Looking at our daughter, I can picture myself as a young child of 2 and a half multiplied by a factor of 10. I would speak for my wife as well, however, I did not know her as a child or what she was like. Yet, from what she has said, our son has a personality that is more in tune with her's than mine...at least for now. To say that our daughter has a mind of her own is an understatement. In regards to almost everything she does, she has to do it herself or at least her way. There are no other alternatives but hers. End of discussion. As you can imagine, it has created a clash of wills, a fight to the tears, and I am quickly learning that whatever patience I learned to have with our son quickly needs to be multiplied. Yet, in all fairness, as our son gets older, I am needing more with him as well, but more on that another day. Our daughter is a quick study just like her brother was, if not even quicker. We have reached the point now, with her only two and a half, that we can not keep a gate either at the top or bottom of the stairs as she has learned how to climb over it and has become adept at both climbing and descending the stairs. Whenever she does fall (and it has not been down the stairs yet but more from running to quickly in the house), she gets up quickly without any fuss. Whichever man says girls aren't as tough as boys is living in a delusional world of his own design and I will introduce him to my daughter when she is older and she will kick his ass. Sorry, but everything about our daughter is tougher than most boys her age. Yes, she is starting to show a softer, more feminine side if you will, but she is more prone to violence and fewer tears in general than our son was at the same age.
This whole stubbornness thing is the part that I am having the hardest time dealing with. I admire the fact that she knows what she wants and has the tenacity to attempt everything herself. I love the fact that she wants things her way. I just don't like it when it conflicts with me being a parent and looking at for her safety. That's when things start to suck. It sucks even more because she has an older brother who she idolizes for the most part and wants to be wherever he is doing whatever he is doing. It could be climbing ladders (as happened when I was at the top of a 32' ladder, look down and see her about a 8'up), digging holes, riding bikes, or hammering things (as she accidentally hammered our sons head with a small metal hammer (he is fine)). In any of these cases, it is exceptionally hard to get her to change course. Many times, despite my most patient and concerted effort, I need to resort to picking her up and physically removing her from a situation. She never likes it, but the consequences could be her getting hurt or hurting someone else (like her brother). And when I do pick her up, she cries for mommy. "I want my mommy!!!!" Tears, squirming, screaming, and eventually resentful submission to parental authority figures. It's funny (perhaps ironic would be better) at how much more you let your second child get away with versus your first. As a child with a younger sibling, you think it's unfair that they get away with so much more than you did. And then as a parent, you realize the reality of the situation and how you can't keep them back as much because they are simply following their older sibling. As long as it is safe and within the rules of our house, we pretty much allow it.
Yet, for all the stubbornness and resistance, our daughter is an awesome girl with in infectious laugh and a comedic aura that can put a smile on anyone's face. And there are moments when I know that I must be doing something right. One of these moments happened not long ago, I want to say with the past week, where I had to pull our daughter way from something she was doing. As always, she hated it, wanted her mommy, and fled to her arms as soon I would let her. She got to her mommy' arms and immediately proceeded by telling mommy that, "I don't like daddy right now". I was standing there and chuckled. I simply said, "ok, but do you love me?" She hid her face in mommy' shoulder, and with a muffled voice said, "yes". "Can you give me a hug?" To which I got the same response: "yes". As soon as her little arms were wrapped around my neck I said, "you don't have to like me, it I'm glad that you love me." From there, her demeanor improved and while she did not stay in my arms, I was ok with that. I felt, in a sense, like I was talking to a teenager. Thinking of what I just said now, I fear for the years when she is a teenager. The good thing is, I have some time to prepare myself for those tumultuous, insanely crazy, hormone driven years.