A year ago I was encouraging my toddler to learn every single word possible. How times change.
It’s not that I don’t love how much she’s speaking. All day, every day we’re having these amazing conversations about what we’ve seen, what she likes and what her baby sister is trying to do next.
I just love chatting to her and she is truly hilarious.
But I confess that sometimes, just sometimes, I wish she would know when to just stop talking.
The little monkey is now using those words that I’ve spent months teaching and encouraging her to learn and turning them against me.
When she wants it, she demands it.
When I say no, she asks “why?”.
When I say because of x, y and z, she still continues to challenge me.
Her current favourite phrase is: “But I like that (toy/programme/food/play park etc).”
As if her liking something is the be all and end all of reasons for us to give into her demands. It doesn’t matter if we don’t have any ice cream left, she likes it so why the hell aren’t we giving it to her?!
She does not accept the word “no” anymore.
It happens at all times of day. These challenging moments used to strike at random but now it’s a regular occurrence.
This week she added bedtime to the list of stuff she objects to. She used to be so good at getting herself to sleep. Now she says she’s not tired over and over again
She hates it when we switch the TV off, she hates it when I say she can’t have another biscuit, she hates it when I say it’s time to go inside because it’s chucking it down with rain, and she objects when I suggest reading a particular book.
Basically, I can do no right anymore.
Then there’s the selective hearing. She loves to pretend that she can’t hear me asking her to do something, that she put something down or if she needs a new nappy.
If I mention things such as chocolate or sweets to get her attention, her little head snaps round in my direction and she’s asking if she can have some.
At times she’s less subtle than this. She will look me right in the eye, after I’ve told her not to do something, and do it anyway.
This might be climbing on the sofa, taking a gulp of water then spitting it at the TV or kicking her sister in the head. None of these things are funny to me. The problem is she finds it hilarious to defy me.
Sometimes it’s funny, I suppose. But some days, when I’ve had a rough night with her baby sister and I’m exhausted from lugging the pair of them around all day, I just need her to not argue with me.
The mental exhaustion from dealing with these challenging moments is even more tiring than the physical effort of caring for two growing kids every day.
I’m sure this stubborn streak will stand her in good stead when she’s grown-up and out there on her own in the big wide world.
I don’t want her to take any s**t from anyone. I want her to be strong and confident. To stand on her own two feet and make her own decisions.
But the thing is, does she have to display all of these great characteristics now? Does she have to be the independent and feisty little force to be reckoned with when I’m supposed to be the boss?
Ultimately I know I should be grateful for all that she is doing. She’s growing up to be such a brilliant and spirited little girl. Her baby days came and went in the blink of an eye and now it seems her toddler months are flying by just as fast.
So she talks back a bit, it’s really not the end of the world, I tell myself, eye twitching slightly at the thought of another day of arguing with her.
And then I remember that soon her sister will be a toddler. Soon she will be doing more than just babbling inanely. She will talk and argue and demand too.
I think I need a lie down.
Anyone else suffering through this stubborn phase with your child? How are you coping?
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