My husband and I thought the parenting thing was pretty easy with Little Man. How hard could it be to raise a kid who was kind, respectful, relatively easy-going, etc., right? So we had another kid and the universe pretty much laughed in our faces when it handed over Baby Girl.
There is so much I love about Baby Girl. And I feel like it’s important to emphasize that before I write anything else. Funny, bright, strong-willed, spirited, loving…did I mention funny, already? She has quite the sense of humor and can already deadpan with the best of them.
But whoa, that child. I’m scare to look at my hair too closely in the mirror, because there are probably gray hairs. Some of it would be due to worrying over her and the rest would be because of how taxing she can be.
Here are a few of the things that might lead to her having a shit fit at any moment:
Baby Girl, eat your breakfast.
Baby Girl, time to take a bath.
Baby Girl, you watched your show, now it’s time to turn off the TV.
No, Baby Girl, I can’t play; I have to work right now.
Baby Girl, it’s time to pick up LM from school.
Baby Girl, here is the lunch you ASKED for.
Baby Girl, I can’t carry you right now, walk and hold my hand.
Baby Girl, let’s work on our letters.
Baby Girl, time to go to bed.
Considering that five of the items on that lists are musts every day, there are lots of shit fits. I don’t understand why it’s so problematic to eat a meal or put on pajamas. Little Man had his complaints over food that was deemed spicy or clothes of textures he didn’t like (hello, sensory issues), but it wasn’t anything like this. Attempts at reasoning with her are fruitless and generally met with her throwing her head back and screaming loud enough that I fear the neighbors will call CPS since it sounds like she’s being killed. It’s her way or it’s hell, so unless it’s one of those minor “pick your battles” situations, it’s hell.
I know some people think we suck at discipline, but we try so hard. We’re consistent, we try to offer choices, we do all the things that are usually recommended for tricking toddlers (well, preschoolers) into behaving. She mostly sees through that and is like “fuck this.”
She makes me so weary and on edge — those shrieks make my anxiety go haywire. Going out in public, going grocery shopping, whatever has me in that anxiety mode, knowing the odds are high that the shit will hit the fan. I just want one day where we do the things we have to do and there is compliance and no screaming. Some people say a compliant child is a child who can’t think for herself or some shit, but I think they’d welcome a compliant day or two if they were in my shoes. When she’s not in that mode, she’s in total sweetheart/hilarious/all the good things mode, so the bipolar joke/misconceptions where people flip from one mood to the other rapidly would totally apply here.
(Can kids this age have bipolar disorder? Maybe the apple didn’t fall far from the tree? Shit, I’m not looking that up and getting my brain off on something else right now.)
Baby Girl is three and a half now. We’ve been in this “phase” forever it feels like. Really, though, she started off refusing to eat food and being very demanding about who held her when she was 6-9 months old, so forever isn’t much of an exaggeration. Much like I did with ages 2 and 3, I’m hoping that some of this stuff phases out as we get closer to 4. (After writing this and reviewing, I realize that the instances of her head banging the floor have decreased big time, so there’s some progress.)
On another note, this child will be going to kindergarten next year. Sure, it’s a year and a half away, but still, it feels so weird to say that, considering she was only 4 months old when I started this blog. A part of me wonders how she’ll be close to being ready — physically she still moves more like a toddler and she rarely lets anyone (including her preschool teacher) know what she knows (like, she’ll say that a T makes the “ssss” sound or that a 2 is a 9 just for the hell of it). But, again, a year and a half is roughly a third of the time she’s been on this earth now.
Now y’all know there is loads of good stuff I could write. Many of y’all have seen it on my other blog, Instagram, Twitter, etc. But I don’t usually write about the more stressful aspects there, unless they’re kinda funny, so this is me venting. I kinda feel like an asshole for venting about a three-year-old, and am aware that this probably reflects on my parenting fails more than anything, but…whew.
I’ll move on to Little Man for the next post.