The Terrible Twos

As the 2nd birthday starts to loom in the distance and people ask ‘How old is he/she/they?’ on hearing they are about to enter toddlerdom the overall response is ‘Oh the terrible twos’ – you’re in for some fun and a rocky ride.’

Yeah? cheers for that!

And on you go on your merry way thinking, ‘Surely it can’t be that bad?’ The 2nd birthday comes and goes and there is the odd meltdown which you can usually pass off for tiredness, hunger or teething and then you encounter your first major tantrum……

It comes out of nowhere when you’re least expecting it and the first sign is the immense noise, a screaming so intense it shakes the foundations of the building be it yours or the local supermarkets.

Your beautiful, previously adorable, child is bright red in the face, tears streaming down both cheeks and swelling with rage.


First action, you try the passive, gentle, sweet voice ‘Darling, what is it? Tell mummy’ and in reply you get a vicious attack of undecipherable verbal abuse in the form of ear drum smashing noise. ‘No, mummy No!’

Second action, if in public to whip the child up in your arms and retreat to a more private area, if at home, to pick up the child and cuddle. The response? Kicking, wriggling, fighting and the noise goes off the current decibel measuring scale plus a lot more ‘No’s’

Uh-oh. What now?

I have been known to try screaming over the top of the noise – don’t bother it’s useless and the response is the child gets even more upset, tears come tumbling bigger and faster and we’re on the verge of a human tsunami.

For some unfathomable reason this may pass as quickly as it came, you pop the child in his/her cot and on waking later you are represented with a little angel again.

Phew! …. until next time because there will be a next time I promise you.

Hard work isn’t it? And any twin mum will tell you there is a lot of copying going on between twins so frequently twin 2 will copy twin 1 and get them in an equal if not more intense state than the sibling.

This is only one aspect of the Terrible Twos and luckily for us Shanta Everton writer and editor has put her thinking cap on and come up with a book to guide us frazzled parents through this next tricky stage.

Shanta contacted many parents of two year olds to get ‘real’ case material to add and strengthen the points she puts forwards and we (me, Alice and Bessie) are quoted in one of her chapters on food – another claim to fame!

The book, The Terrible Twos – A Parents Guide, is out now by Need2know and for the entire month she is doing a blog tour passing through Mari’s World on the 18th when I shall be interviewing her. You can find my answers to her questions on her blog the same day :)

I’ve already earmarked a copy and can’t wait for it to arrive, maybe you’d like to investigate a little further and see if it could be something that could be a valuable tool over the coming months?


  1. September 3, 2010 / 10:00 AM

    lol. i think no guide can really prepare you for the Jekyll/Hide transformations your child will be able to pull off. the terrible twos were a cruise with tornado boy. then he went into the terrible threes.. and fours.. well, he’s just terrible at times, i guess.

    • September 6, 2010 / 1:53 PM

      Don’t say that!!! I’m hoping this is a stage to get through and then that is it!!

      • September 6, 2010 / 1:57 PM

        well it depends a little bit on their genetic disposition i suppose ?
        am quite terrible myself at times still lol

  2. September 3, 2010 / 3:42 PM

    That book sounds like a great resource. Do you know if she’s covered families with special needs kids or older siblings in it as well? A book all about “The Terrible Twos” might be just the thing some families need to get through to the trecherous threes!

  3. zookeeper
    September 6, 2010 / 2:03 PM

    My girls are 15 months and already partial to the odd tantrum, usually when I confiscate house keys. I am warned that nobody with children are out of the woods until their offspring are FIVE (terrible twos can in fact be atrocious threes or feral fours).

    Here’s hoping! Nice to have found you! :-)

    • September 6, 2010 / 3:58 PM

      Yeah – that doesn’t sound appealing does it? I suppose it’s a case of battling on!

  4. Shanta Everington
    September 6, 2010 / 3:40 PM

    Hi Mari, Thanks for this!

    Darasquires – I do have a chapter on siblings. Due to word count restrictions, I could not include specific content on special needs, although it is mentioned and readers are signposted on to relevant resources. (Incidentally, I am deputy editor of the Disability, Pregnancy and Parenthood International journal which is for disabled parents.) Hope that helps!



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