I have a two year old in my house. And, up until about three weeks ago, I felt pretty confident in my parenting skills. No, I didn't have all the answers and I didn't feel like I was doing everything exactly right, but I felt like the steps I was taking was going to lead down a path that ends with a well-behaved child.
That's all gone. Any confidience I once had in myself and my parenting abilities have flown right out the window.
This past week has been, BY FAR, the most challenging I have ever had since Avery has been born. In the past week, it's been non-stop moodiness, whining, crying, indecisiveness and pooping in her pants. The last one frustrates me the most. Avery was potty trained before she was two. Something I'm pretty proud of. And it didn't take too much effort on my part. Avery basically decided, by waking up dry for a solid week, that she was ready to be potty trained. And we haven't looked back. Yes, we had a few accidents in the beginning, but it's been a very long time since she's had one. So this recent string of running to me (two out of the three days, she had just been on the potty not 10 minutes prior to the "incidents"), telling me that she'd pooped her pants is completely mind boggling to me.
Now, I'm not stupid. I know she's two. And accidents are to be expected because she's been potty trained for far less than a year. But three days in a row of the same behavior that we haven't had a problem with before? I don't get it.
Then there's the moodiness. I thought we weren't going to have to deal with that until she was well into the pre-teen years. But, lo and behold, I have a two year old that just cannot be satisfied. We eat dinner, she cries because we gave her a blue bowl instead of the dirty Minnie Mouse one that's sitting in the sink, waiting to be washed. I get her ready for school and let her pick out 90% of her outfit, she cries because she doesn't like the pants I'm putting on her. Most evenings are more of the same--wants me to hold her, then cries because she's not sitting in her Princess chair. Wants me to give her Dora fruit chews, then cries when I hand her an open bag of them. I. Don't. Get it.
Again, I know she's two. I know she's going to be testing her limits and seeing what she can get away with and displaying her newfound toddler attitude. But this whining and displeasure with every single thing? Baffles me. And makes me feel like a total failure.
Is it something I'm doing wrong? Do I discipline her too much? Should I be taking away things instead of putting her in time out? Am I disciplining wrong and that's what is causing the outbursts and all out refusal to listen to anything I tell her? I've always been pretty confidient in my role as a mom. I knew when I was being hard on Avery, but felt confidient that I was doing it for the right reasons and to make her into a well-behaved child. Now, I feel like the insecure child, afraid to make any move concerning my child out of fear that it will be the wrong thing.
I know there's no "right" answer. I know there's no handbook on how kids are supposed to act at this age and how I'm supposed to handle it when they do. Every child is different. While one child responds to time outs, the other does better with the silent treatment. I know there's no magic remedy to get me through the toddler years without the terrible twos and threes. I just wish I could feel confident that I'm doing the right things and I'm going to be rewarded with a fairly well behaved and respectable child down the road. Anyone have a crystal ball I can borrow??