Isabella at 27 Months

Isabella turned 27 months old yesterday.

She is adjusting remarkably well to the twins' arrival. She can't wait to see them in the morning, and often reminds me just before bedtime that she would like me to bring one or the other to visit her in her crib the next morning. She's very helpful with them as well, replacing binkies, fetching blankets, etc., and wants to be involved in their daily care by helping to burp them and give them baths. Her favorite baby-related line? "She's (or he's) sooooo cute!"
Isabella continues to love books, and has begun "reading" her favorite stories back to us with a scary degree of accuracy. She'll turn the pages and narrate very close to the exact words on the page. She especially enjoys "reading" The Giving Tree, a book she can only read with her father, since this particular book produces the same reaction in her mother that Love You Forever does.

Over the last month, she's started telling us that the most random things scare her. My grandma bought her an Elmo chair. She said, "It scares me." Ditto with loud car noises (although oddly enough, she's not afraid of the loud, eardrum-shattering noises she herself generates on a minute-by-minute basis), the sight of post-Halloween pumpkins sitting in a pile of leaves at the curb, and squirrels. The sight of my sleep-deprived mug every morning doesn't make her bat an eye, however.

She still can't jump. Ordinarily, this wouldn't bother me, but it was on the two-year-old checklist the nurse ran through during her appointment back in August. Apparently, by age two, kids should be able to jump. She can't. She completes all the motions of jumping except for the actual jump. Someone reassure me that she's not going to have a hard time getting into college because of this.

While Isabella is a perfect little peach around the twins, I've noticed her acting out in other ways. Bedtime has devolved into a nightmare. A screaming, crying, "I want to hold you! Don't leave me! Come back here! Five more minutes!" nightmare. It is heartbreaking to leave her screaming her bloody lungs out in her crib, but earlier this week, it took two hours to get her to settle down. Two.Hours. Is this a two thing? A misplaced reaction to feeling marginalized by the twins? I'm not sure.

She also seems to be auditioning for a role in the Twilight sequel, because the little princess has started biting when she doesn't get her way. She's bit my mom twice since she's been here. This charming little habit lands her in an immediate timeout, and afterward she'll usually come running to me apologizing and saying, "Mommy is my friend."

No, darling. I am not your friend. I am your mama, and if you bite me again, I will duct-tape your arse to the timeout chair while I hit the Jack Daniels for an hour without batting an eye.
On the potty-training front, we progress! She also absolutely freaks out when it's time to change her diaper. She will not let me do it without a fight. This leads me to think she might be ready to go on the potty, except for the fact that she has shown absolutely no interest in it. She's used it a few times. We've tried a few techniques on her. But each and every time we infuse our voices with false enthusiasm and excitement and say, "Would you like to use the potty?" she whines, "Nooooooooo!"
Can I just tell you how much I am not enjoying three kids in diapers?
But it's not the biting or the aversion to the potty or the bedtime behavior that has me most concerned this month. It's the fact that once or twice a week she is not napping. She remains awake the entire time (after she's finally stopped screaming) and then sings, plays, and yells for me to come get her. I need her to nap like I need air to breathe. I count on her naptime as my quiet work time (hoping and praying that the twins will cooperate, and sometimes they do, but most often they don't). I simply cannot fathom the thought that she's giving up her nap. Even if she does, I vow to keep her up in her crib for a two-hour block of quiet time for as long as I can.

Current Likes: Fillet Mignon, salmon, the feeling of human flesh beneath her teeth

Current Dislikes: Napping, bedtime, depositing bodily fluids in the damn potty

Did I ever mention that another one of grandma's rules is that little girls should never, ever wear brown? And did I ever mention that because of her frequent vocalization of this rule, I am now prone to buying more brown-and-pink clothes for Isabella (incidentally, my favorite color combination for her) than I normally would, just to incense grandma?

Here she is making Playdoh gnocchi, as every good little Italian housewife should, sporting a ponytail that only required a five-animal-cracker bribe to achieve.

9 Responses to “Isabella at 27 Months”

  1. # Blogger Simply-Mel

    Potty training will come when she is ready. She will ask. My first was done by 18mths, my second by 2 and a half. And my third....not yet and he is will be 2 and a half next month.
    Really dont stress yourself - she will lead the way.

    Around the nap thang - Levi went through exactly the same thing around 2. Refused to nap. It went on for about 2wks - he would maybe nap 3 times a week. I then just decided NO WAY cos he became unplayabe by 430pm and made our live a nightmare. I now put him down around 1pm regardless of how tired he is. And I let him sleep for 90mins. He goes back down around 7pm.

    He also is afraid of random stuff, my girls went through it too. Totally normal.

    The bedtime drama...ah I know it well. We now have a VERY SET ROUTINE. Make the bottle. Read 2 stories (the same 2) while he drinks bottle. Lay down with him for around 3 minutes. Get up and leave. He yelled for almost an hour the first night. And by night 3 he whimpered but was asleep within 10minutes.

    You know the drill girl. Bite down hard, block your ears (or go outside) and reap the benefits!

    For me ROUTINE was the only way I could survive the early years. And heaven help ANYONE who stuffed with my routine!

    Strength to you. Tough times.  

  2. # Blogger kenju

    I experienced the same nap and bedtime problems with my older two after each of their sublings was born. She may be afraid of what you are doing for and with the twins while she is asleep and she doesn't want to share you. I think it will pass; you have to be patient - which I know is hard!!  

  3. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Bridget has that same dress, and it's one of my favorites!

    You already know my take on most everything you've talked about here. Bridget is scared of odd-ish things, too. Namely, it's eyes. Not people eyes, but cartoon eyes, eyes in books, eyes on posters and pictures. She'll totally freak out until I physically remove her from where the eyes are.

    Regarding bedtime - Hannah when through the same thing when she was Isabella's age. Although she was always a good napper, she went through a phase in which it took her until close to midnight each night to fall asleep. Obviously we were not very happy about it. Bridget has totally given up her nap. I can't remember the last time she had one and, like you, I find myself desperate for her to just chill out for even 30 each day so I can work uninterrupted.

    Hang in there!  

  4. # Blogger My Wombinations

    I am digging the brown and very curious about your grandmother's take on this. Why should little girls not wear it?

    As for the other stuff, you are very lucky her acting out is not manifesting as violence against the twins. That is so unpleasant. But bedtime stuff is unpleasant, too. Hang in there. I am sure it will change.

    As for the nap... I am hoping for you!  

  5. # Blogger Mom24

    That ponytale was worth every animal cracker--so cute!

    Good luck with the nap. We had to take naps away from J&J because they simply could not go to sleep at night until 10 or 11 if they had napped. I think it was right around 2 1/2 that napping stopped. Sorry.

    The only thing worse than 3 kids in diapers is 2 in diapers and one not ready. You either end up the one trained (not fun) or you end up cleaning up a lot of accidents and being angry at your toddler. (Also not fun.) Good luck.

    I love, love, love brown and pink. (Sorry Grandma).

    Sorry about the bedtime routine. That is heartbreaking. Good luck with it. I'm sure at that time of day it's the last thing you feel prepared to deal with.

    Good luck on the biting. I'm thinking you totally deserve to use the tape and the Jack if needed. Hang in there--things do get easier. :-)

    BTW--I promise you, someday she will jump.  

  6. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    I understand the being worried over not hitting a milestone when you think she should. People keep telling me not to worry and it will happen. I try to tell myself that they are right.
    I understand the odd fear thing. Little Elvis has absolutely no problem if he pops a balloon with his teeth (my husband let this happen) but if a crowd is cheering and clapping, then he just wails. Apparently our Christmas tree is also a little scary.
    Happy 27 months Isabella! And I hope she naps for you all week!  

  7. # Blogger Damselfly

    See? She truly has been talking since birth. ;)

    I think the bedtime thing must be a two thing. It took Fly about two hours to take a nap yesterday. Insane. I am getting to really dread naptimes and bedtimes.

    We are working on the potty too. Last night, Fly wanted to sit on the potty (!), didn't do anything, declared himself done, stood up and peed on the floor. Well, it's a start, right?

    Isabella is cute as ever!  

  8. # Blogger Marie

    Oh boy -- I remember bed-time hell. And going to the toddler bed will make things even more interesting... Sometimes I miss containment parenting.

    The jumping thing is funny. I am noticing that things happen in their own good time. No doubt she'll be jumping rope & playing hopscotch before you know it!

    The biting. Yikes. Duct tape is not a bad idea!

    Isabella is beautiful, no matter what color she's wearing! Love the gnocchi! Will she make K some ravioli when we come over?  

  9. # Blogger Jesser

    Of course you know it, but she is a real cutie! Since she's 6 mos older than Tabby it's really fun to see what she's up to and take a peek into T's future (sort of). I wonder how she'll like her new sibling. ;) She sounds like she's doing awesome ... and I'm sure she's college bound with or without the jumping checkmark.

    And BTW, I am not a crier and those books BOTH GET ME SO BAD. Also, she looks great in brown.  

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