The terrible twos are, by far, the most deceiving part of parenting I have encountered so far.
Don't let this picture fool you!
While 22 months brings lots of sweet moments and adorable hugs and kisses, it is also filled with many, many, MANY moments of hair-pulling, deep breaths, and crashing at night feeling like an utter failure! First of all, no one tells you that the terrible twos really begin at 18 months. That's when the testing begins. You would think this wouldn't be so bad, because how bad can an 18-month old really be, right?
Wrong! What is so difficult about this age is that kids don't have many words when they are 18 months. As a first-time parent, you are only beginning to recognize how much they understand, so they tend to get away with a lot before you realize they actually DO understand that you are telling them no, not to run across the kitchen table. And when they want something (or don't want to do something), they don't have the words to tell you, so all day you are met with constant "Uh! Uh!" whining at you with everything you say. That's enough to drive a person crazy. Now I understand why people need to have adult conversations just to survive a day with toddlers!
The second hard thing about this age is that discipline really doesn't work! As a good parent, you've laid the foundation for bad behavior by redirecting when a baby is doing something that they shouldn't and telling them no. Well now, they don't listen to you say, "no" and you can't always redirect them. So the next logical step is to either take away something (i.e. the ball they are fighting over) or take them away from the situation (i.e. time out). Well I don't know if you've tried to put a 22-month old on time-out and had it work... but for me, it doesn't! If I put them in their cribs, they jump and laugh and play. If I sit them on a chair, they climb out and act like they forget why they were there in the first place. If I hold them on my lap, they squirm and squirm and cry and usually the other one starts doing something wrong so I can't follow through and have to go rescue them from jumping off the top of the couch! (Oh yeah, that's the other problem - all they want to do is climb all the furniture in the house - not cool at all kids!). And a slap on the hand is just funny. And explaining why they can't do what they want to do just makes them try harder to do it.
I do think that they are just on the verge of more depth of understanding and learning to use words to express themselves, so I know this stage won't be "too" long. But still, I do really think it's harder with twins, especially two willful, active, challenging boys. It's harder to take the time to discipline because the other one is usually up to no good. In fact, as soon as my kids hear me say "no" to one of them, the other one gets up and tries to do the exact same thing to see how I will respond. Every. Single. Time. It's exhausting!
My next plan is to scour the twin blogs and see if I can find anyone with some helpful advice. But if you have anything to share, please feel free! Everyone keeps telling me it actually gets harder with "threenagers" and they may be right. But right now, this is one of the hardest stages we have had with our two particular boys. So, we'll gear up and keep on, but boy, do I hope it passes soon!