Isabella at 29 months

Isabella turns 29 months today. Incredibly, she will turn 2.5 years old next month.

This past month has been a challenge. Like her mother, Isabella is headstrong, opinionated, and very, very strong-willed. When combined with the antics and emotional upheavals that are part of being two, these qualities are exaggerated and have led to many tantrums and many more episodes of undesirable behavior.

Isabella is a pretty smart little girl. When she sees me stuck in our living room chair feeding both babies and therefore unable to move, she often takes these opportunities to engage in behavior she knows is not allowed. She climbs the stairs. She throws her toys and books around. She starts pressing buttons on the DVD player. She starts yelling or singing at the top of her lungs. I'm left to beg and plead her to stop with absolutely no way to redirect her behavior other than my voice, and she's highly adept at tuning me out.

I know why she's doing this. She wants my attention and knows I'm unable to give it to her. This makes me feel simultaneously guilty and frustrated with her antics. I've taken to turning on the tv* while I'm nursing the babies just to keep Isabella safe, on the couch, and occupied. Of course, doing so creates another wave of guilty feelings over not being able to play with her.

Her recent bad behavior isn't always relegated to the twins' feeding schedule. She's throwing her fork at dinnertime. She's refusing to pick up her toys. She's deliberately yelling and making noise when we ask her to use a quieter voice. The tiniest perceived injustice sends her over the edge and into tantrumland. If she doesn't get what she wants, she whines and cries. She's like a walking and talking grenade. If you don't handle her carefully, she's likely to explode at any time.

Admittedly, my patience with her has been shorter than it normally is. I'm trying to find small pockets of the day to spend uninterrupted, one-on-one time with her, but the twins' never-ending needs make this really difficult. This is one of my worst fears coming true: there's just not enough of me to spread amongst three kids.

On the lighter side of things, Isabella has taken an interest in dressing herself over the past month. Of course, this process takes at least four times as long as when I dress her myself, but she insists on putting on her socks and shoes each day, and taking them off at night.

I am seriously considering taking Isabella for her first haircut. The front isn't too bad, but the back is a mangy mess. I think she'd look cute in a haircut similar to Matilda Ledger's.

She's become very nurturing with the baby doll I bought her for Christmas. She's swaddling her, taking her for rides in her stroller (sometimes to "restaurants" in addition to "Dunkin Donuts") burping her, and feeding her a bottle. I'm waiting for her to nurse the doll. It's only a matter of time.

We've made slight progress on the potty-training front. She will now sit on the toilet. We take her to sit on it several times a day. Of course, sitting is all she's doing on it, but at least she's willing to sit there. Last month, the potty and the toilet were her mortal enemies.

Current Likes: Being naked, talking about being naked, asking others if they enjoy being naked

Current Dislikes: Authority, having her hair brushed, sharing

*Thanks SO much for all the tv show recommendations. We've tried a few of them, and so far, Isabella loves Wonder Pets and she also likes Curious George. She's also a fan of Martha Speaks. I like Word World, but so far, she doesn't. How is it possible that we share a bloodline?

7 Responses to “Isabella at 29 months”

  1. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    I think Isabella's behavior is typical for any child her age, regardless if she has siblings or not. I really hope you don't feel like her acting out is your fault. If my kids' erratic behavior were indicative of the kind of parent I am or the amount of one-on-one interaction I'm able to give, I'd be the world's worst parent. And I know I'm not. Also, don't feel guilty about letting Isabella watch TV. There are times when it's okay to just turn it on. Everyone needs a little "down time," and that includes kids. If it weren't for the Wonder Pets and Miss Spider, I wouldn't be able to work!  

  2. # Blogger In Due Time

    The only thing I don't like about Matilda's hair cut is that you can't put it in bows. You'll have to keep the bangs cut. It's a PITA as a child to grow them out, so just keep that in mind. :-)

    TV allowed me to get things done with just one kiddo (my niece). We watched Wonder Pets, Dora, and Mr. whiny boy too. Our visual crack that would probably get me stoned is Sponge Bob, but oh how we love it. Heh.  

  3. # Blogger My Wombinations

    Our kids are so similar. I am told that it will make them strong women:) This makes me feel better on my crazed days.

    Don't feel guilty about the TV. I know how you feel, but the TV has been a lifesaver the past week at our house. Between Word World and Curious George, I am so glad my girl is finally (days from) 2 so we can engage in tons-of-couch-time. I have no idea how I ever lived without it.  

  4. # Blogger Mom24

    Keep in mind everything's she's doing she'd be doing even if you didn't have the's just more frustrating to you because you can't respond like you want to. She'll get there.

    In a couple of months, when you really think she's ready, combine her love of being naked with potty training. I swear leaving them bottomless or in just undies, helps them when they have to go. When they're really ready, they usually won't just go on the floor. Of course, if it turns into a power struggle you're sunk, so don't do it until you really think she's ready.

    Her hair looks awfully adorable, at least from the front.

    Things will get easier, I promise. :)  

  5. # Blogger Damselfly

    It's amazing to think two and a half is just around the corner!

    I'm so impressed Isabella is dressing herself! I know I always use the word "impressed" every time you do a monthly update on her, but I can't help myself. She's an amazing girl.

    And I totally get what you mean about a small child being like a grenade. !  

  6. # Blogger kenju

    I recall when my daughter's twins were born; her older boy, who was about 3 also used the nursing time as his personal "do whatever Mommy says not to" time. They will get your attention somehow - even if they have to misbehave to get it. Eventually she will settle down, Kristi. I promise.  

  7. # Blogger Marie

    I'm impressed that you're finding the time to document all of this Kristi! Go Isabella on the dressing -- that is big! Takes longer, yeah, but it's another step toward independence. Yeah! Very cute cut...  

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