Kayleigh will be three in June and to say she has been a challenge at times would be an understatement. I love her ferocity and her fierce independance. Even when she has a full-blown emotional breakdown about not being able to wear the unique outfit she picked out, I have to sit back and admire how she wants to do it on her own. It’s a blessing when there are children out there who can’t and won’t ever be able to do something as simple as picking a shirt out. But having an independent child is so difficult at times too. There are days, where I just want to crawl up in a ball and go back to bed, or drink an entire bottle of wine to my face. Either one would suffice.
Last week, the two kids and I took a trip to the grocery store. Kay was already in a grumpy mood due to staying up late the night before, but I was feeling brave. Upon walking into the store, I instantly realized it was a poor choice to come out at all. It was one of those trips where she wanted literally everything she set her eyes on, and I in return shot her down. This in turn led to numerous tantrums while I walked through each aisle. The grand finale came when at the register she decided she wanted candy. After telling her no, all hell broke loose. I held it together, but inside I was mortified. Who was this child? Don’t get me wrong, she’s been horrible before, but nothing like this and in public. This was not my sweet little girl, no way. I avoided eye contact with everyone, dodged stares and quickly left the store. I had become the mother which I had always looked at and felt sorry for. You know, the one with the 2 kids, one of which is terrible and having a full-blown screaming match in the middle of Shoprite. Well, I’m here to tell you if you don’t have children yet-don’t feel too sorry for her because you will at some point in your life be her. You will have a defiant, mean, grumpy two-year-old who wants to do whatever they choose and looks at you like the enemy. And you will inevitably be embarrassed beyond belief. If you do have children already and they have reached toddler status, then you already know what I’m talking about and you have probably been through this same scenerio before even if you’re child is an angel.
I won’t lie, there was a time that day where I called my husband and cried to him on the phone, asking if he thought there was something behaviorally wrong with our daughter. I mean, how could I give birth to such a little brat? I really thought when I was first pregnant that I was going to have a precious little girl, who was always sweet and had impeccable manners. But the reality of having a toddler is, they have tantrums and call you names. And yes, you will probably get a bite or a hit at some point too. It’s nothing that you’ve done wrong. It’s just this devilish age group known as the toddler years, or as I like to refer to them: the threenage years. I know it will pass, and I’ll get my sweet girl back. There’s a sweet little kindhearted girl in there somewhere. She makes an appearance for a greater part of the day, but her evil twin comes out too. Then there are times like that very afternoon when after a long,hard day she could see I was tired and upset, and she came over cuddled up next to me, told me she loved me and fell asleep. That’s the girl I know. The one that’s in there somewhere while she’s freaking out about something ridiculous.
Now so far, Owen has actually been a little angel. I know I’ll probably look back and read this post with a chuckle when he’s a toddler with an attitude someday in the not so far future. But for right now, he’s my sanity and my smile on a day when I feel like I’m going to break. We share mutual looks of “what the hell?” when Kayleigh is having one of her tantrums about nothing.
And Kayleigh? Well, for now she’s my little Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. I’ll just keep reassuring myself that it’s a phase. It’s just a phase.