Monday, January 19, 2009

Appetite for Destruction: Life with a 2 year old

Why is it that 2 year olds feel this insatiable appetite for destruction? You can guess Jilly is feeling better because she's been ripping things apart and throwing them on the floor again. Crazy kid. In the living room, we have a bookshelf which is completely hers. On the top shelf, it has all of her books. The other three shelves have her toys in various baskets and containers. Next to the bookshelf, we keep our extra carseat, mostly to block her from getting behind the couch. Well, she now loves to climb into the carseat and stand there while using those chubby little arms of hers to sweep her books onto the floor. Usually this is after she has pulled one or more of the toy baskets of the shelf and dumped them ceremoniously onto the floor. So we have piles of tiny little toys on the floor, covered by layers of books. That was the first thing she pulled today.

Next, she took these "disco ball" necklaces she got in her stocking and decided they were best used as wrecking balls. She stood in front of the kitchen counter (the backside where there is a wall) and just swung the balls, slamming them alternately into the wall. It's a good thing they're just cheap, hollow plastic, otherwise they might have done some damage!

After she got bored with that and dropped them right there, she moved in to her room, where I was on the computer. She started going through the desk drawers, despite my repeated warnings, "Jilly, get out of there! Close that drawer!" and me closing it myself several times. She eventually pulled out a pencil and wandered away with it before I noticed it was in her hand. Sure enough a couple moments later, I hear the tell-tale scratching noises of the pencil coloring on the wall. Good grief, kid!!

By that time, I needed something else to distract her. So I decided it was time for a bath. Now, Jilly LOVES baths. She would live in the bath full time if we would let her. She splashes and plays and doesn't mind if the water gets cold. Plus she stays fairly contained. It's easy to have her in there for an hour or two, allowing her parents to get things done around the house or on the computer or whatever. Before I worry anyone, I don't just plop her in there and run away. We keep a close eye and ear on her for sure. I make sure I either hear her make a noise or go and check on her every couple minutes, so she's not unsupervised. Anyway, she was having a blast as usual while I was on the computer. Then something sounded fishy. I listened a little closer and sure enough, there it was. The sound of water being poured, with gusto I might add, onto the bathroom floor. ARGH! It took 4 towels and the bathmat to soak it all up. It was covering half the bathroom floor. For heaven sakes child!!! I have a rule that if a towel goes on the bathroom floor, it gets washed, not just hung up to dry. So this meant another load of laundry (I was already washing her bedding, which she's leaked on overnight). At least they're just towels and it was rather simple to clean up.

Now, I know this is all normal behavior of 2 year olds. But it drives me nuts! She'll take a previously clean and tidy room and turn it shambles in minutes! Then go off to another room (to do the same) because this room is now cluttered and boring to her. Anyone have a trick to get her to sit down and actually play with her toys, rather than just throw them around? I'm contemplating just putting them all away, since she only throws them on the floor anyway. But that seems a little mean, and then she'll have more "incentive" to destroy something we actually use, like the dishes or computer or something. Steve is going nuts with this as well. I can't wait until she outgrows this phase... Please tell me it won't be too long! :-)

1 comment:

Pam said...

It won't be FOREVER before she is out of this phase... but you still have a ways to go. :( BUT- I would definitely suggest packing up a good 2/3 of her toys. If she is only throwing them around then she is bored with them. What I do (which works well) is to pack up 2/3 of my kids toys and when I see them getting bored, I pull out some of the packed away ones, and pack away the old ones. A few months down the road they get bored again, so I pack up those toys and pull out some more. When they get bored again I cycle back to the original toys, etc. This way its 2/3 less to clean up and more likely to play with what they DO have! Good luck!