I think a reworking of the age / characteristic thing is in order. It's totally wrong. My experience hasn't gone very far yet, but from what I know, it's not what they say.
(We are now not currently in this stage of Two's, so I apologize if I forgot certain defining characteristics. Maybe I'll update this next year when I've had a refresher course. But having completed 2 three's and just now entering a third, I still say two's are better.)
I hear it really gets good when they're about 8.
While it's a blessing to be a parent to awesome kids, parenting is NEVER easy. There are always challenges. Right now, my challenges are clearly of the one and three year old kind. If I could get my kids to stop getting into stuff, making messes, needing to be fed/bathed/dressed, eliminate whining/fighting/tattling/tantrums, life would be a breeze. Right?