Two, or twenty-five months anyway, is proving a little tough.
We are doing lots of limit testing.
First thing when I walk in the door with my bike, Calliope and Eleanor come running to meet me. Eleanor chirps excitedly, "Hi Abby!" while Calliope takes one look at me and starts emitting high pitched screeches. Which she knows I hate.
I try to ignore this and distract them by peppering them with questions.
A few days ago they were playing with the toy kitchen. I showed them how to rotate the plate inside the toy microwave to make it rotate. They were doing rather well taking turns, without instruction from me, when Calliope started tugging on Eleanor's dress and making moves to push her.
I cautioned her, "Calliope, we don't push. Please let go of Eleanor's dress."
She looked at me with callous disregard, and continued tugging on Eleanor.
"C'mon Calliope. Let's take a break." I took her hand and she willingly followed me to the living room to the Take A Break Chair. I put her in the chair, and sat down right in front of the chair with my back to her. She slid out of the chair once, but otherwise didn't fight me.
After a minute, I said, "okay, are you ready to play now?"
She shook her head and pressed her face into the chair cushions. And there she stayed for the next five minutes, ignoring my invitations to come play with Eleanor and me. Finally Eleanor and I went to Calliope's room and the sound of stories being read to eventually lulled her out of the chair to join us.
She even asks for time outs! My weird child.
Today, getting her ready for a nap, I asked if she wanted to wear socks. She refused to answer. After asking several times, I said, "I'm going to count to three, and then Mommy is going to decide for you."
I counted to three, she ignored me, and then I started to put on one of two pairs of socks lying out. They were mostly on when she started crying, "no! red ones!".
Okay, fine. You wouldn't even answer me before, but I don't feel like having a battle, so I will take off the white socks and put on the red ones. Anything to avoid (another) meltdown.
You guessed it. Cue meltdown. "No! White ones!"
I put my sobbing child, complete with red socks, into her crib.
She does things like climb onto the end tables, then give me a devilish look. As if to make sure Mommy is paying attention to the fact that she is breaking the rules.
Sometimes she stands on her chair in the kitchen and asks brightly, "Sit down please?"
To which I wearily reply, "Yes, Calliope. Sit down please."
I love my child, but my god, these daily exchanges are wearing me out. I know I've been endlessly lucky with her, so I suppose I have no right to complain.
But I'm really hoping my nicely compliant child will return someday. Surely it's not like this forever?