Sunday, November 4, 2007


Rebecca and I went grocery shopping today. We needed Cheerios for 2/3 household members. Given the rate at which Cheerios are consumed, I bought the big box. Apparently, this box must be clutched by Rebecca for the entire grocery trip. At the same time, she must hold a half-eaten apple, Bala, and a sippy cup full of water. I think my mistake was opening the box to allow her to feed herself some cheerios. Fear not Greg (if you're reading this) - this was not like the time with the raisins (many of which continue to surprise me in the car). The real difficulty was that Becca decided that the box was HERS. I had the cashier scan it QUICKLY but Rebecca still cried blue murder and was traumatized for a good thirty seconds after I gave her the box back. Being Sunday, the parking lot was packed and every single Expectant Mother parking spot was taken (although I saw nary a prego in the aisles of the Superstore). Try to imagine getting a 30lb toddler out of a grocery cart and holding her over your shoulder, while crushing a mega box of Cheerios between you, a smelly damp blanket, and keeping one hand free to hold car keys and open a door. Now imagine the reaction of said toddler when you have to momentarily separate her from the box of Cheerios in order to get her into her car seat. Ultimately, I failed to get Rebecca in her seat. But... I positioned the Cheerios in the car in such a way that she climbed into the seat herself. All was well until we got home, where she dumped a fair number of Cheerios on her bedroom floor and gleefully played with them/ate them while I brought in the groceries. It only takes a second! I used this as an opportunity to teach Rebecca about sweeping with a broom (because I know she already loves brooms and Swiffers). Unfortunately, once the task was complete, she refused to surrender the broom. Instead she ran through the kitchen twirling it over her head and knocking containers off the countertop.

Good news!!! Headbanging may be over...
Headbanging has almost stopped. It's been many days since I've witnessed an incident. Coincidentally, the big bruise on her forehead is also starting to heal. Let's hope this horrid stage is far behind us.
Also - Rebecca has gone for three days without 'vies, and has gone for two days without a revocation of crayon access. I don't let her colour unsupervised because as recently as Friday she attempted to colour the walls of the doctor's office, but, to be honest, 9 times out of 10, her wall colouring was initiated while she knew I was watching.

Bad news - the Terrible Twos are here!!!
What happens when a very independent, strong-willed, extremely energetic and actively defiant child approaches age two???
We are starting to find out.
She is trying to exert more control over her own life and push our limits!
I am hearing far more "No" that I used to. Sometimes it is just shouted out for apparently random reasons, in answer to simple questions, or despite clear needs/wants. There is a definite power struggle at every point in the day where we are imposing our will on her. That means meals, any manner of travel that involves a buckle, naps, and naturally - bedtime. Since reason is not an option at this point (although I take great pains to explain things), unending patience and brawn are my best tools. Yes, I also use bribery, but this is only under duress, since while to me it seems like bargaining and trade (with which I am quite comfortable as a means of relating to another person), I think Greg feels it is tantamount to a positive reinforcement of negative behaviour. Also, bribery loses its potency the more it is used. I don't want to create expectations. Rebecca doesn't know what is in her best interest. But somehow, when I fireman carry an obvious exhausted baby off to nap time, while she does her best to escape howling "NO NO NO!!!!", I still feel crappy. The more pregnant I get the more difficult it is to rely on my physical supremacy to say - wrestle Rebecca into car seat safety belts and the like. This scares me a little. I like to think I have brains to compensate for my less and less reliable brawn, but do I really want to be in a situation where I have to rely on being clever? My god - I can barely keep track of my car keys!
I am also beginning to realize that Rebecca is more trouble than the average bear. Not that I care - it's just interesting.
I think what made it the most obvious is that I have been observing the personality and behavioural differences between two of my nephews (they are brothers). I see parallels between Rebecca's energy level/craziness level and the youngest of the two boys. Maybe our next baby will be calm and straightforward? If not, I suppose we've already been broken in by Becca.

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