Constance Zimmer Calls the Terrible Twos a ‘Myth’

06/19/2011 at 08:00 AM ET
Tina Kaawaloa/INF

It was an early morning wake-up call for Constance Zimmer this past weekend — all courtesy of daughter Colette Zoe.

“A ballet recital at 9:30 this morning with hundreds of tiny kids running around in tutus is a lot to handle in the morning,” the Entourage star, 40, tells PEOPLE at the Elizabeth Glaser Pediatric AIDS Foundation‘s A Time for Heroes picnic on Sunday.

“She has been up since 4:30 a.m. because she was so excited about dancing in the recital, which means I was up at 4:30, and I was like, ‘And I have to do an event and be in front of cameras … Awesome.'”

Luckily, other than being an early bird, Zimmer admits she’s been counting her blessings when it comes to dealing with any toddler tantrums.

“I have to say, we were very fortunate,” she reveals. “We had no terrible twos. I think it’s a myth. I do think we’ve passed it, but I don’t know how or what the secret was.”

However, while she may not have all the answers to bypassing the terrible two stage, Zimmer believes 3-year-old Colette’s extensive list of vocabulary allowed both her and husband Russ Lamoureux to tackle any trouble quickly.

“This child, let me tell you, she is a genius! She’s been talking since she was a year and a half! She’s a talker, not a walker, so she’s been slow physically, but she was very verbal from a very young age, which is what I think helped us not have the terrible twos,” Zimmer explains.

“I think the best thing that you can do with your kids is to talk to them like they’re human beings, not like they’re children and they don’t know what they’re doing.”

With such smooth sailing with their first child, will Zimmer and Lamoureux test their luck a second time?

“No, I think she’s kind of perfect,” the actress laughs. “With work and being a mom and having a career, I’d rather focus all of my attention — when I have it — Β on her as opposed to splitting it.”

— Anya Leon with reporting by Reagan Alexander

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Megan on

The terrible twos have nothing to do with, and cannot be prevented by, “I talked to my kid like she’s intelligent.”

ecl on

Why is it that people think that when something doesn’t happen to them, it must not be true? It’s about averages people!!

Caroline on

Glad she feels like 1 kid has made her an expert. I know my 1 kid has done the same for me…oh, wait. And yes, the Terrible 2s are a myth simply for the fact that she hasn’t experienced it. No idea who this woman is, but sheesh…

Anonymous on

Yeah…I’m sure she will eat her words when she has another. What is the chance of her missing the terrible 2’s the second time around!? πŸ™‚

Maggie on

At the end there, she says she doesn’t want any more kids, so I suppose she will just live in bliss! πŸ™‚

molly on

Well, my son has been both very verbal and physical since 20months and while we talk to him and have full “adult-like” conversations with him, he isn’t perfect to handle all the time! I think it can be luck of the draw!

Two wasn’t so bad…but now that he is approaching three it is getting trickier. He is smarter, we are more tired and alas, we are all learning together! Maybe she will be lucky and dodge all mishaps now but wait until she has a teenage girl on her hands. I can remember back to the grief my parents got from me and my two sisters and oy vey was it a handful!

cn tower on

Totally agree with some of the other posters. She comes across as smug and self-satisfied, albeit a bit misinformed. It’s one thing to think you know it all, but quite another to broadcast it.

Shannon on

Spoken like a relatively new, first time parent. πŸ˜‰

stacy on

I think it’s a myth because it’s starts around 3. The third year was always when the temper tantrums started. My kids all started talking when they were one. I think most kids do. When they are 18 months old, that’s when most start becoming chitter chatter…… I have three kids, and that’s what all three did.

Lauren on

Anecdotally, I’ve heard that 3 is much harder than 2. My own is only 14 months, so I haven’t experienced it.

And isn’t a year and a half the typical language explosion time? Her child certainly could be a genius—who knows—but she sounds pretty normal to me πŸ™‚

Sarah K. on

It’s great she’s so proud of her child, but…she sounds pretty average intelligent-wise to me. A year and a half is not “early” for children to begin talking and there are a ton of kids who talk sooner. There’s nothing wrong with her child, but maybe she’s not a genius.

As for the terrible two’s, I always figured the reason why it’s so terrible is because kids are growing up and testing their limits since they have all of these new skills and think they know so much. Maybe her daughter isn’t there yet or maybe she just ended up with a child who never gets upset.

miche on

Yeah, we sailed through the two’s, no fusses, all sweet smiles and obediance…

Then the three’s came and hit us like a ton of bricks! Our angel became a rebellious, limit-pushing, crazy drama queen! Now that she’s almost 4, she’s settled down quite a bit, but there were some time**-s where I thought our only way to get through was to lock her in her room for a few months and pray!!

Indi on

I loved the age of Two, both my kids were great!!! THREE well that is a different story – I really think it is the terrible THREES!!!

Nic on

My son is 14. Didn’t have terrible two’s, three’s, four’s,etc. He wasn’t and isn’t perfect, just has a calm disposition. I can count on one hand how many tantrums he had between the ages of 2-4. It’s rare, but possible.

Melissa on

My daughter had very few tantrums at two, and was also a very verbal child (though I never thought her a “genius” for it), who spoke well before she could walk.

Her third year was a little worse, her fourth she pushed even more, and now at five, she knows and deliberately pushes our buttons, hard and often.

She may have gotten through the two’s unscathed by tantrums, but I bet they are coming sometime, when she least expects it! πŸ™‚

Jacqui on

Ick, this interview makes this woman seem terribly annoying.

BabyBlogAddict on

She just sounds like the average parent who is proud of their kid’s accomplishments and likes to talk about it. I don’t think she is annoying!

Grace2 on

I echo the sentiments of many in that the twos were fine for us. Wonderful in fact. It was at about three and a half or so when he started really challenging us. While I don’t wish a challenging child on her and it could be her child could always be easy going, it’s just kinda funny how she comes across.

I do know for a fact that a verbal child is obviously able to articulate sooner and perhaps easier his/her basic needs, thereby reducing and preventing frustration, which can be shown through tantrums/naughty behavior. So, there is some truth to that. But for us, it was when they started using all that language, busting out attitude and back talk. That’s when I wonder where my sweet boy went!

Courtney on

Her comments are ridiculous. The terrible two’s do not mean you have a terrible child. The time period between about 18 months and age 3 is a tremendous time for a child – they are learning walking, talking, independence, socializing with other kids, getting used to being with people other than Mom or Dad, being assertive, finding out what THEY prefer. For her to say that her child didn’t have the terrible two’s pretty much just means that she has a child with a pretty laid back personality. It doesn’t mean that she escaped something terrible! My 2.5 year old is strong-willed, assertive, has been walking AND talking since age 1, drives me up the wall some days, and I can’t wait to have another one JUST like her!

megan on

2’s were a breeze! 3’s…exremely hard…and 4’s even harder! Its so nice when they can slam their door in your face and say they hate you….gives me a glimpse of the teenage years!!!! AHHHHH!

adri on

It’s not the 2s you have to watch out for. For some 3s are the worst….for others the 4s, 5, tweens, teens, etc. Don’t assume it’s going to be smooth sailing from now on. My son is 2 yrs and 8 months old and it’s not too bad. He has tantrums here and there mostly he is a calm little boy. I realize that can all change when he hits 3 or 4. My 5 yr old didn’t start giving me a hard time until she was closer to 3 but 4s were the hardest with her.

Ashley on

I’m sorry, but the terrible 2’s are not a myth. My son is 2 1/2 and he has been in the terrible 2’s since he was 18 months old. The way you speak to your child has nothing to do with experiencing the trying times of a toddler. All it usually means is that verbally they will learn to speak faster (in most cases) than what is considered normal.

According to her statements/standards my son should also be a genius. He walked at 8 months and was talking up a storm (not baby talk) by the time he turned 1. She needs to understand that how her daughter is, is normal for her. She comes across very critical.

I hope that someday she has another child and gets to experience the joys of having a “normal” 2 year old with all the tantrums they can throw.

Child on

i think the woman that made those statements was just talking about the fact that YES every single child is different and every single family experiences different things, I believe she was only STATING what was happening in HER family’s life. it is NOT a reflection on the WORLD of children.

T on

Of course its true. There are no terrible two’s or three’s! Children in tribes to not have tantrums, its a western problem. Parents are too hurried, lifestyles are to busy and kids get overwhelmed. Slow parenting is the key, and treating your kids with respect. Tantrums are a result of aduls trying to force their will on little children, who are just starting to learn to stand up for themselves!