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Sonoma Family Life Magazine

How Velcro Got Me Through the Terrible Twos

By Jessica Guerrieri

If you are new to the Terrible Twos, welcome. You’ll find information inside your Newcomer’s Packet. Here are the basics: Add 40 minutes of lag time to your exit strategy and an extra shot of espresso to your coffee order.

Since this is my third time on the merry-go-round with a two-year-old, I have my own tips for getting through what I call the Toddler Independence/Hostage Negotiations stage:

1. Find shoes that blind squirrels could put on and buy four pairs—one pair each for the front and back doors, one pair for the car, and another emergency pair for when, not if, all the other pairs get lost. 

2. Don’t offer toddlers anything that shatters when thrown. Everything they handle should be the consistency of string cheese—for your safety and the safety of all your Magnolia knickknacks.

3. Avoid purchasing any food with packaging that you yourself aren’t able to open—with your feet while blindfolded.

4. Never, and I mean never, give toddlers your cell phone. If you do, you’ll not only have to deal with the judgy-eyed ladies at Target who start conversations with phrases like “In my day...,” but also you will quickly lose social media followers due to the mysteriously posted pictures of the inside of your kids’ nostrils.

5. Make Velcro your new best friend. Do not purchase clothes with zippers or buttons, unless you enjoy spending the majority of the day standing in your front entryway and never actually leaving the house. 

6. If you say yes to something once, be aware that you’ll be setting an unwavering precedent. So think really carefully before telling your toddlers that they can peel their own hard-boiled eggs, pretend to drive, or borrow any article of clothing you actually need for yourself.

7. Go ahead and set up a home office inside your car. You’ll essentially live there as it’s no longer legal to allow kids to ride in laundry baskets, and car seat straps and buckles are scientifically designed to infuriate both adults and children.

8. When it comes to potty training, it’s funny how toddlers will always insist on pulling down their own pants, but the second it becomes an all-hands-on-deck-situation, like, say, when a carpet must be scrubbed free of pee, they show no interest in any version of being “helpful.”

9. Notes for outings: If you bring a stroller, they won’t sit in it. If your arms are full of groceries, they’ll want to be carried. If you offer them a hand, they will slap it away, wanting to walk on their own. 

10. Trying to communicate with a two-year-old is like a completely unentertaining game of charades in which flailing and screaming “NO!” are considered clues.

So if it seems like raising two-year-olds is twice as terribly hard as locating any of their four pairs of shoes, you are absolutely right. Just remember three is thrice as fun and, no matter how isolated you may feel in your car-home office, you are not alone. 

Jessica Guerrieri is a freelance writer. Find her at and on Instagram @witandspitup.