Ever since her 2nd birthday last September, Clothilde has been so much easier. She loves to help, and is so observant of how things are done, often she just does something, to our astonishment, that seems way beyond her capabilities.
I think part of why it was so difficult when she was smaller was that she was extremely mobile and athletic long before her verbal skills caught up and she understood NO and the concept of danger. Even when she could only sit up, she would pull herself to standing at the edge of the coffee table and get into things. She was walking at nine months (I still feel traumatized). Only a little while later she could climb onto the chairs, and then on to the table, and then she could push the chairs around and get to practically anywhere in the house. Nothing was safe from her. We had to keep our chairs tied up between meals, and she still managed to rock-climb up them.
She looks so tall to me, but compared to other babies her age, she isn't particularly tall. I think it's because she was so small walking around at first. I think, "That chair seat only came up to her chin!" and realize she's doubled in size.
Now that she can understand things, she has suddenly become much less of a hazard and so much help. She loves helping out with things - often more than the big kids, who are "bored" with it. She gathers eggs, feeds the goats hay, helps milk (yes, she actually does help milk!). She was helping me plant seeds the other day, and picks lettuce with me in the garden.
It's so nice that our very difficult days are past, and I am no longer having to hover over her to make sure she isn't drinking out of the toilet, flooding the kitchen, playing with knives, or climbing the shelves. I feel like I'm beginning to really enjoy her intense personality for the first time.