When you began scratching and hitting my face when it was time for a diaper change.
When you ripped out my hair as I carried you routinely toward bedtime.
When you glared directly at me whilst dropping unwanted food onto the floor.
When you screamed and flung yourself to the ground when told to pick up your blocks.
When you decided to skip dinner. Twice in three days.
When all of these things cropped up in rapid succession I knew.
The times... they are a- changin'.
Apparently we have entered the newest phase of raising a person and it is by far the trickiest and most challenging. Some say it's an early start of the ole "terrible twos", others say, it's just a phase and it'll pass. My own assumption is that it's just the beginning of a constant battle for power and independence. A strong desire to become an independent little girl. You want what you want. Hey, who can blame you? I still want a Mac - but it's not gonna happen anytime soon. Much like you getting to play on the stairs with the potential of smashing your skull on the slate landing. Sorry, honey, I know you love to proudly exclaim, "I'M TALL!" (rub it in why don't you) but you can be tall by standing on a piece of cardboard on the rug just the same.
It's amazing to see this sweet, little girl - you know, the one who could do no wrong for a solid year - flip her switch and monsterize herself. I swear, it's like the ponytails come out, the smile fades and here comes Crankenstein. I almost ran for cover the other day. Well, for fear of being hit with a xylophone - that thing's no feather.
But in all fairness there are so many moments of extreme sweetness too. Like last night when you wanted to play with your ABC Puzzle. I told you that the floor was too messy and told you to pick up your animals and put them in the little barn first. I lost myself in a blog for a minute and then heard you say, "OK, ABC puzzle!" I turned around and the floor was clear. But where did she put everything? Where's the barn? I looked over at the couch and the barn was sitting on the couch, closed. I opened it up and sure enough there was the whole crew: cowie, horsey, sheep, farmer guy etc. I was SO impressed. I excitedly praised you and we high-fived through toothy grins. I love seeing that pride on your face. Right then I realized it's up to me to set goals for you to reach so you can always feel that pride. Challenge accepted.
You're a little spitfire these days but man, do I love you. I've learned a lot from these past few weeks too. I've learned how to easily handle most of your tantrums. Simply, by the most passive reaction. When you start throwing your crayons - coloring time is over. We pack it all up and put it out of sight for a few days. When you drop food on the floor because you don't want it - the dish is taken away, you are cleaned up and meal time is over. There is no yelling, just explaining. Don't get me wrong, I do yell some of the time out of frustration but I educate you in every situation. And I know you're listening - it's just up to YOU whether you comply or file the reasoning away under Tough Shit, Mama.