Our two year old niece has been visiting with us since the end of February, due to circumstances very much beyond her control. She's had lots of fun with us on her first trip outside of NYC. She's seen deer. She's been sledding, snowshoeing, bike riding, skateboarding, belly dancing, tamborim playing, and tumbling, and napping. The first weekend she was here I told her we'd take lots of pictures and make a photo book about her trip to Philadelphia to show her parents. She will have many pictures to choose from for her album. I hope she'll have some fun memories to share with her parents, older brother, and anyone else who will listen to her.
Her older brother gave her some warning about her aunt and uncle: "They won't beat you or anything, but you will be tired." We had an almost three-hour standoff with him and some green beans, which he requested for dinner, then decided he didn't want them. (Oh, he ate them!) She's certainly tried our patience over these weeks, but I think we've made an impression on her. There have been no beatings, but many time-outs. I even had to put her on time-out today while we were at the play cafe. I told her in the bathroom when she caught an attitude with me that "I can find you a time-out wall anywhere." Mary Poppins has saved me on many other occasions. The best line to end a back and forth with a smart-mouthed kid? "You know best, as usual." My niece usually replies, "no," but the discussion is over. LOVE IT!
When she came to our house she was sleeping with a bottle at night, not taking naps, wearing a diaper, and angry (and I don't mean "Terrible Two's" angry). She hasn't drank from a bottle since about day two. She now naps- she cries about it, but she's usually the first asleep. She's wearing a pull-up to bed at night, and we are actively potty-training. She still has a temper, but I think I'm better at diffusing it, and it flares much less often. My niece really likes this tumbling class, in which I enrolled Tallu well before I knew her cousin would be staying with us for an entire month. She's got great balance, and not much fear for an almost three year old.
Now that we know she accepts us as authority figures, we plan to bring her down for shorter overnight visits. We love her, attitude and all, and she trusts us. But this chick is going back to Brooklyn the minute Tallu's bday party is over, you hear me? And we are not having a second child anytime soon... I am nowhere near ready to take care of children so close in age and developmental stages.