Right around the time Sylvia turned 4, just recently, she started getting a bit sassy. Instead of offering to help, she started saying things like "You can't ma-ake me." Though it usually only takes a bit of joking or re-phrasing to bring her along, she can really dig in her heels when she's feeling stubborn. As her wise ballet teacher reminded me, "this trait will serve her well someday...not soon maybe, but someday..."
She also has become even more of a force-of-nature than she was previously. Sylvia walks into a room and water glasses tip, things fall off of shelves, and all manner of items scatter themselves into a messy disarray. For example, in...Oh say, the amount of time it takes me to write a blog post, Sylvia might have poured half of a (large) container of sea salt over the dirty dishes, along with most of the dish soap, and sloshed about a gallon of (now salty) water on the floor, along with dusting powdered sugar all over the dining room table and floor, her own face, and her baby sister's hands (!) These things were not done out of malice, or even naughty mischief, but simply out of curiosity, playfulness, and a desire to cure her sweet tooth. She was attempting to wash a dish (of course). This is just a tiny example, and I will admit that I'm less likely to yell and get testy if I just allow the house to remain in disarray (until my patience is restored) rather than create a (self-imposed) need to be tidy.
However, just as Sylvia is becoming more difficult to interact with (sometimes, only sometimes), Camille is becoming easier. In her own words, "I haven't freaked out in like a month. I'm proud of myself." She went through several months where she was finding it hard to be human and having lots of strong emotions, but seems to have really come out the other side. Her imaginative, fun-loving, sweet nature is really re-emerging. I believe that this is largely because she trusts me (and her Papa) to work things out in a way that we all can feel good about, that we take her emotions seriously, and find ways to help her work through them respectfully. So, I am truly grateful to have only one really-pushing-her-limits child (along with a teething baby) to navigate at a time. Truly. I believe that Sylvia will find her stride too, and for all of her stubborn, messy, larger-than-can-be-contained energy, she pours forth love and humor and goodness too (and in much greater quantity ;-)