I guess people weren’t kidding when they say it’s not over yet after the Terrible Twos phase. My daughter has figured out that if we can exert control over her requests and way of doing things, she can respond similarly when we ask her too ourselves.
For example, the immediate “NO” or “I don’t want,” is a very common and frequent phrase she uses. We keep coming up with choices for her when she is rebelling, but it doesn’t seem to work most times. We call her name a few times and she completely zones us out. Even after coming to her level to talk to her she still rebels. I have no choice sometimes but to threaten with consequences. It usually ends up with a bit of wailing and tears, but we have learnt to be firm when we execute the decision. She knows we’re not kidding, and so she will oblige eventually after the dramatic tears and wails. We’ll give her a hug and after she has calmed down she behaves like an angel. For awhile.
Children are smart, they know how to manipulate the situation to get what they want. I’m surprised at this age she has learnt to negotiate. The other day the nursery teacher told me she requested to do one activity sheet when asked to do two. I’m not sure if it’s a good thing or not. I guess in hindsight it is rather good as part of their growing intellect and interaction with people. Perhaps it is the way my husband plays with her too. There’s so much pretend play going on in the house and it really gives my daughter the most interesting ideas.
I’m enjoying this stage of growth though. I love having conversations with my daughter. Sometimes about simple events going on in our lives, sometimes just silly talk during play. She is asking more and more questions these days.
“Mommy, what are you doing?”
She sees a bag or a parcel or something wrapped up:
“What is that? Is it for me?”
(spoiled with too many presents, she thinks everything we buy may be for her…)
When someone is not home, she’ll ask where that person is. I’ve been spending most of my time resting and nursing Lucas that I feel like I’m missing out on so much playtime with her. Yet I’m looking forward to the fun playtimes brother and sister will have. Lucas loves to look at his big sister. She dances, sings, laughs, screams, and talks nonstop to herself as she plays with her toys… She’s full of energy. I really wonder where she gets it all. Refusing to nap unless we are travelling in the car and she’s really tired.
The other day in the garden, she was marching on the grass and singing a song she learnt from Kindermusik class. I carried Lucas, front-facing, and followed her from behind. It was the best. We heard Lucas laughed out loud for the very first time! My heart just fluttered and for a moment, I wished nothing more than to see my children grow happily each day without fear and harm from the cruel and twisted outside world. I want to protect them as much as I can but fear I’m overprotective. Life is full of tough decisions. When something bad happens, we are to blame. When nothing good happens, we blame ourselves. Is this the trap of parenting every mother goes through?