I sometimes fret about whether or not ya'll will think I brag too much about Nat.
Aunt Nancy, whose people skills are considerably more advanced than mine suggests that if I'm worried about it, perhaps it would help to tell you about her naughtiness.
Well, I don't mean to brag, but she just isn't all that naughty.
However, she is two. Sort of all of a sudden.
It is clear that she is hitting the "I love you--I hate you" stage of toddlerdom, as regards her primary parent (oh goodie, that's me!). Half the time she's clinging and demanding I "sit dog! read book!" (translation, "sit with me on the big, stuffed dog chair and read a book"). Forty percent of the time, she's puttering around happily on her own doing a variety of important work, from laughing because she put a stuffed pig on top of the toy piano (you have to be two to get it, I guess) to counting the coils on the radiator in her room, after asking me "how many hot?" (I was so confused. I thought she meant how hot and I kept correcting her and saying "very hot." Finally, she counted the coils and announced "10 hot!")
Then there's that 10% of the time when she is practicing having a will that is in utter contrast to mine. I will say, "be gentle with the toys, we don't throw toys," (after she gets a little too rambunctious) and five minutes later, with a gleam in her eye, she'll catch mine, raise a toy over her head, make sure I'm watching and drop it, with a look that clearly says "now what are you going to do?"
Aunt Nancy asks, "well, so what do you do?"
Mostly I ignore her. I definitely retrieve the toy, repeat, "we must play carefully with toys, we don't want them to break" and put the toy out of reach. If a tantrum ensues (it does about half the time), I pretty much ignore it while moving onto an activity I know she'll want to join me in. Tantrum over, Mama Shannon and Nat reunited. To such an extent that she will usually throw herself all over me, smacking kisses, hugging (with "awwww" sound effects) and declaring "I love you!"
You would think she was a big manipulator with all that love, but I really don't think so. She pours it on after the drama, not in the midst of the drama in an attempt to change the situation in her favor.
So that's the best I can do.
I guess I am still bragging. But honestly, right now, she's a pretty enjoyable person to hang out with.
I really worry about impending baby sib, though. I think she's going to be livid that a new baby is constantly in my arms making them unavailable to her. She gets jealous when her friends sit in my lap to read books, or even if I'm on the phone or busy cooking with my back turned from her too long. I think a lot of her pleasantness is based on the fact that things go the way she wants them to, most of the time. They go that way because most of the time, her way and mine aren't in conflict. But with a new baby, I'm going to have to do things that aren't her choice. I think ultimately, this will be really good for her growth as a person--to learn to share and wait for turns and such, within reason. But initially, I think it's going to be a nightmare.
Ah, we will see what we will see!