Right now, my two year old and I are negotiating that difficult and complicated path to independence!  She is trying to prove her maturity and ability to make her own decisions, whilst still ensuring my time is 100% focused on her.   Whilst I am looking forward to that illusive “me time” that comes when your kids no longer need you ALL THE TIME, just so long as I still have complete control over everything she does.  We both, it seems, are seeking the impossible perfect balance.

Flo (as I will now refer to daughter number 2, my occasional pet name for her, daughter number 1 being Mo), has been asserting her independence for some time now.  For instance she will often insist when getting dressed, “do it myself,” and more recently has been picking out her own outfits.  Her ability to select items from her draw which when viewed alone are perfectly normal, but when combined by her fair hands bear an uncanny resemblance to a clown outfit, is remarkable.

She also believes that she is capable not only of going poop by herself, but also cleaning herself up afterwards.  Unfortunately not all the poop always manages to make it down the toilet, as I believe Daddy discovered last weekend when he went to help her, at least if the gagging sounds are anything to go by.  The paper blocked toilet and subsequent flooding a few weeks ago, can also attest to the fact that she still has some way to go in this area.

She is also somewhat deluded in her abilities in the kitchen.  I never realized how difficult it is to prepare a meal quietly, until I lived in fear of those dreaded words “me help!” She’s not bad at pizza, she manages to get tomato sauce over most of the base and some of the cheese even ends up on top, well the bits that don’t end up in her mouth, her hair, on the chair, the floor – need I go on?  And I think Daddy had more help than he could handle with the chicken chili, where stirring became, flick food all over the kitchen and a pinch of salt became a fist full.

But the biggest challenge is that she has clearly decided that now she is a “big girl”, she is capable of determining her own sleep needs.  Which simply put is, she doesn’t need any!  Nap time?  Forget about it!  Bed time?  Well Mo is up, you’re up, Daddy’s up, why am I going to bed?

However, this week we passed a major milestone.   Despite much protesting, Flo not only went to, but fully participated in and actually enjoyed her first pre-school-like class for a full 75 minutes, all by herself, while Mommy sat in the next room and read a book.  Nice!   And this, my friends, is only one step away from actual pre-school in September.  Five whole glorious “me time” filled mornings a week.  And if clown outfits, toilet mayhem and a messy kitchen is what gets me there, I’ll live with it.  The sleep thing? – Flo, we need to talk!

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