If I had to describe our life as parents with a two year old, I would say it's an ongoing game. We win sometimes and she wins sometimes. Tom and I both occasionally choose to fight some battles that aren't worth fighting, but it really comes down to a game. Some days I can pick out when I pulled off some particularly good parenting and other days I might as well just wave the white flag because Tera has won. Our biggest battles lately have been eating, bath time, and hair. Other smaller battles can include brushing teeth, getting dressed, and going to bed.
Tera has had a difficult time with baths for quite a while now. She didn't always, but then for some reason they just started getting worse and worse. We tried all sorts of things to help. We bought a baby that goes in the tub with her. I tried holding her in the shower and washing her down to get her in and out quickly. We tried toys. We tried letting her play longer and alternately just getting it over with as quickly as possible. She's not really afraid of the water; she'll usually play for a while with no problem. But when it comes time to wash her and her hair, it goes downhill quickly. We thought we had been making some progress, but then she had an unfortunate underwater incident in a pool over the summer and since then seems to have taken a few steps back. Add to that some discomfort after her kidney test and we now have been battling with a child who won't sit in the tub and who hates being washed.
It basically takes all our remaining energy at the end of the day to give her a bath with one of us holding her so she doesn't fall and the other one washing. Then we do battle while trying to comb her hair. It's really a very relaxing way to spend an evening.
I wish I could say that we consistently do the right thing and give appropriate consequences when she does something she's not supposed to or that we handle each battle the way we should; with patience and the understanding that she's only two. But we don't. The handling of consequences (in her case, usually a short time out), is actually pretty consistent, but then there are times like tonight when she climbed up on top of the kitchen table and just sat there laughing. And so did we. The look of pure success on her face when she got up there was just too funny and we were too tired to stop her.
Last week there was one night when I did a pretty good job of remaining patient and calm while trying to get her upstairs, in the bath, and sitting down, and then the next night I was slightly less patient and couldn't actually remember how I was able to stay so calm the night before. I guess my point is nothing more than the typical ramblings of a mom of a two year old. And for once, it's really more about Tera being a two year old, then Tera being a two year old with Down Syndrome; and that part, I'm okay with.