Mafe Maria: Personal stories by autism parent mentor, Maria Stultz

The Wonderful Twos!

Last week, my babycenter newsletter called Joaquin a “preschooler”. It also warned me, in case I’ve been bracing myself for the arrival of the “terrible twos”, that what’s truly terrible is the second year — the one we just passed — because the “twos” (or third year of life), newsletter says, are a much tamer ride. See, that’s how I love to be given news: Psst! Something wonderful is going to happen… and no, you don’t have to wait a full year for it; it’s going to happen RIGHT NOW.

As usual, the newsletter is spot on at discussing Joaquin’s milestones. Only one week ago, I would’ve never believed anything but terrible about the “terrible twos”. Not after the two horrific temper tantrums Joaquin made me eat during that week previous to his birthday. But just one day after his second birthday, something magical and mysterious happened and Joaquin spent a full morning playing BY HIMSELF. And next day he did it again, and again, and he hasn’t stopped since then. I’m not sure if the independence hormone got triggered that night, or if the few birthday toys put us on a critical mass threshold that caused new fantastic behavior… Whatever it was, thank you! This is WONDERFUL!… Freedom is the most beautiful thing.

Just now, I’m being able to write on my laptop in the same room where he’s busy pushing buttons, solving puzzles, and starting all musical toys at once. Nobody’s coming at me with books to read. Nobody’s pulling on my leg so I let go of my toy and let him play with it. Nobody’s yelling hysterically because he’s crammed the ball popper with heavy foreign objects that of course won’t pop. None of that is happening, and it feels like WOOOOHOOOO!

I look behind me and find a cute little man (sporting a cool jagged short haircut he now lets me do in peace), seating on the couch drawing “letters” with his magnetic sketch board… I start the juicer, and anticipating that the familiar loved sound may have summoned Joaquin to the kitchen, I look behind me to find this tiny thing, sure thing right there, one hand on his hip, and the other making his made-up sign for “juice”, all smiles and gratitude, and PATIENCE waiting for a cup of fresh juice he loves.

And have I mentioned how the bollo now cuddles with me just because?

Yes, I know bad times may be right ahead, waiting for me to finish this post to hammer me with events that may make me eat these words. But while this little wave lasts, I’m so enjoying it along with the little glimpses I see more and more often of the beautiful son I’ve got.

Kiki playing with clothes hangers
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  1. On , KSR wrote:

    Happy late birthday to Joaquin! What a delectible little bollito….

  2. On , Petie wrote:

    sniff. It is all worth it when they cuddle, huh? Elise has temporarily let her tantrums go. I had 6 weeks of at least two tantrums a day. Each tantrum lasted about an hour. That was a rough 6 weeks!