Caution, this post includes a rant about toddlers. It may be hazardous to those who are struggling to conceive, those who have young infants who they believe will always be sweet and gentle, and to those who are just not in the mood to listen to a raving lunatic mom who is on the verge.
Consider yourself warned.
Bedtime update. Tuesday night, when I was solo with the kids, went really well. Surprisingly well. I was a bit shocked. They both went to sleep with a minimum of rumpus and fuss, and I was downstairs doing chores at 9:30. We used to have 7:30 bedtimes, but no longer--most nights it's 10 pm now. I think daylight savings time has something to do with it, and TWO has a lot to do with it. I chalked my Tuesday success up to my new hard-ass approach to toddler discipline (we LEFT kidsports, one kid kicking and screaming under each arm, because Eleanor bit Henry in the ball pit and Henry threw the balls after being asked not to and having a time out). But it's probably just because Eleanor, the bedtime sleep resister, was feeling under the weather and had a tummy bug the next morning.
Last night was not so good. El took a nap in the car on the way home from the (small) wedding we attended in the afternoon. That never bodes well, but we literally could not wake her up. They pulled their trick of running around the bedroom like mental patients, giggling and trying to rile each other up. So of course I had to take Eleanor downstairs and get Rhys to stay with Henry, which is exactly what we're trying to avoid, plus she had to work late because she took the afternoon off to go to the wedding. Sigh. I could go on and on, but it's just ugly. The only reassurance is that EVERYONE I know with kids the same age is going through this right now. I think it's a summer thing, and a 2.5 thing. I really wish we had two bedrooms for them, because at this point I'd just put them each in a bedroom and let them pass out when they're ready. But if we did that with both of them, someone would get hurt, I guarantee it. Sigh.
I then stayed up way too late spinning. My latest theory is that if I get them up early, bedtime will be easier, but I can't seem to discipline myself to go to bed and wake up early--how am I supposed to do it with them??? Henry was a total bear this morning--insisted on wearing the shirt he slept in. My theory is that I have to be a hard-ass, and not respond to temper tantrums. I think they're ready for that--a few months ago the feelings were overwhelming and they needed more compassion than limit-setting around tantrums, I thought. Now they're spending a lot of energy trying to see how far they can push us, and that means zero-tolerance. It sucks, because there are times when they probably are overwhelmed, and I'm not saying I don't give hugs. But I do respond immediately and strongly to throwing, hitting, kicking, and screaming at me. Call me a meanie. So despite my hard-ass approach, after wrestling his shirt onto him, once he calmed down and told me he wanted his "leopard shirt" using WORDS, I actually found another, CLEAN shirt that also had a leopard on it. Not good enough. Ah well. Another tantrum. Then in the car, we had the Pooh binky, not the Eeyore binky, so that was more proof of my basic faultiness as a parent, which reminded him of how mad he was about the leopard shirt...and here we go again.
One of my IF buddies from the boards posted about how she's going to punch the next person who says that three is worse. I hear ya sister. For all the difficulties of two, it's still easier than one, because there is some hope of discipline, consequences that actually get through, etc. And someday, I hope and pray, they will stop biting each other. If you have information to the contrary, please keep it to yourself.