Catie is in this phase that… well, I don’t really know what phase it is. It’s not quite the Terrible Twos anymore. It’s more the Obnoxious Almost-Threes. So much of her is fun and delightful and wonderful (I mean, did you see this video?), and she makes us laugh like nothing else. But then there’s this other side, that drives me absolutely up the damn wall.
She’s starting to show this attitude, and I don’t really know where it came from, but I would very much like for the rudeness to stop, thank you very much. She’s good about saying “please” and “thank you” (although we sometimes have to prompt her for it), but then there’s this other stuff that just blows my mind.
For example, the other night she didn’t want to sit and eat at the table at dinnertime. She threw herself on the floor and had a screaming fit instead. Which is similar to the Terrible Twos, except that her complaints are much more articulate now (“No! No dinner! I watch Yoke-yoke [Pinocchio]!”). When I informed her that she could either sit and eat her dinner or she could go to time-out, she opted for time-out. I waited the requisite two minutes, then went and asked her if she was ready to come eat dinner. She still refused, so I said, “Ok, you can come sit with us whenever you’re ready.” And I left. She sat in her time-out spot and pouted.
A few minutes later, Dave called from the table, “Catie, would you like to come eat dinner now?” Her response: “No, I too busy right now.” Seriously. Apparently her pouting schedule was so jam-packed that she couldn’t possibly make time to squeeze a meal in there. Ok then.
And yes, her mile-wide stubborn streak does in fact come directly from me. My mother makes a point of reminding me of that at every possible opportunity.
Then there is the small issue of her energy level.
Y’all, kids this age are exhausting. She goes non-stop every minute that she’s awake. She is a force of nature. She sucks all the air out of the room. She is impossible to ignore. She’s the reason I’m both excited and terrified to have another baby, because God help me if I have another one exactly like her. I don’t know if I can survive another two year-old that requires this much of my constant attention.
And the sleep? Ok, when I joke about how whenever we have a second baby, God owes me a good sleeper? That is so not a joke. I hear all these stories from my friends, whose kids who go to bed at 8 p.m., and I kind of want to laugh and cry at the same time. If Catie is in bed before 10:30 p.m., we do a happy dance. Usually it’s after 11. Then she wakes up sometime around 7 a.m. This means that if I fall asleep at the exact moment that she goes to bed, I might get 8 hours of sleep. But somehow it never works that way. Because I always have to wash dishes and brush my teeth and all that other stuff before I can go to bed myself.
And honestly, I’m at a loss as far as what to do. Do I start cutting her nap shorter? Right now it’s the only two hours of peace-and-quiet “me time” that I get each day, so I’m hesitant to do that. If I let her skip her nap altogether, she’s asleep by 6 p.m., and then she wakes up at least 4-5 times during the night because her sleep schedule is all confused, so that’s definitely not worth it.
Do I try to cut all sugar out of her diet to see if maybe that’s what’s making her so hyper? And is it even possible to cut sugar out of a toddler’s diet? Seriously, I will take whatever advice any of you might have on this one. Because, seriously, I AM TIRED.
But of course, there’s also this.
And you know, she’s pretty freaking awesome. And I wouldn’t trade her for the world. Really.
But I’d be lying if I said I don’t look forward to the day she whines about wanting to sleep until noon on the weekends.