We are definitely knee-deep in the "2" phase. You haven't even turned "2" yet, which means to me that you are ahead of your age group in the desire to become independent.
You know what you want and WOOOOOE to he who stands between you and that desire! :)
Example? Okay - you twisted my arm:
Picture dinner time if you will. A pleasant child playing with toys realizes that he's hungry. Mommy (insert curtsey) is making a healthy meal with portions of fruit and veggies in it in the kitchen (okay - not ALWAYS, but I do try...).
A woaful cry rises up of "Cheeeeeez-baaaaawl? Cheeeez-baaaawl?" You wander into the kitchen, eyes scanning the counter top for the bag of Cheetos cheese puffs.
(God - why don't we hide them? Are we retarted? Apparently so....)
When your eyes fall on the bag and you know their location, you look to me and somehow see in my expression (I need to carry a small mirror at all times, because you can read me like a book and I don't know how) - that I'm NOT going to give you the Cheetos.
"Jack. You can have a cheese ball AFTER you eat a good dinn.."
"Jack, I understand that you want..."
By now, tears are streaming down your face and you are alternating between stretching as tall as you can to try to reach the bag on the countertop and falling into a heap on the kitchen floor with your face buried in your hands at the hopelessness of the situation.
By the time I have you strapped in your highchair with the food that you CAN have, you are so distraught and upset that it takes about half an hour before you will even CONSIDER touching the horrible alternatives I have given you for dinner.
This is completely un-exaggerated and I invite any doubters to join us around 5:30 for the next showing.
We are also dealing with a hitting (when frustrated - at toys, dogs, parents - and then looking wide eyed at the nearest parent to gage just HOW MUCH trouble you are in) and kicking (usually at diaper changing time) toddler who is having trouble expressing his frustration and I am more and more aware of my first-time parenting skills as I try to come up with ways that are acceptable for him to express these feelings because - the feelings themselves aren't wrong. We all have them - it's the way you express them and, when language is not quite there, it doesn't leave a lot of options.
On the other hand, you are also becoming more and more capable and it's fun to see you identifying things in your artwork that only you see and putting words together in sentences that we understand:
"byyyte, dadda!" (meaning you want a bite of something Daddy is eating) "Maaaaaaamaaaaaa - beeeeeeee?????" (meaning you can't find your pacifier and you want me to find it for you) "AAAAA-POH! NOOOOO!" (you don't want the dog to lick you, stand in your line of vision to the television, or eat your food or basically be where you are - on the couch, on your blanket, and so on and so on....)
I need to get this on video because the beginning of this stage, while challenging, is also very adorable and surprising in how quickly your development progresses daily.