All of a sudden, something has snapped in my little angels and they have become little devils!
To begin, they have started taking their diapers off after pooping during a nap and smearing it all over their room. I have tried putting jammies on backwards and other methods, nothing has helped.
I thought that transitioning them to toddler beds would help so that we can begin the process of potty training at night. They are doing very well at night time with staying in the beds and going to sleep at a good time, but they have all of a sudden decided they don't want to nap any more because now they have freedom.
They throw their food in the floor from their high chairs and laugh about it. They throw tantrums over every little thing. They hit each other and fight over who has which toy.
I am losing my temper and have not been properly disciplining but I don't even know where to begin.
2.5 can be such a hard time! And we only did it one at a time!
I found that at 2.5 I had to become a much more attentive parent than I had been. Not just watching them to make sure they were safe, but watching and observing and changing my actions to head off some of their new found tricks.
To address your examples:
Diaper Shenanigans- It sounds like they are doing this in the moments after they wake up, but before you realize they're awake? I would make sure that I got into their room before they had the opportunity to get their diapers off. Use a monitor or sit outside their room just before they normally wake up. They can't smear diapers that have been changed!
Napping- Both of my girls were done napping by 2.5. It made the afternoons very un-fun. But...we moved from napping to snuggling with me to a quiet time of sorts and we all made it through. You could try having them nap in different rooms, maybe?
Food- It too me a while to learn this one- Put only a bite or two worth of food on their plates at a time. My girls would eat a bite and then toss a handfull for fun. Once I took away all their 'playing food' there was far less to clean up.
Tantrums and fighting- Go Outside! It might not cure all the issues, but getting out of the house and away from the toys might help with the fighting. The fresh air and sun will be good for you all and might make you all less edgy. Our favorite places are beaches and forests- they have lots to look at, touch and play with and all the sand and sticks are so similar that sharing issues are mostly a non issue.
It sounds like your girls are showing pretty typical behavior for their age (at least based on my own), if there's any comfort in that!
Mama to two girls: 5/06 and 3/09