Touch of Spice

The never-ending twos


Katie's been 2 years old for about a year and a half and I'm hoping we've reached the pinnacle of this stage. I'm not holding my breath. Knowing Katie's personality, it's probably not downhill from here.

It would seem from her reactions, that I know a hundred ways of invisibly driving little needles into her.

Saying "no" is one of them. It causes her body to stiffen and the dirtiest look she knows to cross her face (she's got some zingers). It usually results in her banging her head on the floor. That's only after she's hissed "don't" at me.

Washing her hair brings a similar reaction. You'd think there was flesh-eating acid in the no-tears shampoo. To avoid that, she usually sneaks out of the bathtub early, wraps herself in the floor mat and goes in search of "jammies."

She's not getting that it doesn't work. She doesn't understand why spaghetti sauce in the hair can't just be a permanent part of her "look."

That's not gonna happen. I'm not going to lose what little time I have left to be in control of her look.

I've made a game of her latest act of defiance. When she yells "I quit!" I yell back, "your fired." She can't understand what that means, but the activity never fails to bring a smile. Of course, then I'm stuck saying "your fired" until she gets sick of the game.

I consider it progress that it becomes a game at all.

Our latest battle has been about Easter. Easter candy to be more precise. She thinks she should be able to eat it until she throws up. I have trouble letting her eat it at all.

So I hid it.

I hid it so well that six minutes later she was covered from nose to knee in chocolate and had four malted-milk balls in her mouth.

Hey, I learn. My next hiding place was the best yet.

The trash can.

Katie doesn't understand "only one." Once she gets one piece of candy or one cookie, she begs (screams, throws fits) for more the rest of the day and won't eat anything else.

If there's no candy around to put the idea in her head, then it doesn't come up. Simple as that.

Katie has two extremes -- two-year-old and extremely sweet. There's really nothing in between.

She's clearly two, but there are times she's so sweet you forget.

Each time my husband coughs, she pats him on the back, tilts her head and says "you OK? You OK daddy?" When he says yes, she says "is OK daddy."

She pats her sister like a dog and says "Good Mikki" (she still won't say Nikki). She wraps up her doll and tells everyone "shhhh, she seeping!"

It's so touching.

If I keep the tantrums in perspective and try to see the humor, they're more than offset by her adorable side.

"Your gorgeous, Katie," I proclaimed on that hallmark day when I could put a small tuft of hair into a ponytail.

"I gorgeous," she said so solemnly before her face split into a grin. "I gorgeous!" she said as she leaned in for a spontaneous hug.

Yeah, I think I'll keep her.

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