"As your toddler becomes more self-aware, he'll likely want to do more things for himself. Setting limits is important, of course, but you can let your toddler take the lead sometimes, like choosing which clothes to wear (even if it means he leaves the house in mismatched colors), wetting the toothbrush, or turning the bathroom light on or off. By encouraging his independence now, you'll help your toddler grow into a confident preschooler down the road."
For Karol, she's definitely picking a lot of her own outfits (which is fine except when she wants to wear a winter sweater in July), feeding herself with a fork and spoon, and did I mention she can work the DVD player all by herself? I swear I'm not a TV-is-the-babysitter parent, but Karol's trying to convince me to be.
"Now that your toddler can communicate using both words and gestures, you can expect him to become quite bossy. Mostly he's experimenting with how his ability to communicate affects the people around him. Some children go through a standoffish phase around this age. They have many feelings but they can't always express them with words."
Karol's taken to pushing away peers. She must need her personal space. She does this to Sarah during the day and I've even seen her do it to children on the playground. I'm a little worried that she's exhibiting (her mother's) anti-social behavior, but I guess maybe it's too early to tell. If her kindergarten teacher wants to hold her back for being anti-social, I guess we'll know. On the flip side...
"Your toddler may delight you and a few other special people in his life by showering you with affection. He will freely hug and kiss you, and (usually) come to you when called. He doesn't totally understand what it means to cooperate, but he recognizes that it makes you happy when he does. He may even be willing to help with some chores, such as putting away books and toys when you suggest it."
Karol has started showing affection to Patrick, especially, and to Daddy and Mommy as well. She's wonderful at saying "I luff you too!" Patrick loves to collect his 'sissy kissies' and he's a great hugger, so every once in a while I convince them to get together for a hug and smootch.