1) They have no concept of cause and effect (so they have no idea that if they refuse to let you change their poopy diaper they will have a red, itchy, sore bum).
2) They must do everything themselves (which takes twice as long and is never quite adequate).
3) The entire universe is “MINE!”
4) You can’t understand what they’re thinking because they have no logic (or if they do, it’s two-year-old logic, which makes no sense)…
5) …therefore, it’s impossible to reason with them—you’re wasting your breath.
6) You can’t physically control them, especially if they weigh close to 30 pounds!
If they decide (for whatever illogical two-year-old reason) not to comply with your desires, your only options are:
a) Cajoling (which requires twice as much creative energy, takes twice as long, and works only sometimes)
b) Threatening (which hardly ever works—see complaint No. 2 above),
c) Brute force (which results in huge amounts of noise, is nigh unto impossible with a 30-pound toddler, and is illegal in some countries).
However, when your two-year-old...
...looks up at your new hairstyle and says "Pretty, Mom!"
…skips over to his baby brother with “Hi, Ben!” and plants an unsolicited kiss on his forehead
…insists on wearing his blue baseball cap (that exactly matches his eyes) backwards at the most rakishly adorable angle
…prays spontaneously before eating with “Dear Jesus, yum food…Amen”
…willingly offers hugs to people he’s just met moments before
…at the suggestion of blowing bubbles starts singing, “Bubbles pop… bubbles pop, pop, pop!”
…puts on Daddy’s sunglasses upside-down and comes running over laughing uproariously, and then carefully puts them on his head like he’s seen Daddy do and says “on head!”
…asks “dat foah?” about every new object
…remembers “gud-duh” (cluster) from yesterday’s episode of bubble-blowing
then you remember that this two-year-old phase is like those bubbles—ephemeral and quickly popped—and you decide to deal with the impossible as quickly and deftly as possible, and savor the adorable.