It’s easy to see from the three-year-old’s behaviour that she’s happy with firm, reliable rules, clear boundaries, and regular mealtimes.
And now the one-year-old is getting in on the act; she visibly tests boundaries, is confused when they’re not enforced, and depends on their being there for her physical safety (stairgates, for one).
The kids need reliability, it seems. And freedom. And boundaries. And open spaces.
And sometimes, a mother who will just close her eyes, wait, and quietly go grey while they learn something new, like how to climb the swing-set without dropping the teddy or the carton of juice, or how to get down an 18-inch precipice hands-first.