Gazing down at my beautiful daughter’s face as she sleeps I quietly flip her off with my middle finger. Wait…don’t you dare judge me! This tiny, curly-haired tyrant has unleashed a reign of terror on our household of epic proportions.
I think the waffle that she threw at my head was a good indication that we were in for one hell of a day.
How is it possible that this sweet, little love of my life could have the mood swings of a drunk sorority girl?! One minute she was hugging me and telling me how much she loves me and the next minute she reared her little arm back and tossed her waffle straight at my head!
As of late, I can’t judge her mood. Things that made her happy a week ago totally piss her off now. Case in point, her obsession with Angelina Ballerina led me to believe she was ready for a ballet class. A week before class, she was walking around the house on her tip toes refusing to wear anything other than her leotard. So, I have no doubt she’s going to love every minute of her lesson. WRONG! As we arrive at the dance studio looking every inch the quintessential ballerina, she confidently strides towards the class.
Just as she gets to the door she stops in her tracks and loudly proclaims, “I NOT DANCING!”
Um, Excuse me? What did you say?! Leaving me standing at the door like a complete asshole I tell her teacher to give us just a minute and catch my daughter at the door, “Wrong way, baby girl. Let’s go to ballet!!”
I gently turn her around and steer her towards the studio. “NOOOOOO! You no touch me!”
By this point, we have an audience. I can tell all of the other mothers are thinking what we all think when we see another mother struggling with their child. “Thank God it’s you and not me!”
After spending ten minutes of a thirty-minute class convincing my daughter to go in the studio, I resort to the only thing that seems to work with her …Bribery.
“If you go to ballet like Angelina Ballerina I will get you a cupcake.”
She tilts her little head to the side in deep contemplation, “A cupcake? A pink cupcake!”
Taking her hand I lead her back to the classroom door and place my hand on the knob…”NOOOO!”
Flinging herself to the floor she begins kicking off her ballet slippers, wriggling out of her tutu and peeling off her leotard. I give up. Without a word I gather her clothing and carry her out wearing only her tights.
Taking a deep breath, I carefully buckle my precious angel (insert sarcasm) into her car seat and close the car door. In full disclosure, I took a little longer than necessary to get in the car. I needed to collect myself because I could feel the frustration and anxiety building in my chest. After about thirty seconds I hear a tiny knock on the inside window, “MOMMY, I WANT A PINK CUPCAKE!”
She must have missed the part of the negotiation which required her to actually attend the ballet class to receive the cupcake. Obviously, this mutual time out was not going to calm the situation so, I start the car and turn the radio up. After a few moments, I notice the silence. Now, anyone that has a toddler knows that silence is not a good thing. Carefully I crane my neck to look in the rearview mirror and just then I feel something whiz past my face and hit the windshield of the car! What the fuck?! I look down and see a toy car lying at my feet!
Ok, so I am a pretty patient mom, but launching shit at me while I am driving would push anyone to their limit! Just to make myself feel better here… Please raise your hand if your toddler child has pissed you off more than anyone else in your entire life? I am going to imagine that I am not the only one just to make myself feel better. Needless to say, we did not stop and get that pink cupcake.
That was Monday…
The next morning I vow to be patient in what has become a daily struggle with my now three-year-old. Heed my warning: Don’t drink the “terrible two” Kool-aid! Two was a gentle wave compared to the tsunami that turning three has brought. While one day she will proclaim how much she LOVES waffles the next day the same breakfast offends her so much that you would think I was serving her garbage. Or a morning filled with “Give me my 22 kisses, mommy!” before she will get out of bed can turn into an afternoon of “I can’t kiss you because it’s not Christmas.” Fucking random? Yes. But, that is the reality of dealing with a three-year-old!
What you should know is that my daughter is a combination of some of the most wonderful characteristics that took me years to develop as an adult.
She is strong-willed, charismatic, self-aware, and, most admirable of all, she gives zero fucks about most things. As a forty-one-year-old, she is my tiny hero. However, the very things that I celebrate in her I also wish that she would channel into something other than driving me to lose my shit every day!!! So, I take a deep breath every morning praying for the patience to deal with whatever she may (literally) throw my way. I have no doubt that my little one is going to do great things. Raising this little girl into a woman is going to be one of the most challenging and rewarding things I will ever do in my lifetime. Even if it does require me taking a waffle to the head.