First there are the tantrums. Oh lord, those tantrums. Mostly revolving around having to get dressed or wear a diaper. I am a terribly unreasonable mom who insists she wear pants and not pee on the floor. I'd like to say that I have learned to roll with the screaming fits, but instead it clearly stresses me out. Mostly because I am trying to get to work, or church or be somewhere when Reagan decides naked is far better than any clothes she owns. The only exceptions (and even these are not with any certainty) are made for mickey clothes and consist of mostly PJs. So if you see a kid at day care with boys PJs on and wild blonde hair, she belongs to me. People often mistake her for a boy because I can't find a single mickey shirt for a girl. But hey, dressed is dressed and I pick my battles. Most of the clothes we bought or were given to us haven't even had the tags removed because she is such a nightmare to try and get dressed.
Those cute boots Nana bought - torture
The new Minne Mouse jacket - disgusting
Dresses - "I no like it no more!!"
Jeans - suffocating
socks - for wussies
Pants - definitely not ever going to wear pants. Those are the worst.
And the list goes on and on.
I have had minimal success letting her pick out her clothes or letting her dress herself. Some days that works, mostly she screams until she pukes and I give up.
In an effort to keep my sense of humor about this I had a good laugh at this video. Part II is just as good. Convos with my 2 year old - pants part 2
But like any respectable 2 year old, we don't limit tantrums to one category. She can also lose it over unexpected things like having only one sippy cup of juice, or only being able to carry three blankets, and not having ice cream for breakfast. A few nights ago she totally lost it because I sat in the chair in our living room and not my assigned location on the couch. It was really tragic. Just last night she sobbed because I had the audacity to try and read my own book on MY kindle. "Dats mine!" You know that website "Reasons my son is crying" well I could add a few good examples myself.
Reagan has also grown 2 inches since her August 24th birthday. This now means she fits nicely into all those 2T size pants she refuses to wear. She can reach counter tops and all sorts of stuff that was previously safely out of reach. It also means she is just tall enough to be able to slide her leg over the crib and tumble out at her leisure. I now refer to 2:30 am as the sob and shuffle hour when she makes her great escape and finds her way to my bed. While I think snuggling with her is adorable, I am far too much of a light sleeper to really enjoy co-sleeping. Its more like Reagan takes over the bed and I barely snooze for the rest of the night. She flops around, talks and cries out in her sleep, and often wakes up to check if I am still there. And the kid snores... just like her Dad. Its much worse when Chet is home because she refuses to sleep in the crib AT ALL and I end up with everyone piled into my bed. Even with a king sized bed (and I would get something bigger if that was an option) I am cramped and never sleep well. After a week of this I am exhausted. So we ordered a mickey bed (flat out bribery in an effort to get some sleep) and plan to try and transition her to that and hopefully she will WANT to stay put. Heck, we even paid a little extra for the tent topper (also her Christmas present) but I have very little faith the first few nights of a "big girl" bed will go well, thank goodness I can try to nap this weekend. Wish me luck, the bed arrives on Friday.
But what far out weights the sleeping and screaming issues is the start of potty training. Reagan is growing more and more aware of the potty issue and often asks to sit on the potty. We aren't pushing the issue but indulge her when she asks to sit, something also being encouraged at daycare. We even got a mickey potty which she used with great enthusiasm for a couple weeks, even once peeing on it! But the excitement wore off and now she will only use the big potty. This hasn't been all bad... until Sunday. Sunday she had a BM and decided to remove her diaper and use her poop to cover the bathroom. I am talking floor, bath mats, cabinet doors and just for fun she brought a bunch of her play kitchen toys to the party as well. When I discovered the mess I about lost it. There is nothing worse to truly ruin your mood (and day) than having to scrub the floor covered in pooh. IT. WAS. BAD. I may never really recover...
Me: Reagan are you in big trouble?
Reagan: Yea, I a trouble maker.
I wouldn't really call Reagan a difficult child, no more so than any other kid at this age. She has her difficult moments, certainly a lot of them lately, but that's how it goes. Maybe its my 32nd birthday that is coming next week, or the shift from Reagan the baby to Reagan the little kid but it seems I have a lot less control over my house lately. It feels like a lot of time I am struggling and less and less time enjoying the moment. I feel I have a lot less "good days" and more like "good moments". Quality time with her is hard, when every day is scattered with meltdowns and times outs and struggling to find a balance of giving her what she wants and establishing myself as the parent.
For me this has been particularity hard because I have lost a lot of "me time" in this process. I really enjoyed the couple of hours I had to myself after I put her to bed, to read, watch TV, relax or whatever by myself. As in ALONE. As in quiet time where I didn't have to watch for poop incidents. With her sleeping with me more and more, or taking hours to get her to go down I have lost my free time to just recoup from the day. I also used to get up each morning and have some alone time as I got ready for the day but when Reagan is in my bed, she gets up with me and even showers with me. Have you tried washing your hair and holding a toddler? At its best we have fun splashing and sorta get clean, at its worst I go to work with half conditioned hair.
When I turned 30, I was totally fine with it. I had just had Reagan a few months before and life was hard but fulfilling. I was a new mom, adjusting back to work but had so much to look forward too. Now facing 32, I am struggling. Struggling to feel accomplished, struggling to feel I am balanced, struggling to give enough love and discipline. Sometimes I think about the things that are hard for me now and I think - its small stuff, temporary stuff. And while that is true, its also stuff that devours all my free time and has emotional consequences. One day the poop story will be funny, but today it's still a cringe worth memory. Her school picture where she is perfectly holding two snow balls is karma for all the rough stuff lately.
It's not all bad. Sometimes its really funny. I smile every time Reagan calls Lobsters "monsters" and thinks elevators are "alligators". Sometimes when she puckers up and asks for kisses I melt. I adore walking in the door and she comes running for a hug. We have tea parties in the tub and adventures on campus during game days. Those same nights when I lose sleep because she is flopping around being a bed hog she sometimes puts her forehead on my cheek and whispers in the dark "My mama". I just hope the stuff that leaves impressions on us both from this period of terrible twos is that we are getting through it together, that it's me and her not me vs her. I hope its the good stuff we remember, not the bad days. I hope the good days start to grow in number.