Isabella at Two-and-a-Half

Isabella turned two-and-a-half on Sunday.

There's so much to say about this past month. Lots of it is good. She's begun to enjoy helping me around the house with everyday tasks. She loves to set the table, help empty the dishwasher, and entertain the twins. She's become a bit more adventurous in trying new foods (see her "Current Likes" below), and she's been going to bed a lot better and sleeping better (most days) since the arrival of her "big girl bed."
And, after months of resistance and refusal to allow me to put her hair in pigtails, she finally relented this month, and I'm able to get them in on a regular basis now. This has reduced my desire to get her hair cut now, since you can't see what a split-endy mess the back is when it's pulled into rubberbands.


She's really into pretend play now, and her little mind concocts some pretty intricate story lines ("Let's take my doll to the waterpark, slide down the slide, then stop for ice cream and go home." or "Tell me a story about Mr. Bleakman (from Clifford) being really, really mad at Clifford for digging a hole in his garden.").
We've also stopped bathing her in the baby tub (yes, I realize we're probably about a year late on that one), and now she loves the freedom of taking her bath in the big tub.

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.

Current Likes: Horseradish hummus (shudder), Martha Speaks, Daddy

Current Dislikes: Mommy, opposition to her dictatorship

8 Responses to “Isabella at Two-and-a-Half”

  1. # Blogger kenju

    I'm sure you already know that witholding poop is a form of control. I suspect the twins are having something to do with her avoidance of it and she knows it makes you mad/sad/upset in some way.  

  2. # Anonymous Lis Garrett

    Bridget pulled one of her poop-holding stunts yesterday and *finally* gave it up at 11:54 PM just in time for the both of us to collapse in bed from exhaustion.

    All the "bratty" things that Isabella says . . . . my older kids still sound like that on occasion at 7 and 9. Sometimes I wonder if there is hope.  

  3. # Blogger Damselfly

    I love Isabella in pigtails! She's really cute in the hat too.

    We're experiencing some of the same behaviors. Must be normal two-and-a-half-year-old stuff!  

  4. # Blogger MIP

    I do have to say that were I never to have a girl I would regret the inability to do pigtails. Isabella looks adorable, and two and a half! That went fast!  

  5. # Blogger Tracey

    Ah, 2.... Grand times...  

  6. # Blogger Pregnantly Plump

    Oh. Tough times. Little Elvis had a meltdown the other day while I was out doing stuff for and with him. Ummm.. the play area at the mall is NOT my idea of a fun time. One of my friends told me that being two is tough on everyone. I think it's definitely true.
    I love that she's able to articulate herself so well. That's wonderful.  

  7. # Anonymous Ness @ Drovers Run

    I'd like to change that statement from "They are potty trained when they're ready" to "they're potty trained when they DECIDE THEY WANT TO". Skippy is only done now, in the last month, because he decided to. Seriously. He's 3.5 He went through two weeks of seriously annoying defiance (think kiddy poop on the sitting room tiled floor)and then he just gave up and went on the toilet (no potty for this boy). Now he goes, and even WIPES himself. Still in nappies for sleeping at night though. Good luck.  

  8. # Blogger Shannon

    omg... she puked... ugh I think I would of killed her if Lore did that lol... Lore is now so into her new pull ups that she changed them 4 times today... while the old ones were still dry lol.. but she still won't go on the potty... brat!  

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