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February 1, 2016 - Stacey Sacco
In the past few weeks, my wonderfully pleasant baby has turned the corner into full blown toddlerhood. Good bye easy-going babyhood and hello typical two-year-old behavior. She will hit that landmark in a few months and is getting used to the idea of doing things other than blind obedience.

The girl who was well-known for her enthusiastic “yeah, yeah” responses to any and all questions has started asserting her individuality through screaming “NO!!!” This calm little package of adorableness would sit and wait for me or observe the chaos of our house with a wary eye. Now, she is in the middle of it all. She climbs tables because she can. She knocks over glasses of water that her siblings leave out just to see the liquid run everywhere. She throws food and spoons and toys. She pulls out every last DVD and uses the cases as ice skates. She dumps large baskets of toys and sneaks into her older brother’s room specifically to destroy Lego creations.

Right after kissing and hugging everyone in the house, she turns off the charm and turns on the terror. She screams when she wants attention that someone else is getting. She steals toys from her sister and stashes them in the couch. She sneaks snack food as soon as my back is turned. If I have a cup of coffee, she will put her hand in it. If I try to type an e-mail, she will sit on the computer. If I allow her to sit on my lap while we eat, she will stab me with a fork. If I put her wild hair in a ponytail, she will tear it out and then scream that she wants it back in.

She demands “NUR!! NUR!!!” any time I try to do anything at all. Then the entire time she is nursing, she kicks me in the face, slams her baby doll off my chest, and pulls my hair. She’s even attempted to walk away while still attached to me.

It’s also been four years since I had a toddler who wasn’t as verbal as a much older child. Anelise was talking in novel form by her second birthday. Iris, up to this point, has been content with her simple words because there were other kids who were willing to jump up to meet all of her needs. Now it’s a constant “EH EH EH!!!!” Pointing and yelling and crying. There’s nothing developmentally to stop her from talking, just the fact that she’s not really felt the need until recently. I NEED her to talk more.

Sleep is always a battle. I know she needs sleep, she would prefer not to. For my own sanity, I need her to nap every day. Sometimes she does. Sometimes she doesn’t. Never can she make it all the way to dinner in a pleasant mood without a nap. The “witching hour” is upon us again, with meltdowns just as our school day is wrapping up and I need to start thinking about dinner.

Her descent into the madness of toddlerhood has been steep and quick. A few short weeks ago, she was cuddly and calm. I never worried about taking her anywhere. She no longer wants to be worn in a carrier on my back, but thrashes to run feral with her siblings. They take off for the four points of the compass as soon as we enter a public space, knowing feel well that it’s four against one. She revels in the insanity and disorganized thoughts of a toddler.

Oh, how I will miss that sweet baby.


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