For a month or two now we have a two-year-old at home. As if with the birthday turned into new challenges. The previous year we were mostly occupied with walking, eating, doing-things-alone, teething, going up and down the stairs, saying the first words. This time there are some even more interesting (and worrying) challenges.
- Doing everything "by herself". There is no compromise: everything should be done "by myself", "alone". Arrête mama ! Toute seule ! Taking clothes of, throwing stuff in the garbage/recycling/compost, mixing the food, adding the spices to the sauce, adding detergent to the washing machine, walking in the street, climbing and going down the stairs, sitting on a chair, getting in the bath, brushing teeth... There is even more than that: getting up on her chair and leaning on tha back; climbing on the table; bringing around a small chair and climbing here and there on it, in order to play with the light, to check what is in the sink, etc.
There is nothing bad in all this, but the problem is that she is not yet capable to do many of the things she wants to do (ex. putting on clothes), but she so much insists to not get help. This makes her really frustrated, having in mind how much she wants, and that she really cannot, and does not let you intervene.
- Sleeping in her own bed
- Talking, talking, talking. Explaining me what is what. Asking thousands of questions, thousand times. C'est quoi ça? Elle est où mama ? Comment faire ? Non stop. And you repeat the answer a thousand times, as if with no effect.
- Imitating mimics, words, pronunciation. If you tell her not to do something, she will next time tell you should not do it. She gives you instructions in the way you do to her. If you say no, by whispering, she will also repeat by whispering, with the same shake of the head.
- Doing things in real time. No matter how much in a hurry you are, she will take her time to do things by herself. If you tell her you are in a hurry, then it gets worse. She just does not cooperate on this, but on the contrary. Feels as if she understands your secret thoughts of leaving her at the day care faster and sooner - something she really does not appreciate. So, she takes her time. She stops at every window to look if there is a cat inside, she runs everywhere if you try putting clothes on her, or sites on the potty for ages.
- Getting more independent, and yet, more afraid she might loose her mother. What a big frustration! She tries doing everything on her own, but she sticks more and more to her mother's skirt. She follows me everywhere. "Mama, mama, mama!" It is getting tiring when she all the time ask me to be in my hands, do what I do, do the things she has to do together with me (inclunding taking a bath or even sleeping).
- Getting rid of the pacifier. (To come)
- Travelling and camping (To come)
- Need for constant change of activities. Active and passive activities altering, she needs to do all the time something interesting and inspiring. Going on a journey, cooking the food, sticking stars on the wall, making paper glasses, visiting friends. Everything needs to have an aim: let's go to the library! Let's go on the metro! Rather than some random and vague: let's go out. She needs aims, and needs to know what she is doing (where she is going, and so on). Of course, the most interesting ones are the "real ones". She likes to cook because of the result. The newest play is to put things in zip lock and to see how they don't fall out of the bag. To transfer stuff from boxes to bags and vice versa. New places, new toys, new activities, new senses. This is the rule of the two-years-old.
- Manipulating. She just knows how to get everything out of me. She knows exactly how long to shout in order to receive anything. She also knows who to ask to get what she needs. She knows to say the "magic words", which open doors, but also knows to scream all night long for a bottle of milk, if you decide not to give her. She pretends to be tired or sad, if she needs a hug. Pretends to be a baby if she wants you to carry her, to be excessively happy if you are laughing madly at something. She is now a professional manipulator. And when she throws herself on the floor, she cries with these big tears, that run down her cheeks, and shouts with the voice of a two-years old. She is not that young baby, whose voice was almost unable to hear by third parties. I have the impressions when she cries these days that all the neighbourhood knows about it.
I often try giving her the time she needs for doing what she has started, except in the morning, when we are all in a hurry and when it gets a disaster when it comes to getting to some meeting on time.