Sunday, November 11, 2007

Reality and Parenting

Yesterday I watched my two-year-old feed silver spoons down the crevices of the sofa cushions. I didn't think much of it... just normal toddler antics. Besides, I thoroughly vacuum the sofa at least once each week, carefully wedging the crevice tool between every cushion, all the way back to the frame.

So I half-heartedly admonished her to refrain from putting the nice silverware in the sofa and plunged my arm into the abyss to retrieve my fine flatware.

Before retrieving all four spoons I salvaged 12 jumbo crayons, the mallet for the xylophone, numerous barrettes and other coiffure accoutrements, three socks, and a whole mess of Annie's Organic whole wheat bunny crackers.

I've often wondered how we manage to go through crayons so quickly. I just assumed the socks had disappeared in the dryer. That the vacuum missed the crackers altogether is somewhat disconcerting, but I'll certainly be more careful in the future.

A's name means "bird-like." The imagery in my little world was always graceful and airy... I hadn't thought she'd live up to the name by decorating a hidden "nest" with flashy contraband like a magpie. Live and learn.

Meanwhile, she has been seriously trying my patience on other fronts. It's a little overwhelming to go into too much detail, right now, but the short version is that she has boundless energy, endless enthusiasm, and a need to perpetually be in motion... and while her sparkling personality can be all charm one minute, she doesn't have a highly refined sense of empathy (very different than her older sister in this detail) and can be quite (to use a friend's description of her son) prickly. I'll spare the detailed list of events of the weekend. The bottom line is that J and I didn't get to go out for our anniversary dinner, yesterday. Today we had to leave Barnes and Noble in a hurry and I didn't get a book. And I've been coping with tantrums each and every time A doesn't get exactly what she wants when she wants it... and sometimes an extra tantrum or two just for kicks, even when she is getting her way.

Yeah, I realize I'm whining. And yes, I understand that two-year-olds are, by default, willful and prone to tantrums. But this is different than what I went through with G. Very different. So different that I actually found myself, in a moment of despair last night, reading articles on symptoms of ADHD in toddlers and preschoolers. Yes. Seriously.

I'm hoping this is just a phase. Just normal for her and her dynamic way of being in this world. Hoping that I can just hang in there and try to enjoy the lessons she has to teach me. I know this time goes by too quickly. But sometimes... Sometimes I really need a break when there is no break to be had. During those times I reserve the right to whine just a little bit.

And not be embarrassed to admit that I don't think my children are 100% delightful 100% of the time. Parenting is HARD. I love it and wouldn't trade my job for anything in the world. But right now... Right now I'm just getting through the evening and hoping tomorrow will be better.

1 comment:

  1. (((S))) I TOTALLY get it and did a big ole vent about my dynamo the other day.

    I'm glad we are getting together tomorrow. Hopefully, I can bring some humor into your stress. *raises eyebrows couple with sinister laughter*