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Kate had a tough weekend.

Kate is trying to figure things out, and testing her boundaries in a big (and rather relentless) way. I mean, it’s pretty bad if she’s hiding under the table at a restaurant and hitting Pap-pap. Otherwise, aggressive behavior and pushing her big sister’s buttons (not to mention her mommy’s) are par for the course.

She decided she wanted to wear big girl underwear, but also decided to poop in it instead of going on the potty.

She said no. A lot.

She had tantrums and melt downs and was generally cranky.

Kate missed my nephews’ birthday party (Saturday) and didn’t get to go to the toy store (Sunday).

On the plus side, she spent a lot of time outside and was too tired to wake up in the middle of the night. She adopted worms and rode her scooter. She got a lot of one-on-one time with daddy (on Saturday) and mommy (on Sunday).

I don’t know if she is old enough to internalize what she missed and try to behave better (yet). She’s only 3. (Only 290 days to go!) I do know that enforcing boundaries is hard work. With Flora, it’s getting her to listen and getting her to finish a task. With Kate, it’s… everything.

We work hard to let her control what she can control. But I think we work harder in making it clear what she cannot control and what our expectations are. When she pushes boundaries and buttons, we try to respond reasonably and consistently. As the cliche goes, we try to pick our battles, and when it’s overwhelming (at least for me), I give myself a time out.

It’s the only way we’re going to survive.