Problem Child*

Kate and I are having some issues. More to the point, I am having some issues with Kate and her behavior.

She is an energetic child, and she does not sit still. It has become much more of an issue in public than anywhere else, and it’s exhausting. I felt like my Friday evening and most of the day on Saturday was spent literally wrestling with her.

On Friday, the combined mis-behavior of my two children lead to us leaving a restaurant for the first time ever (we got our dinner to go). (So much for all that Progress.)

Saturday, we were at an indoor craft fair in Dormont (organized by my SIL), and I was unable to relax and look at things. Kate had to touch everything, run, kiss the metal frogs, and just generally be my Wild Child in spades. I wanted to buy pottery mugs (or goblets) for Dan and me, and order personalized books, and check out a couple other booths, and Kate made it impossible.

I worried that I was going to have to bail on Saturday night dinner with ClumberKim and her family, plus two other tweeps (Abby and Beth). The girls were tired of running around (truth be told, so was I!), but I wanted to see our friends, too. It turned out to be okay (although putting a party of 9, including four kids, in the middle of the restaurant was a risky decision on our hostess’ part), but Kate barely ate, and I barely got to eat, and I did not get to have a conversation with anyone. Despite Flora and Oliver being happily occupied, I was fielding questions along the lines of “How do you spell ‘publicity’?” from Flora and trying to keep Kate from falling out of her booster seat (although Mr. Clumber should be lauded for his ability to occupy two under-3s at the same time).

And then there is the whole potty issue. At one time, Kate was willingly peeing on the toilet — she had to be prompted WAY more often than she asked to go (I mean, like, 15-to-1), but I figured we were making headway.

But she refuses to poop on the potty. And lately, that refusal to poop on the potty has turned into a refusal to poop at all. She goes two days at a time between BMs, and by the end of the second day, she is a miserable, cranky, non-eating almost-3-year-old. This refusal to poop on the potty has lead to extreme reluctance to even sit on the potty to pee, so every half-hour turns into a struggle just to get her into the bathroom.

Dan says my expectations are too high, but we haven’t gotten to discuss this in depth yet. I’m not sure if he doesn’t think she’s ready to potty train (he has tried to be encouraging in this endeavor too) or if my exasperation at some of her other behaviors is out of hand.

She is a terrible listener; she is stubborn; she is aggressive (Flora was never aggressive). Trying to channel her behavior is futile, whether I’m trying to play a game with her, get her on the potty, or otherwise occupying her time. Hallmarks of a typical almost-3?

Conversely, I am impatient. I’m not sure if I am more impatient than I was with Flora or if I am more impatient in general, or what exactly. My stress levels are definitely different now, with Kate at this stage, than they were when Flora was here.

Good points: Kate will occupy herself (she just doesn’t like direction). Her attention span is good. She will clean up when asked (three times out of five, anyway). She still naps. (Whew.) She is dang funny.

I’m not sure what to do. Stay home a lot more for awhile on the weekends — I think that would be good for all of us, frankly. Pull back on the potty training? They are trying to get her to go on the potty at daycare, too. (I haven’t trained a kid as a WOTHM, so I’m not sure of the most effective approach to this.) Anything else?

*Just to clarify: Kate, of course, is not a problem child. She is, simply, MY problem and a child, and this is really about me and not about her. Okay, it’s a little about her.