Is it really so terrible?

Does anyone else feel like they’ve said no 200 times today?
 Is it just me?
Are two-year-olds really this testing, strong-willed and ahem…STUBBORN? I get it now. I get it when they say terrible twos. 
Are you even supposed to say no these days? I can’t keep up with all the parenting advice thrown at me to be honest.
I’ve heard it a few times now, “they’ll be really good qualities when he’s older!”
Yeah, cool.
That’s probably because you’ve never battled with a child who refuses to say thank you. Yes, battle.
20 minutes of asking him to say thank you and 20 minutes of him saying no.
I won though. 35 mini-tantrums and he finally whispered, crying 'tan-ku'. Then I obviously felt like a terrible mum. Terrible, twos, terrible mum. I really need to stop describing things as terrible - I know. 
Now that Max’s speech has improved, we’re learning manners. It goes really well most days and then some days, out of nowhere, saying please and thank you must seem like mountain climbing to Max.
I spend so much of my days with these two boys wondering if anyone is going through the same thing as I am.
Max asked me to take him to the pantry at least ten times today, he played in puddles for 30 minutes in his socks, he refused to participate in a gymnastics class but then practiced all the necessary ‘gym’ activities at home, on my couch.
Some days seem like a piece of cake while others feel like I’m sailing through a storm.  I use the term ‘sailing’ because
  1. Much like parenting, I’ve never done it before
  2. Sailing requires a lot more effort than you realise
It’s not all bad. Some days I wonder what I ever complained about and he's the perfect child. Then a storm comes and I’m quick to remember.
Max is one of a kind. He can be totally charming but also completely anti-social and he can be really mean to people he doesn’t know. I’m sorry if he doesn’t say hi to you, I’ve had to learn that he just doesn’t want to at the moment and as much as we’ve taught him otherwise, it’s going to have to be ok for now. Yes, we discipline him and yes I hope he grows out of it too.
He is full of energy and could run rings around champion athletes, he’s super quirky (no idea where he gets that from), extremely inquisitive, and adventurous but also the most cautious child you will ever meet.
He’s creative, curious and more co-ordinated than I’ll ever be. I love these things about him and deep down, I love his strong will. I know it will take him places, just like I know the places it’s taken me.
But for now, when he has to learn how to listen to authority and not question it. I keep at it and I pray. I pray for patience. I pray for wisdom and I pray so I can teach him better, just like my parents taught me.

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