I am having a difficult time with Bun these days. My husband refers to her as a Tonka truck, which isn’t too far off the mark. As I emailed an old friend the other day: “When Bun is being sweet, she is the sweetest thing around.
“And when she’s having the ‘terrible 2s’ (at 22 months, mind you), she’s a holy terror.”
Here’s what I find most discouraging. I discovered with Monkey that age 2, while challenging, is not nearly as challenging as age 3. Something about the ability to speak in complete sentences made 3 more difficult for me, personally. It was the unending queries and talking and saying things over and over and over.
I can already see that 4 is going to have its pitfalls too. Looks from here like Monkey is going to keep push, push, pushing boundaries.
But back to Bun: I don’t know if I am “mis”remembering Monkey at 2, or if it was a little easier for any variety of reasons: she was the only child at the time; I wasn’t working full-time; their temperaments and personalities are different. I suspect it was just easier at the time.
Bun has one speed: run.
She does not sit still. Not even to eat. She stuffs food into her mouth as fast as she can, and wants OUT OUT OUT. She can use utensils, but finds them too slow a food delivery method. She would take it upon herself to jump out of her highchair if I tried to leave her there so Monkey and I could eat in peace.
She bumps into things. Usually with her head. She gave herself a black eye last night!
She jumps. “I juppin, mama. Jup! Jup! Jup!”
The most difficult behavior of all? She does not leave her big sister alone. Not only does she want to do anything her big sister is doing, if her big sister is not doing anything, then she must pounce on her. Bun leaps on Monkey, sits on her, pulls her hair. If Bun is playing with a toy, and Monkey comes over to see what she is doing, Bun pushes or hits. If Monkey is peacefully watching television, Bun turns it off.
Bun is definitely going for the reaction. The reaction is hysterical to Bun, whether it’s Monkey screaming or Mommy coming over to pry Bun’s fingers out of Monkey’s hair.
Short of keeping them in separate rooms at all times, I am not sure what to do. She’s too young to understand time-outs (although I am trying them). In the evenings, after her speed eating sessions, Bun wants to climb all over me while I’m trying to eat, or grabs at stuff on Monkey’s plate. Monkey is getting to the point that she can occupy herself for stretches of time, whether with play-doh or her new laptop. (Yes, my 4-year-old got a VTech Laptop for her birthday, from Nonna and Pap-pap. I could see DearDR thinking, as she was opening it, “Dude, I don’t even have a laptop.”) I have to occupy Bun, and even when I do, she’s good for about 10 minutes, before she’s all “Fwora? Fwora?”
I am surprised (and grateful) that Monkey hasn’t hauled off and smacked her a good one. But she doesn’t retaliate; she just screams until I come to the rescue.
Although the other day as I was giving Bun her bath, I noticed a bite mark on her shoulder.
“Monkey, did you bite Bun?”
“Monkey, did you bite Bun?”
“Monkey, who bit Bun?”
“Uh, I think it was Niece. Yeah, Niece bit Bun.”
“Monkey, don’t lie to me. Did you bite Bun?”
As I mentioned, when Bun isn’t terrorizing me or her sister, she is about the sweetest, happiest child you could encounter. And she is funny.
The other day, after I picked her up from DCL and was driving to pick Monkey up, she was babbling away in her seat.
“Bun are you tooting?”
Toot is our polite word for breaking wind. Bun often calls her burps toots.
Then she pretended to burp. “Burrrrrrp!”
I cracked up.
“Bun! Burps come out your mouth; toots come out your bum!”
“No, mama! Toot! Burrrrrp.”
We laughed all way down to pick up Monkey.
When Monkey plays with Play-doh, I give Bun some, too, in her high chair. The other day I gave her green. She squished it all around for awhile, then announced, “Tuttle. Look, tuttle!” She “made” a turtle. That was pretty cute.
She also pretends to fall asleep (“Nap, mama!”) complete with pretend snores. And she loves tucking in her animals and dollies, and also kissing them and their boo-boos. She is actually a very empathetic child. She already knows “sad.”
“I ky, mama.” (I was crying, mama.)
“I sat, mama. I ky.” (I was sad, mommy, I cried.)
These are the moments I have to remember when I’m hauling her off her sister for the umpteenth time.
The other positive thing these days: Bun is done at 7:30 p.m. Stick a binky in her mouth, sing her a lullaby, and put her in bed. She’s out. That gives me another half an hour with Monkey, one-on-one.
Of course, about 10 minutes of that half hour are spent fighting with her about going to bed. Oh, well. At least she’s staying in one spot.