Thursday, August 10, 2006

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!


At 11:05 PM, Blogger Orange Fronkey said...

Aren't they a whole lotta fun?


Perhaps I shouldn't tell you that the terrible two continues onto terrible 3 and perhaps for, esp if its a boy.

My nephew is 3 and oowhieeee!! But he's such a darling, love the way he talks. He could be such a butt at times. I have a new nephew in the collection now, just 3 days old, can't wait to see his parents' face when he starts his antics.

But ya know... that's alright, cuz anything is better than an 8 year old... ooooooo that "whatever" "don't care" attitude drives me up the wall!!!

At 8:14 AM, Blogger KK said...

Seems like your having loads of fun.... ;)

At 12:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Poor Kavya, with a mixture of affection and fear, ends up giving up her toy or worse, crying.

--> So Cute!! :-) I loveee playing with toddlers...esp. the ones who keep smiling at me! my kutti cousins are either merattified or kasakkified by me! its funny how i sometimes shift from pidgin tamil to normal tamil after a while when I lose in when they start getting cranky, i'd start talking to them as though i am talking to an adult! "unaku ena dee venum? ammakari-ya koopadanuma?!"

neways, will save all these write-ups for future reference ;)

"that was interesting...and informative too" (guess the english movie where i this line figured in a comic scene)

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Balaji said...

orange, i think the 'esp. if its a boy' part is the most important. i don't remember kavya going thro a terrible twos phase at all :)

priya, yes it is...

kk, not always but i'm sure i'll look back on this phase with pleasant memories in a few years :)

ram, ur quizzes r always too tough for me! that line sounds too generic... any more clues?

At 10:27 PM, Blogger Shanthi said...

Ayyo evlo jollynga ungalukku!

i am so much reminded of my niece : (

i have been seeing her every year of her age for atleast a month and i could just correlate her when i read ur post : )

1st yr when she came she doesn't remember anything. i used to say ayyo idhai pudungittaa aluva - my brother used to say no she doesn't remember anything... very short term memory, just take it off. she will forget it-nu !

2nd yr enga veetu tharaiya clean pandradhudhaan velai... vidu fullaa piraluvaa... all very kutti items will be clearly visible to her eyes.
Appuram konjam konjamaa enakku ketta paer vaangi kudukka (ennaya maadhiri irukaanu) she started being very adamant!

last yr was gr8 to hear her talking. actuallaa 2 much talking :D

20 questionsdhaan vilaadirukkom. Eagerly awaiting to listen to her curious questions at her 5th year on earth : ))

Innoru kutti vaera vandhurukku... my second b's daughty... eagerly awaiting to see her for more than a yr!

At 1:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorrryyy, bb! thappa's actually "so much love...yet so much information" Hint: a response from one character to a poem. scroll down for answer
Meet the Parents

At 1:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I like to call them the " What, How and Why " stages ...........

First it is " What is that"

Then it is "How does it ....."

And then the biggie , "Why is it ....." - This one is usually followed by more and more Why's , each Why more difficult to answer than the previous 1 ...

My son is 9 years old , and lately I hear more of "Ok, forget it Amma , I'll look for the answer on the Net" - which leaves me totally deflated , believe me !

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At 12:37 AM, Blogger Visithra said...

ah the question times - hehe have fun - i would suggest not taking to movies - unless u want to hear another 1lakh of qs ;p hehehe

At 7:56 AM, Blogger Funtabulous said...

I can imagine the questions Balaji.We go shopping

Appa, I like this toy( the price is like 2k)

It is too expensive. ask amma

Amma will say no

Then why do u ask me?

Becoz I want that toy

But it is very expensive.If Amma will say know then it is no

I study well, I get good marks.If it is a treat for doing well why are you and Amma deciding what toy and what price you should buy?

Thats kids for you and it only gets worse


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