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Developmentally appropriate (aka toddlers being a pain in the ass)

It's been a roller coaster weekend of ups and downs with a nearly-2 year old and a nearly-3 year old.

Leda continues her mischief, don't let Cole's new antics fool you. She sleeps poorly. She eats poorly. She has moments of cuteness and angelic halos over her head combined with moments where her mother and I would like to sell her to the highest any bidder. We frequently put her down in her crib (she won't go to sleep on her own yet though she sometimes will fall asleep on the couch so hopefully that transition phase is starting like it did with Cole) and she wakes up an hour later, crying. Or she'll make it until 2:00am and sometimes I can now get her to fall back asleep without picking her up. I'll find her pacifier, pat her on the back, and she'll roll back over. More frequently, she needs to be held for hours.

I'm a great dad between the hours of 7am and 9pm, but will be honest that the middle of the night parenting is not my strongest element. Kelly is usually the one who wakes up faster and has better luck with letting Leda fall asleep on her on the couch. Not to mention that if Leda is asleep in the morning, her brother is up at dawn and wants to watch cartoons which is an instant wake up to her delicate ears. C'est la vie.

Leda eats very little. You can put 10 foods in front of her and she'll take 2 bites of 2 of them. Unless it's something she wants...like a Chipotle burrito or some pasta. Other than that, she's been surviving off cheese, yogurt, graham crackers, pretzels, and occasional bites of bagel. Cole loves to eat. Cole is a great sleeper. He has his own issues. We may have a 99.9% chance of not hearing from him again until morning, but lately different issues have been surfacing.

We've hit the "no, I do it by myself" phase with him. Which is fine. We encourage independence. But you give him a minute and he's wandering off instead of doing what you asked. Then he gets upset when you try to round him up back onto topic. Car trips with buckling in (which he can do by himself) have become agonizingly long vaudeville routines. We're trying to explain to him that we WANT him to do things by himself but he needs to do it when we ask. I know the whole thing is him being his own person, wanting control over his life, very normal, a good growth sign, he's learning to challenge authority, blah blah blah. It's annoying.

On the other side of that coin, he's become a little outside boy. No shoes, Huck Finn style. Wants to constantly be in the backyard playing with sticks. I frequently find my daughter sitting in the fire pit now...which thankfully hasn't had a burn yet so there are no ashes. Because she sure loves to find leftover charcoal in the grills! They're taking 3 baths a day sometimes.

The parade went well. Relatively. Then we tried to take him on a train ride on Friday and he freaked. Which is fine other than being sad at how scared he was over something he loves so much. But that led to a very lovely family walk in a local park. We had a great trip to the gardens today where both my children were wading up above their knees in tadpoles, splashing in rock-filled streams, and covered in dirt. Kelly and I feel sorry for the kids who go and aren't allowed to get wet and muddy. In our view, being a kid is all about running around barefoot. Leda splashed herself in the face with a frog fountain. Friday afternoon we'd been there for a 10 mile bike ride where she'd stick her head out the side of the bike trailer to feel the wind in her face.

So it's been a weekend of challenges. But I also hope the good times outweigh that as they look back...heck, as we look back...on some pretty amazing experiences. Yesterday morning, we went to the Farmers Market and bought a 5 lb box of blueberries that were nearly 1/4 gone by the time we got to the car. And when we got home, he rode his tricycle around the block. Actually rode...feet on pedals, steering with his hands on the handlebars.

Cole may not come inside when you call him and Leda may need to be chased down like prey because she refuses to hold your hand and walk the same direction...but I suppose that's the point. Eventually, he'll be doing his own laundry and she'll be asking to go the movies to see something I entirely disapprove of her seeing. For now, I'm perfectly grateful to be able to bring home a soggy little boy and girl who refuse to eat anything but fig newtons and complain that they don't want milk and a nap when really you know they do but don't want to admit it.

One day at a time.

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