Today I am thankful for my 2 year old bundle of energy who says NO with vigor, even when it's really something she wants. Yes, she's stuck in that negative phase, and hasn't yet figured out that she can still be an independent individual ... and say yes. It gets frustrating, trying to reason with an illogical emotional 2 year old who fights everything you try to do for her. But I've learned if I just slow down, let her work through her inner battles, and not push her ... she comes around faster.
I can see the battle within her at times, wanting something I'm offering, but driven to refuse and say no. Other times she'll ask me for something (like apple juice) and then refuse when I try to hand it to her. If I argue with her, it escalates. If I set the cup down and walk away, she usually takes it. I have learned not to set her plate of food down until she's done rejecting it, though. Had one too many plates of food fly across the table because she was still stuck in the negative mode. At times she cries because it's not in the right spot, so I pick it up and move it until she's happy ... just 1 cm from the spot I originally placed it.
It's got to be hard being a 2 year old stuck in a negative phase. I am sure the inner turmoil she must be feeling, which leads to the temper tantrums, isn't any fun. But parenting through it isn't always fun, either. And being a teenage sister trying to babysit said negative 2 yo is definitely not fun. They don't have the experience and patience yet to know which battles to pick and which ones to walk away from. This Mom is still learning which battles will escalate with this particular child, and which ones I can push a little harder on.
Thankfully, once she's done being unreasonable, she quickly calms down and turns into her sweet, funny, loving self again. Then the bear hugs, kisses and cute talk help soothe frustrated parents and siblings and remind us how precious she really is. She's a lot more sweet when she's not tired ... now if we could just figure out the fool-proof trick to getting her to nap easily. At the moment, her naps come at random times and places, getting later and later in the day. She's an expert at fighting sleep, and she fights it hard.
I'm sure God has great plans for this determined, energetic, loving, and persistent little girl. But I expect her determined and persistent nature is going to continue to raise its willful head as she grows up. I'd better keep praying for wisdom to know which battles to fight, and how best to lead her toward God.