Hazel's growing up, and we have been caught off-guard. Child psychology doesn't come as naturally to me as some people but I've been watching and thinking and trying to make sense of new behaviors. She's adopted one of the moving boxes as her own, and walks around the house with it saying she's the mail carrier with a package, or she's the mommy and I'm the baby (and I have to call her Mommy). Experimenting with adult roles? Dealing with the move? Wanting to interact with me on a new level? Then the next minute she's sitting in the baby bouncy seat we have out for packing, and telling me she's a baby again, and Ginger's the big sister. More role experimentation? Vying for attention?
But the main thing that's been tough lately has been sudden and intense resistance and defiance at every turn. We're having spaghetti for dinner? "I want eggs!" I chose the red striped dress for church? "I want my beautiful white dress!" Ginger is sitting in her high chair for a snack - LIKE SHE ALWAYS DOES? "No! Ginger sits in my seat and I sit in your seat!" This is usually followed by much whining, slouching and forced or sometimes real crying. Our responses to this have been far from consistent - I guess we're testing the limits, too. Kindness and patience sometimes, firm discipline others.
Of course my parenting books are packed - one of the few things that have actually been put in a box around here and taped up - but anyway those are mostly for 2 and under. A long time ago I signed up for pregnancy updates from parentcenter.com and have since gotten monthly or occasional updates on Hazel's development by age. It's usually pretty relevant and interesting, and today I got one that included this article on defiance. Nothing too revelatory but some good direction and ideas.
When they're little they change so fast, every few weeks, and while it makes you crazy you come to expect it. Then as they get older some of the changes are farther apart - months or years. You get comfortable and forget they could change any minute. And especially with Hazel as the oldest, we never know what to expect when. So we're back on our toes, scrambling to keep up. Trying to understand and support. Crossing our fingers, loving with all our might.