Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Tough Twos

There is a very specific reason I didn't use the word terrible in the title of this post. Terrible is well terribly negative. There are plenty of moments that aren't terrible with my two year old. The tough moments seem to come in waves. Of course there are contributing factors to these tough moments and I am certain that they will blips in the parenting radar as I look back at "two." But when you are in the thick of things it's tough to see the light at the end of the hallway.

We have been in a potty training mode for a while. There were days, weeks, months that every time Lydia went she went in the potty. She would tell you that she needed to go and if she had an accident and pee peed in her pull up, she would tell you then too. All her little friends are using the potty fairly well, with their on hiccups I am sure, which for my two year old is great because she is easily driven by positive peer pressure. In the last two weeks, we have reverted. It is as if she hates the potty now. She will go in her pull up and she will sit in it until you pick her up and drag her to get changed. If you ask her if she needs to go she says no. If you tell her it's time to change her she says no. And it's not a casual "I am busy, Mom" kind of no. It's a "We are going to battle, I am the captain of this potty platoon and I have spoken!" sort of no. She is an astute child, I must say, because, normally she tells me that Captain No and I pick her up and drag her to the potty. A battle there is.

The thing is I am not sure how many battles I am actually winning considering I am looking to win the war. On the other hand, I can let my two year old sit in bucket of pee held in barely by the seams of her pull up. Cinderella's face looks like she is holding quite a bit more water weight than normal. If that keeps up Cinderella will have to join Weightwatchers.

It's not just the potty thing that makes these Tough Twos. There are days, that every action is defiant. I know enough to know that she is testing the boundaries, and the "think about it" bench is getting a lot of sit time. As we debrief, she doesn't always seem to get. It's like she morphs into a teenager, avoiding eye contact and being elusive. Other times it's the fake crying which is like nails on a blackboard.

The toughest tough two part is the no napping. My two year old needs sleep. All kids need sleep for best development. When she doesn't get a nap it's like she has an expiration time. My child turns from tough to tumultuous. There is flailing and crying and rolling and the fit of all fits comes. I am always a little surprised because she has never thrown a fit before. Theses (the 2 times) occur always late at night, and always with little sense being spoken. The key is to provide the equivalent to "squirrel!" from the movie UP! It seems to work, but it's like playing roulette trying to figure out what that perfect distraction will be and what will permeate through the crazy into her head and say, "Ah. Okay! I'll do that." In that moment, a little voice inside of me screams, "Eureka! Eureka!" and typically busts in to song and dance.


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