Hakan is the oldest 2-year-old I’ve ever met. Compared to his older siblings at this age, he does far more by himself, and is more adventurous. He brushes his own teeth, dresses himself, showers rather than bathes, embraces new foods that Carver would never dream of trying, and engages in pretend play more than did his older siblings at this age.
We figure that witnessing his older siblings’ independence inspires him to strive for the same, so he challenges himself, and models their behavior to overcome fear and doubt. His efforts to be his own man are mostly very nice for us parents, but have proven difficult as his vigor outgrows his ability.
Over the last few weeks, he wants to do literally everything by himself. Although that is not so bad, what is is the fact that he adamantly refuses any form of assistance. For example, earlier in the week it was time to get ready for bed. He usually puts on his pajamas with little to no assistance from us; he just takes a little longer and has a 50% chance of getting them on backwards. This time, however, one of the sleeves to the shirt was inside-out. Normally, he would let us turn it right-side-out before commencing to dress himself. This time was not normal.
He fiercely insisted on getting it right himself. He would try something, then scream and cry when it wouldn’t work. I offered assistance, to which he reacted with the fury of a rabid wolverine. He tried again to right the sleeve, with the same frustrating result. I tried to subtly correct where he was holding it so that he could fix the problem by himself, and he reacted as would a hand grenade whose pin had been pulled.
In another particularly explosive incident, he refused to undress himself for bed, so we were left to do it ourselves, which resulted in flashover. We had him in pajamas, screaming at us like a scene out of the Exorcist, until it became clear that yet another approach needed to be tried. He eventually agreed to let me dress him back into his clothes on the sole condition that he be the one to undress himself, with nary a hint of assistance from another living soul. The dust eventually settled, and the beast slumbered.
His delusions of ability are sometimes entertaining, though. Just a couple of days ago, he carried a little bag of carrots to the table, then gloated like he had lifted a Buick over his head. “I’m awesome!” he exclaimed. “I’m strong like a superhero!” he declared. And then, running off to his room to complete the image, “I need my cape!”