I have figured out why the experts say that the optimim time interval between children is (at least) two years. With an age gap of 2-3 years, one child will be out of the terrible two's and the terrifying three's before the next one enters the phase. Taylor was an extremely trying three year old. Madison has suddenly, within the past two weeks, turned into a holy terror. My sweet, calm, compliant, laid back, momma-lovin' baby has turned into little red haired hooligan from "Problem Child". Remember that movie? John Ritter was the father and the child was pure evil. That may be a slight exaggeration, she's not quite evil yet, but she has changed. Everything she does is completely normal for a two year old, but I'm surprised I have any hair left after this week.
A few examples of her OMG-how-am-I-gonna-get-through-this-day-without-losing-my-mind behavior:
-Throwing food. And cups. And plates. And bowls. Every bit of food I give her.
-Turning the light off in the bathroom every time I take a shower. I have to scream for Taylor to come in and turn it back on.
-Dumping the remaining water in her cup on my kitchen rugs after she has a drink.
-Chewing up food and spitting it out. On the floor.
I know that every other mother reading this is saying so what? My kid does that all the time. I realize she is not unique in her two-ness (not a word, I know). It is really just the pure defiance that rankles me. And the showering in the dark part. I have always coddled her, and let her pretty much get away with anything and everything. Now I am reaping the results of that. I did the Super Nanny thing on Thursday night, where I kept returning her to the time out chair every time she got up and starting the clock over, and I think a 2 minute time-out took 30 minutes to accomplish. (She also kept standing up and turning the a/c or heater on. I guess I should move the time-out chair to a spot not directly under the thermostat.)
Taylor, thank-you-Jesus, has come out of this type of behavior. She is mostly sweet and wanting to please me. Occasional tantrums, occasional loss of hearing (meaning she just ignores me when I tell her to do or not to do something), but not destructive and pushing her boundaries like Maddie. I am so glad that I don't have a two year old and a three year old.
Good thing she's cute. Seriously cute.