As the Mother of a 2-Year-Old


As the mother of a 2-year-old, I am a master translator; I can decipher every attempt at a word and every babble.

I devour each and every little 3-5 word toddler sentence.

I marvel at how many new words she seems to learn each day.

I wonder how my sanity will be impacted once she joins her extremely talkative older brother in the world of full-fledged talkers.

As the mother of a 2-year-old, I miss rocking her to sleep.

I struggle through her flailing and whining when it’s time to take a nap. And once she’s in her crib, I pray to any gods of sleep that are out there that she’ll actually fall asleep instead of fighting this rest.

I argue daily with a small creature who thinks having to hold my hand is possibly the worst thing in the world.

I say “I love you” as I walk away from her crib at bedtime, only to hear the sweetest voice excitedly say “I love YOU!” just as I’m about to close her door for the night, tears in my eyes.

As the mother of a 2-year-old, I count down how many more teeth she still needs to suffer breaking through (only 4 more!).

I finally switch her from a high chair to a booster seat, and can’t stop doing double takes when I see her sitting right at the dining room table like such a big girl.

I buy her fall clothes, realizing that none of them are onesies.

As the mother of a 2-year-old, my body is used as a jungle gym. I am crawled over, stepped on, slammed into more times in a day than I can count.

I receive super snuggly hugs and extra special kisses, no longer the slobbery, adorable kisses of infancy, but the controlled cute, kisses of toddlerhood, usually accompanied by an expressive “mwah!”

I sing favorite songs, only to hear a little voice join in, slowly and carefully and happily.

As the mother of a 2-year-old who is my second – and last – child, I relish our time together: the simple moments walking down the street and stopping to pick up leaves, the silly laughs we have during bathtime, the story hours and playgroups.

I’ve learned the fleeting nature of early childhood.

I allow myself the frustrations and the battles, then I breathe and reset and continue to soak her in.

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Elizabeth Bettencourt holds a BFA in Theatre and a BS in Secondary English Education from the University of Rhode Island, a Masters in Reading & Literacy from Endicott College, and a Doctorate in Education from Northeastern University. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home parent full time, Liz taught English Language Arts and theatre at Plymouth South High School, where she also served as the ELA department head and the drama club advisor. Liz has also worked as an instructional coach and education consultant specializing in literacy instruction and differentiated instruction. In addition to her work as a mother, Liz currently directs theatre productions for Massassoit Community College and serves on the board of directors for New Bedford Festival Theatre. The majority of her time, however, is spent raising her son James and daughter Muriel with the help of her super supportive spouse, Matt. Liz is excited to be a part of the team at Providence Moms Blog, where she hopes to refresh her writing skills and reflect on this crazy and beautiful thing that is motherhood.