponentially increase in difficulty.
It wouldn’t be so bad if the questions were straightforward ones like “Who is the President of America”. The combination of curiosity, being able to read and partial knowledge leads to questions that are strangely logical but practically unanswerable. Consider this recent set of questions she posed when she spotted a car dealership sign when I was driving along 101…
Dad, is that Infiniti?
Are those cars all Infiniti?
Are they the biggest cars in the world?
Then why are they called Infinity?
With one kid in the ‘fascinated fives’ and the other in the ‘terrible twos’, this is turning out to be one interesting year!