Without enough sleep, we all become tall two-year-olds.
~JoJo Jensen, Dirt Farmer Wisdom, 2002
Great--Two year olds looking after a two year old, eight year old and a ten year old!! Actually, the girls probably didn't get enough sleep either, being that it's summer, so make that three two-year olds!!!
For those of you who aren't familiar with typical two year old behaviour, this is borrowed from the Planning Queen over at Planning with kids. It seems to be an accurate description of the characteristics of any two and a half year old I know.
- 2 1/2 year olds are rigid and inflexible. They want exactly what they want, when they want it. They cannot adapt, give in, wait a little while. Everything has to be done just so. Everything has to be right in the place they consider proper. For any domestic routine, they set up a rigid sequence of events which must always follow each other always in exactly the same manner.
- They are extremely domineering and demanding. They must give orders. They must make the decisions. If they decide, “mummy do”, daddy cannot be accepted as substitute. If they decide, “Me do it myself”, then no one is allowed to help them, no matter how awkward or incapable they themselves may be.
- 2 1/2 is an age of violent emotions. There is little modulation to the emotional life of children this age.
- It is an age of opposite extremes. With no ability to choose between alternatives (it is almost impossible for 2 1/2′s to make a clear cut choice and stick to it). Children of this age shuttle back and forth endlessly between two extremes, seeming to be trying to include both in their decision. “I will – I won’t”, “I want – I don’t want it”, “Go out – stay in”. If someone doesn’t cut into this back and forth shuttling, it has been known to go on for upwards of an hour or more. The decision of what clothes to wear may ursurp a whole morning for a conflict-ridden 2 1/1 year old.
- Another characteristic of this is age is preservation – that is, the children want to go on and on with whatever they are doing. Not only right at the moment but from day to day. If you read four stories before bedtime yesterday, they want four stories – and the same ones, too – today. It is very difficult with many children this age to introduce new clothes, new pieces of furniture, new things to eat. They want things to go on just the way they have always been or at least hold on to the old as new things are added.
Should make for an interesting day, no?
I guess I should be grateful because it has been a while since we've had a no nurse night. Actually, I do think that the agency has done better this summer covering vacations and sick days, better than last year anyway. I'm hopeful that we won't need them next year...