My daughter is three years old. Three years and four months old to be exact. She is a joy, a delight, and makes my life meaningful. Every single say she says and does thing that make me laugh, make me cry, and make me think “Awwwww……where did she learn THAT?”. Then there are the times when her mood flips in 0.2 seconds. Seriously, is this like early signs of biploar disorder? Multiple personalities?
First an example of the good moments. On Mother’s Day weekend as I was putting her to bed, Little A reached up and put her tiny hands on my face. Holding my face close to hers she began to sing the song from the children’s book Love You Forever by Robert Munsch. If you don’t know the book you can learn about it HERE. I was completely shocked, touched, and overwhelmed. I have never read that book to her, mainly because I learned years ago when I was teaching Kindergarten that I can’t read it at all without sobbing- much less read it ALOUD. Here was my sweet baby, singing that song to me and looking soulfully into my eyes. When she finished she smiled and said “I love you Mommy”. I asked where she learned that and her response was that her preschool teacher had read them the story. Well played, Mrs. Caitlyn. Well played. Really good teacher appreciation week gifts are coming your way. (And thank you again! sob sob, sniff sniff)
Fast forward to last night- an example of a WTH just happened moment. The same sweet child, this angelic little creature had enjoyed our family evening, been sweet as sugar during dinner, and played happily through bath and storytime. As we walked down the hallway toward her room she suddenly was struck by what I can only assume was the realization that it had been a few hours since reminded us that she is three years old. Suddenly her Bitty baby doll was simply too heavy for her to carry another step farther. (Keep in mind that she carries her for hours on end and had carried her halfway to our destination at this point.) She collapsed into hysteria on the floor, screeching that I simply must carry Bitty into her room for her. Surely if I did not comply with this request the world would end immediately and all gummy bears and princess movies would cease to exist- such with the tantrum she threw! Thinking fast on our feet while still stunned at the speed this meltdown began, my Handsome Husband and I sprung into action. Simultaneously we tried to calm her sobbing while reminding her that if she wanted Bitty to sleep with her, she must carry her the last ten steps into the bedroom herself. Twenty minutes later with red ringed eyes and a runny nose, she begrudgingly carried the doll over the threshold. SCORE one for Team Parents! We continued our routine, discussing first bad things that happened during the day followed by good things. (It is worth noting that when Handsome Hubby asked Little A what bad things happened during the day, she said “I frew a fit at night-night time”. ) We ended our discussion time with the usual round of hugs, kisses, proclamations of love and devotion, and the customary tickle monster sighting. Little A happily carried Bitty to her bed and stopped to look back over her shoulder as she climbed into her bed and smile happily at us, her loving parents who had just overcome a mega-tantrum with calm, steady discipline and understanding. All was right with the world.
Until she collapsed on the floor screaming that she couldn’t get into bed by herself.