Maria Montessori believed that in giving small children limits and order, this actually allowed them to be as free as possible. Now that A is 2 years old, I completely believe it. A can be such a wild child. Her grandmother always says she acts like a boy, whatever that means in old gender based thinking. I guess stereotypically, boys have energy and girls sit quietly.... I know that that is dead wrong.
A always had trouble sleeping. She's very easily stimulated and she's always fought sleep so we adhere to a strict nap and bed time schedule, even on weekends. This year, we decided to have some fun during the Christmas holidays and relaxed on the routine. A didn't nap properly, didn't sleep properly and albeit being dry for two weeks during the night previously, started wetting her bed during the holidays. She was also really whiny and prone to tantrums, probably due to the bad sleeping. Now that we're back on schedule and routine, she's in a generally better mood and she's dry again!
I also realize that when presented with too much choice, A doesn't know how to decide. She gets confused and then suddenly has zero focus. Therefore I totally believe now that by setting order and limits for her, this allows her to control what she wants to do in the allotted time so that she can be free to just focus on that activity without wondering about the unknown of what will happen next.
Yes, it requires some sacrifice from mommy and daddy but I have to say, I'd rather a happy toddler then the alternative.