By the time your child is two, you probably can't imagine living without her. After all of the demands thrust on you with having a new baby at home, taking care of a toddler is a bit of a treat. Now you have a funny, interesting little person who keeps you company, is happy to help you out around the house, and wants to learn and do as much as she can. Two-year-olds are fascinated by life and are curious about everything, which makes them not only eager learners but fascinating companions.
By the end of your child's second year, he will understand hundreds of words and will start to prefer certain activities over others. As his personality develops, the two of you will begin to form a truly interactive relationship. He'll accompany you on errands, becoming aware of and even coming to depend on his daily schedule (so that he may not like it if the schedule changes). If he's in day care, he'll also learn to trust in and rely on his teachers as well as begin to form friendships with specific children.
Of course, there are those other, darker, moments when your little angel stops smiling and turns into what seems a completely different child. Such times always seem to erupt when you're out shopping, visiting a grandparent, or in any public place where you're liable to become embarrassed.
As you will learn in this book, the reassuring news about these difficult moments is that they are common to all parents. In fact, a two-year-old's bouts of frustration and sudden out-bursts are a normal phase of development; the less agitated you become in response to your child's behavior, the less intense her tantrum will be. In other words, don't sweat it! This book will teach you how to acknowledge your child's feelings of frustration without providing so much attention that you encourage more tantrums.
Despite the sometimes-trying moments that are bound to occur as you devote time and energy to raising your two-year-old, it is important to keep a few things in mind. Two-year-olds are a wondrous combination of baby and child, of being both cuddly and dependent, on the one hand, and of excitedly asserting whatever independence they've carved out for themselves, on the other. It's fascinating to watch your two-year-old learn and grow, all the while becoming a strong individual within the family. Enjoy this second year with your child, remembering to have fun with each other as all of you learn and grow as a family.