OK, parenting sleuths: here are two photos from today, when Jada smeared diaper cream all over herself, her stuffed animals, and her bedroom furniture during her nap. What's your explanation for this behavior? Is it:
a) She's jealous of all the attention we give Aaron and is acting out to get her share
b) She's ready to be potty-trained and this is her way of communicating that to us
c) She doesn't think we put enough diaper cream on her and this is her way of protesting
d) She's 2 1/2.
I'm personally going to go with (d), although I'm also hearing loud and clear that I have to double down on my Jada time, to preempt any other inappropriate attention-seeking behavior.
All kidding aside, we love Jada to death, and all of this will make for some funny stories when she's all grown, but she's quite a handful. She's not a behavioral problem, but neither is she an easy kid in terms of good behavior. We're staying the course on punishment, even though they don't seem to be getting through to her, because we're assuming (hoping) that eventually she'll realize what's right and what's wrong.
Now that Aaron's sleeping through the night, we're really starting to see the difference between Jada's 7 1/2 months in the orphanage and Aaron having good care from Day 1. Physically, cognitively, and socially, Aaron's just a lot further along than Jada was at his age. We're not going to sweat Jada too hard, nor are we going to give in to the all-too-easy pressure that a lot of parents around us are facing, as far as panicking about getting their kids into the best pre-schools.
Seven and a half months of zero stimulation and lead-filled air may mean she'll be temporarily or even permanently behind other kids her age. But she's still smart as a whip, with a fiendishly likable personality. And her parents love her to the nth. That's gotta count for something, right?