18 months is turning out to be a rough stage for my little one. She’s constantly pushing limits and asking for attention. She grabs me by the hand to lead me around the house, which is entirely cute on its own, but also means that I can’t get much done, unless I make it a race to see what I can accomplish in the 5 minutes she’s distracted by a toy or the television.
“No” has become her favorite word and there’s no negotiating. She will all out scream and collapse if she doesn’t get her way. Take too long picking out something for her? She’ll scream and stomp. Take something away? Better protect the nearest arm, leg, or piece of furniture, because she’ll bite it!
Wasn’t this supposed to happen when she turned two? I mean, isn’t that why it’s called The Terrible Twos? I’m starting to feel like I’ve been lied to.
But I understand why she does it. She’s frustrated. She understands 10x more than what she can express verbally, and she’s testing her limits to learn how she fits into this world. It’s a stage and combating it means being patient and not losing my temper when her anger is the byproduct of having tools, but not a full understanding of how to use them. As a parent, you really need to focus on maintaining a sense of humor.
Tonight, she excitedly said, “Yes!” This was progress, I thought. She was agreeing to something! Using a positive word!…She was saying it while pointing at an electrical socket. Don’t worry, it has a cover, so she can’t stick anything into it. So…progress, right?
Then, Mr. Awesome made popcorn and, boy, has she learned the magic that is popcorn! She smelled it and started begging for a piece. It was right before bed, so we weren’t going to let her have much. “You can have one if you say ‘please’.” Whaddya know? She said, “Please!” Actually, it was “Pwease!” But close enough! Progress! She’s forming manners!
I count this as a night of successes. As a parent, you win some, you lose some. Development is a bunch of puzzle pieces that eventually fit together and rarely get assembled in exact perfect order. It’s these little successes that remind you your child is still processing things, even when they seem to be in their own little worlds of raging emotions. I’ve seriously never seen anything more amazing than a human being grow from a tiny baby into a little person with its own personality. Absolutely AMAZING.