DD will be 2.5 at the beginning of the new year, too.
She is also advanced verbally. Today, she saw twins for the first time ever and called them "double babies," told me it was "practically Christmas," and while shopping for DN she said, "We have to find a toy that is appropriate for a not yet two year old. This is probably for a four year old." All examples from today.
I will try to speak to her behavior as it pertains to discipline right now, and maybe her emotional characteristics some other time. That would take awhile.
She does not and never has tantrumed. She rarely cries and when she does it is never more than a minute. She has never thrown herself on the floor, kicked, hit, or thrown things in anger. (These things I am seeing in DN (22 month old) on a daily basis now. We just moved out here.) It seems a simple explanation would have worked with my DD, but you cannot reason with DN at all. DN has a large vocabulary and puts together 3-4 words, but still does not speak in sentences or seem to be able to communicate her wants and needs as well as DD did at that age.
And, DN hasn't even reached the defiant stage yet (that stage came and is just about gone for us now. It was basically the traditional "no" stage and then DD added three sentences outlining why she would not do something on to that. She would explain why she did not want ice cream, and then a second later she would ask for ice cream. Very irritating.)
I guess our biggest issues right now is probably how DD responds to the behavior of her new playmate. She is constantly telling her cousin what to do and what she is not allowed to do, and comes up to the adults in the room to demand that we scold DN and get her to stop misbehaving.
Wait, wait, wait. Our biggest issue is getting her to do somehting that she doesn't want to do. Whereas in the defiant stage she would refuse to do anything just to be defiant, now she is just exerting her will, defining her personality, being who she is... And, the WORST is getting her to bed. I am a big proponent of naps and routine, two things we have not had for the past 3 weeks, so I know it is all my fault, but this kid will not go to sleep at night. She has been getting up at 8 and going to bed close to 11. And we are go go go all day long, but she does have pleny of opportunity to fall asleep in the car and doesn't. At bedtime, she will lie next to me sucking her thumb furiously, stroking her blanket with her fingers, with her eyes wide open for over an hour. Then, she will just pop up and tell me something. But there are also the things like, getting dressed, brushing hair, allowing me to put her in her car seat...she has NEVER liked doing these things. But, we are still pretty cool about meeting her halfway on these issues. We get really creative. We are pretty permissive. We try to make everyone happy.
We pretty much nipped cursing in the bud a few months back, but now name-calling is becoming more prevalent. Things like 'stupid,' 'weirdo,' 'nut,' 'stinky...'
I, too sometimes wonder where DD's behavior fits developmentally. I often think things we go through could not be too common among two year olds. The excessive tattling is really driving me batty!
ETA: Forgot to address toys. Your DD's play sounds a lot like my DD's. We have a very simple toy selection of mostly wood and natural toys, all open ended, all with large age-ranges. Things like cups, blocks, large wooden trucks, wooden animal collection, wooden peg people, 2 baby dolls, and a play kitchen. She has a ton of books. She loves lining up her stuffed animals and organizing her rock/crystal/gemstone collection. Everything has its place and is very organized, not overwhelming. She can play by herself in her playroom for a very long time. When she asks for interaction we read books, make puzzles, play board games, do a craft, or look up things on the internet. Otherwise, she is deep in some imaginitive play or helping me out in th kitchen or whatever I am working on. I have seen her play with more mainstream toys with less overall interest. She would kind of push some buttons and move on. Although, I have been told by a couple of moms that their toddlers would want nothing to do with DD's toys.
Edited by ellemenope - 12/21/10 at 9:43am