Thursday, June 20, 2013

Winning Some, Losing Some

Today was the kind of day where I sent an SOS to a babysitter with the hopes that she had some availability soon. Laura and I are simply not seeing eye-to-eye these days. Mostly because she's terrible (two). She is pitching fits right and left, has reverted to her unbecoming habits of throwing items and hitting me out of frustration, and has gone to bed two nights in a row without a story because of that.

This photo says a lot about her personality of late. It's June in Atlanta, yet she defiantly insisted on wearing socks. And deliberately chose mismatched ones. Two days in a row.

At her worst moments, I fear she is what some would call a brat, and I wonder if she can be rehabilitated. I try to remember that she's only two, and does have her good moments, too. And I also remind myself that how I respond to her outbursts will affect whether or not she continues to be a brat. But man, it's hard. Hard not to explode, hard not to just give up. Hey, has anyone ever mentioned that parenting is hard?

While we were on vacation, she charmingly asked me one day, out of the blue, "What are you thinking about, Mommy?" I think I said something along the lines of, "What a nice time I am having." Then I asked her the same question, to which she responded, "Laura." Well, if that's not toddlerhood in a nutshell, I don't know what is. She is the center of her universe and assumes ours as well.
Photo taken through the glass doors because I was so fearful of disrupting the peace.
On the positive side, both Clare and Danny have really made an effort to engage her. Clare shows infinite patience in round upon round of tea party or "taking care of babies." Danny plays chase, and gives her horseback rides, all of it allowing me to escape to fold a load of laundry or blog about how frustrating my youngest child is.

It's easy to obsess about the battles I've lost and will continue to lose, but we've had victories, too. I made a new recipe tonight that all three kids ate. My eldest are reading together, not for the first time this summer vacation. Laura didn't get a story, but still went to bed as easily as she always does. When I think of these things, it seems silly to even make the analogy of parenting, or life, as a war or even a game. It's a gift, and I will endeavor to enjoy the present.

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