But this month has also been marked by some very undesirable behavior. Before I go any further, let me say I know she's two. I know a lot of what I'm about to write is expected behavior for the age group. And I know she's still adjusting to the twins. But oh my holy hell. Knowing that certainly doesn't make dealing with it any easier.
She seems unable to deal with any kind of direction or authority. Many, many nights, our requests for her to pick up her toys are met with, "I can't!", which she then follows up by lying face down on the floor. If we ask her to stop doing something, she'll say, "I have to!".
She has become obstinate and even more stubborn than she was before. Many mornings, she flat-out refuses to get dressed. And then she issues specific orders about where she wants to get dressed (the floor, her bed, downstairs, etc.) The shirt she loved to wear one week is suddenly completely unacceptable to wear the next. Isabella, whom I've always thought had fairly decent manners for a toddler, has declared war on the words, "please" and "thank you." I have to remind her to say them now more often than not. So, we're hearing lots of "Gimme more bananas. Get them NOW!" And if there's anything I loathe more than a bratty, demanding toddler, I'm not sure what that might be. The problem is, I think I've suddenly become the mother to one.
Isabella has also reverted back to her obsession with being held. She will often refuse to walk down the stairs without one of us carrying her, when she's known how to navigate them on her own for many months. She will stop dead in her tracks when we're out and refuse to walk, yelling, "Hold me!". She's over 30 pounds now. Holding her is not so easy as it once was, and even if I wanted to hold her constantly, she's way too old for it.
She's also ridiculously bossy. She tells me, the hubs, and my relatives, the people with whom she's the closest, what they can and can't do, and if we don't listen, it's tantrum city.
And then we made the horrible mistake of trying to potty train her for the second time last week while the hubs was off from work. Let's just say it was met with a bit of acceptance and success, followed the next day by a rigid wall of resistance in the form of withholding, and then vomiting. Instead of using the potty, she "kept it all in" (so-to-speak) and ended up throwing up two separate times because of it. We quit after four days.
This potty-training business is not for the weak. I am frustrated because the kid is so damn smart. She uses the words "actually" and "appropriate" correctly in sentences for godssake. I thought potty-training would be a breeze. But she will not use either her potty or the toilet with the insert. I know, I know. All kids are different. She'll do it when she's ready. But at this point, I have serious doubts she'll be potty-trained by September, when she's going to preschool. Hell, she may not even be trained for kindergarten. Sasha wrote a great article in Parenting magazine about parents who outsource certain tasks to professionals, and I now fully understand why potty-training is one of them. Seriously, sign me up.