Last Thursday my daughter cried. And cried. And cried. She's been crying ever since, in bouts that come in waves every couple of hours. When she's not crying she'll find a reason to cry: her shirt is hiked up at the back, or that a pair of old shoes don't fit anymore or, my personal favorite, the pug stinks. (I can't argue with that one; my 14 year old dog has chronic bad breath that can make a grown man cry. This, in spite of a dental plan. Yes, he has a dental plan because the only teeth I'm brushing are mine and my daughter's)
I'm starting to think my daughter's mission in life is to make me miserable. By God if she's going to be cranky, so is mom. I think the dreaded "terrible twos" is well underway and it's taking a lot for me not to fly off the handle. In the throes of these tantrums, I won't lie, I ask myself, 'What in the @* have I gotten myself into?' All the while, Shorty shakes a finger at me and calls me "Bad boy, Mommy." What makes me bad (and a boy) in her eyes, I have yet to figure out.
She wants something but I can't figure out what it is with her crying. I get mad, she gets madder, I whine, she whines louder, I yell, she kicks and finds herself in the corner where she continues to holler and scream. I find a corner of my own. To get my attention from her time-out corner she calls out "Mommy," in several different intonations and volumes. I steel myself and look at the clock waiting for two minutes to run out. Then she sends out her best ammo for last, "I sorry Mommy," she says softly trying to choke back sobs.
Guilt-ridden, I pick her up and rub her back which makes her cry again. It escalates until I finally figure out what she wants: "Wipe my tears," she's been saying, pointing to her cheeks but dare not wipe the tears off herself. So, I give in, wipe her tears, and shush her gently like a mother is supposed to do with a baby. When she finally calms down, she flashes a grin and says, "I happy." (Cue evil baby laughter and voice: I will rule the world.)
Oh Lord, give me strength.