People have been asking how Gracie is doing with Katie. Gracie is doing very well with Katie. It's everything else in the world that's giving her fits.
No. I exaggerate. But SERIOUSLY OH MY GOD, the girl is feeling every second of her two years old.
Defiant is the word that comes to mind most often. Not always- often, in fact, when we ask her to do something (or not do something), she just ignores us. Clearly, we are addressing another child named Gracie who is banging on the wall with plastic bowling pins, or not picking up her toys, or digging thru the kitchen drawers. But when she REALLY doesn't want to do something?! "NOOO! NO NO NO NO NO NO," she will shriek (SHRIEK) with a pitch and timbre that can shatter your eardrums. And the TONE in her voice? There's so much more than no in there. It's "I don't want to and you can't make me because you're stupid and dumb and I don't EVER have to listen to you so just go to hell already OKAY?!?!?" And in those moments, she challenges me more than she ever did as a newborn. Which is saying something.
Aaaand then there's the kicking and the hitting. Kicking is mostly reserved for diaper changes and getting dressed. She doesn't want to, and if she has to bloody my nose to stop it, so be it. It's a loss of control, really. The hitting, though? Ohhh, my, does my blood boil. She stares me dead in the eye and slowly, deliberately, reaches out and smacks me. Or pinches me. Or grabs my fingers and pulls in opposite directions.
If I show anger, either to these actions, or really any form of misbehavior, she finds it utterly hilarious. Time-outs are merely a brief interlude in her day. "Sah mommy," she'll say afterwards, hug me, and skip off on her way, only to repeat the same misbehavior the next time the mood strikes. Taking away things she wants occasionally works temporarily, but she soon forgets it ever happens. I know I have to find her currency, but I have a feeling that won't happen until her memory is a bit longer (and I seriously can't believe there are kids who actually respond to time-outs. for real.)
But she's also so, so, so good. She's getting such a sense of humor, with actual give and take. She gets SO excited about going to play outside in her sandbox. She'll get so excited about something, and say to me, "Mama! Wookit dat!" She spreads her hands out over something and says "taaa!" (because she hasn't quite figured out Ta-Da!). She'll walk into a room with her hands behind her back and say, "ah-prise!" and when we ask her what, she'll whip out some random object and say, "Deese!" She will occasionally do this in front of the mirror, to watch herself say it. (she'll also run past the front hall mirror and check herself out as she goes by.) She pats her sister on the head and says, "nice baby..."
She is funny and sweet and clever and amazing. And when she's bad? Well. I'm really hoping to find her currency soon.