Thanks everyone for your words of encouragement and support. That has helped, as well as keeping things in perspective: At least we don't have twins!
I read an interesting article in one of those (usually not so helpful) parenting magazines that talked about how kids tend to be "easy" around their 2nd, 3rd, and 4th birthdays but "difficult" around their half birthdays. They quoted some psychologist's theory that was a little over my head - something about vacillating emotionally from secure and confident to insecurity over new abilities/changes/expectations.
Interestingly Roan is right around 1-1/2 and also lately she has been showing much more interest in potty training. (She kind of took a breather from it for a while.) Who knows, maybe she's getting ready to get serious about potty training - or some other new skill - and that comes with some additional clinginess and unpredictable emotions.
In any case we've just been rolling with it - what else can ya do right? And generally she is just the sweetest most fun inventive adorable person. It's just that 10% of the time when you're thinking How in the heck am I gonna handle THIS one?
Like this morning when she refused to let me put her diaper on or get her dressed for a half hour even though we were late getting out the door to daycare. I just gave her some space, let her run around naked, used the time to get myself ready, and used eating breakfast as a motivator to get her to comply: We can eat as soon as you get dressed. Let me know when you're ready.
Even though I would consider this morning a success - I stayed calm and collected, the situation never escalated into a big temper tantrum and eventually she got dressed happily - you can't help but second guess yourself. Should I have "gotten tough" with her to demonstrate that sometimes she has to do what Mommy says? Am I letting her "get away with too much" by waiting it out and trying to convince her to make the right decision herself? Maybe so. But I have to admit, this approach seems to result in a less frustrated Mom and a happier toddler, even if it does take longer.
Last Thursday night proved more of a challenge. Arwen and I decided to be brave and test out another evening without Mommy. I went to Knit Night, less for the knitting than as another opportunity to see if we can make some progress on this front. Arwen said she did great all evening and they had a ton of fun, which was easy to see by the mess in the house when I got back. But right at bedtime she had another episode - not I want my Mommy, thankfully - but No diaper! No no no no no!
He tried to be patient and wait it out, but it was getting past her bedtime. He didn't want to force her into a diaper and jammies so finally resorted to putting her into her crib buck naked and crying. There was no consoling her. Not long after I got home and we decided to be brave and go in there together. And we found she had made us a big surprise: she took a giant dump in her bed. Poor thing, she wasn't happy about it at all. She was crying saying, "Roan poop bed, poop bed." We told her it was alright and tried to explain (in toddler-ease) that one of the benefits of wearing a diaper is avoiding these kind of unfortunate situations. She seemed to understand. Before long she was back to her sweet happy self.
I wish I could say the trauma of this incident had a positive lasting impact on Roan's recent attitude toward diapers, but that does not appear to be the case. Lately she never wants her diaper changed to begin with, and even once you get her down and cleaned up then she doesn't want the new diaper on. She'll say she wants to go on the potty but either won't actually sit down on it or gets up and down 10 times without doing any business. Whoever said parenting requires a lot of patience was right!
The picture up top is Roan and me with our friend Doug, who recently visited us for his first week with our company. He will be holding down the Houston office now that the Big Boss has moved to Denver. Below are pictures of our new front door. It's been quite a process. It took a whole day to get the raw door hung. Then another week before we picked out a stain to apply. We stained it a dark brown (not pictured) and it took the better part of two days to dry. Now we still have four coats of varnish ahead of us! But it has already made a huge difference in the look of the house.