Power struggles: the toddler is wearing us down

This whole I-won’t-sleep situation seems to be “I don’t want to stop playing with my toys” taken to the extreme. Our little girl has always been stubborn. Very, very stubborn. My mom has commented how her first child (me) was not like this. I figured, yeah, she was maybe more stubborn than normal, but she is a toddler, so some stubbornness is expected. I still don’t know if she’s more stubborn than other toddlers, but I now know she’s way more stubborn than we wanted to have to deal with.

At nap time she is so clearly exhausted (because she hasn’t napped well in days and gets up before the crack of dawn), but she is furious – furious – that we would have the gall to think it is OK to put a person in a crib without asking. She is charge of herself! She is independent! She has made the decision she will play instead of nap!

She tries to boss us around all day. Feed me NOW! Not that – I won’t eat that. I want what you’re eating. Eww, I changed my mind, I don’t want what you’re eating. But I still don’t want what you gave me.

Let me DOWN! I want to walk myself. No, I will NOT hold your hand. No, I will not go where you tell me to, I will go where I want to go.

Pick me UP! I can’t see what you’re doing. Cleaning the counter? I’ll help. Let me have the cleaning spray.

Give me your phone! I want to watch Silly Songs with Larry on You Tube. NOW!

And, of course, the most annoying of all: You mean, mean parents can try to put me to bed all night long, but I will scream until I lose my voice. Because I am NOT GOING TO SLEEP. Sleep is for losers! I want to play! And, NO, you cannot doze on the couch while I play. I don’t care if its 5 a.m., you have to play with me at ALL TIMES.

She “speaks” in capital letters a lot.

I’m going to feel stupid if she’s sick or there’s some other “duh” reason she won’t sleep. If she suddenly wakes up with four new teeth tomorrow, I’ll feel bad. But she does not act like she is sick or in any pain at all when she’s awake. And it really, really seems like she’s just mad about not being able to make her own decisions about when to sleep (i.e., never).

Comments

  1. Oh the stubbornness and the desire for independence! I know it well. Fuss’s favorite word for awhile was “self” as in, “I want to do it (my)SELF!”

    It gets better. I think that’s really all I can tell you. I have Fuss “help” with the winding down before sleep times. I make her turn off the TV if that has been the activity, or put away her books/blocks/toys, etc. I tell her I need her help and that often works (she LOVES to be helpful!) plus it’s a sign to let her know what is coming, etc.