If anything is harder than being the middle child, it’s being two years old. Mary Virginia is both. And only because she hasn’t learned the phrase (yet) I’ll say it for her: IT ISN’T FAIR!
At two, she isn’t a baby anymore, but she’s not quite one of the big kids. But, because we do have a baby, she gets grouped in with the big kids. But that’s when I most clearly see that she’s not a big kid yet. She can’t run quite as fast, climb as high, or play as long. But still I expect her to act like she’s four, even though it’s obvious she can’t quite play like a big kid and doesn’t have the patience or dexterity of a big kid. She needs a nap, extra help. She needs more Mommy time. She’s two.
Two is a hard age even if you don’t have a both a big brother and a teeny brother. Two is full of lots of frustration and difficulty. I’ve been thinking about Mary Virginia’s behavior, and in my best moments I wonder if when she’s screaming at the neighbor over a pile of leaves, what she’s actually asking for is attention. Good attention, bad attention, screaming begets attention. Perhaps I do have time to read books on the couch; it’s tough being stuck in the middle, I know.
“Mommy, will you hold me?” she asks, even when my hands are already full.
“Darlin’, I can’t hold you, you’re too heavy.”
“No, Mommy, I can’t walk because I’m too heavy.”