Is This Those "Terrible Twos" I've Heard So Much About?

"I don't want it!"

I've heard that phrase many times over the past few months.

"OK," I'll say to my little girl as she stands with her mouth pursed and her eyebrows furrowed in defiance, "I'll go throw it away then."

Her face changes, suddenly desperate. "I want it!" she says, or rather, shrieks.

So I hand it to her, only to hear her say yet again, "I don't want it."

I can tolerate only a couple of rounds of this before she winds up in time out.

We also have a little showdown every time I take her to visit her cousins. I tell her it's time to go, she says she doesn't want to, I tell her it's time to go anyway, and before I know it, I'm chasing her through the house so that I can get her in the car.

I believe the "terrible twos" have set in. But then, I thought that several months ago when she would just tell me "no" about 90 percent of the time I told her to do something or asked her a question. At the time, I thought, "If this is as bad as she gets, her twos won't be that terrible after all."

It turns out, though, that the terrible twos were just getting started. These days, we have at least three big power struggles a week, usually over bedtime, when she asks for milk, I get it for her, and then the "I don't want it!" routine begins. Some night go better than others. Perhaps she's too tired to put up too much of a fight. Other times, though, there are repeated time-outs and high-speed chases through the living room involved. On those nights, later on after she's finally drifted off, I cannot help but wonder how such a sweet looking thing could give me so much trouble.

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