if I don't laugh, I'll cry

You know you might have some issues to work through when you are plotting your way back to daycare on your way to work. The wintry mix spread over the landscape down here is nothing short of YUCK. The snow turned to rain and now there are huge “I’m unsure if I should attempt to drive through that” puddles dotting my route back. I opted not to wash my hair today (why bother?) and wisely pulled on a pair of jeans for work (I defy anyone at work to utter a word about my choice). I got myself out early to clean off the car and shovel the steps and walkway clear of the mushy slushiness that had gathered there spelling imminent disaster later when it will become a sheet of ice. Steve had early meetings with the bosses so I shooed his offers to do the work away – it was more annoying than taxing. A half a bowl of oatmeal, one potty sit, and one poop in a diaper later - Caroline and I were sitting downstairs with the Today Show watching the late starts and closing notices roll by. I breathed a sigh of relief when I did not see our center.

We are having a real problem with listening lately and I am at my wit’s end because she will literally not listen to me unless I raise my voice or snatch her up as she tries to race by me kicking and lashing out and that just really stinks. It makes me feel crappy, it makes her upset and nobody is happy. No matter how many warnings I give her that we are going to put on our coat soon, in a few minutes, in one minute, she still races away from me or drops to the ground in despair when I announce to her that all the minutes have expired. I know this is typical nearly three behavior, but seriously, L-I-S-T-E-N. She knows the drill, she knows that after breakfast we put on our coat and get in the car, and yet somehow it is shocking to her that she might have to leave whatever it is she is doing to go to school. The good news, if there is good news, is that somewhere between me putting her into timeout and counting to ten (which I did aloud today as I flushed that vicious poop) she announces that she is sorry and is ready to listen. Of course she says it with her head down, her eyebrows furrowed in regret, her little voice barely audible and I wonder for just a moment if I have become a monster demanding too much from such a little girl. I sit her on my lap, I hug her body close to mine, she inserts that left thumb and rubs my belly and we talk about how important it is to listen. I tell her that I know she wants to be a good girl and it is like it never happened. She’s suddenly pulling on boots and asking for her hat and even smiling, but I can’t move on that quickly and I pick apart the entire interaction seeking out ways I could have been better, calmer, more effective.

Three is going to be awesome.


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