Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thisbe Do It

Well, it's Sunday, November 13th and Dada and I are ready to throw you out the window.

Why? Well, because currently everything is a battle. Everything. No, that's not true. As long as we let you do whatever you want to do AND pay attention to you while you do it, you are happy as a clam. After your bath, for instance, you scampered naked over to the space heater in your room and crouched in front of it, the warm air slightly ruffling the pages of "Millions of Cats" as you read it aloud. I brought over the lotion and put a little on your belly so you could rub it in yourself. "No," you said, "attempting to grab the whole jar from me, "mine." "No," I said, "mine." You also wanted to do the sticky tabs on your diaper by yourself, zip your pajamas yourself, and brush your teeth by yourself.

In the mornings, we often bring you into bed for a few minutes so that Mama and Dada have a little chance to truly wake up before the lights and barking and whining begin in earnest. you like to sit on top on me, stroke my hair a little, look deep into my eyes, and say "MY Mama." If you weren't two, we'd think we were in the beginning of a stalker film.

You want control over everything and, since you don't really have control over much, you're now trying to manipulate your bodily fluids (your only real arsenal) in support of your will. To wit: last Saturday, during a two minute time out in your crib, you took off your clothes and your diaper and urinated all over the crib and floor. "Mama, come here. Mama, pee-pee," you said. This morning I wasn't feeling well and so, in what I assumed was a move of genius, I instructed Dada to take you to church. (When I'm well, church is all about God. When I'm sick, church is all about free child care.) You were having none of it. You were pissed. Dada wrangled you into diaper, clothing, and even into your car seat. But you were crying so hard that you puked. And that ended the trip to church and Mama's sleep in time. This evening, Mama wanted to use the bathroom without your presence. This resulted in another screaming fit, followed by a time out, followed by puking in your bed.

Now it's starting to sound like we're terrible parents. We're making our beloved child get hysterical to the point of puking. And maybe we ARE bad parents. Suddenly it feels like a war and the clouds of dust and debris are so thick that I can't remember if I'm supposed to be patient or firm or ignore you or show you that I am angry or laugh or re-direct or threaten or have another glass of wine.

The toughest part is that when you are getting your way and we are paying attention to are awesome. Articulate and sweet, full of "thank yous" and "love you toos." When we asked you what animal you wanted to see at the zoo last week, you said "tapir." Your favorite game to play is "Going bye-bye. Look sad, Mama. Back now. Look happy, Mama." I call this the Prodigal Son game. Except when you "go bye-bye," I don't think you're off buying whores.

It's been forever since I've written so of course there is much more to say. The title of the post really says it all though. I know it's typical for a toddler to want to do everything independently, I get it. But it is getting hard to know when saying "yes" is an offer of patience and abundant love, and when saying "yes" is supporting the bad habits of a spoiled despot. And trying to know the difference all the time--well. It's hard. I think I'll have that second glass of wine. But I'll raise it to you, dear darling one. Because you are asleep and so it is easy to say "yes, yes, yes."


  1. It's so true. Adelaide is a completely ethereal creature...when we worship her.

  2. "If you weren't two, we'd think we were in the beginning of a stalker film." This nearly made me start laughing uncontrollably at work just now.

    Oh man, it really is so hard to know when to say yes. But her determination will be a useful skill someday. Right?! :-)