You've officially embraced your inner hellion. And I'm surprised my eyebrows haven't turned gray from all the stress it's causing me.
Don't get me wrong, I don't want you to be the type of kid who doesn't test limits and push boundaries. It's only natural to want to see what you can get away with once in awhile. But tossing chunks of oatmeal at my face during breakfast? And laughing when a giant gob sticks to my glasses? Well, lets just say that I also control your access to animal crackers, so you may want to rethink your target.
Everything this month was a battle. Getting dressed. Changing your diaper. Reading a book. Walking upstairs. Walking downstairs. Buckling your car seat. Doing your hair. Eating. And don't get me started on Toby's proximity to your personal space. Or God forbid I want to have two minutes to myself to pee.
When you melt into a temper tantrum by violently tossing your body into a limp heap at my feet and wailing like a siren -- you know, because I stopped you from putting the tip of the orange marker in your mouth -- I try to take a deep breath and remind myself that this is a only a phase. One that will likely last until you turn into a complete ass of a teenager, but who's counting?
Meanwhile, your grandmothers find themselves feeling strangely satisfied these days for no apparent reason. And maybe even break into an inexplicable laughing fit once in awhile.
What they don't know is that at those exact moments, you're providing their revenge.
In fact, Dad was apparently so much of a handful growing up that when we ran into his best friend's mom at the grocery store last week, she giggled watching us struggle to keep you seated in the shopping cart.
"This is the beginning of my payback," Jerry told her.
"Oh, you'd need 10 kids to even begin to scrape that surface," she said.
I've heard stories that he once coated the entire living room in fireplace soot. And threw numerous cordless phones into the pool. And lovingly called his mother "Devil Woman" as a toddler. Not to mention the times he got escorted home in a police car. Or the parties he threw that trashed the house and valuable family heirlooms.
As for me? Ask grandma about the time she got called by my elementary school principal because I was found in the woods during recess with some kids who apparently had cigarettes. Or when I almost set the house on fire trying to toast pumpkin seeds. Or my first six speeding tickets. Or when I didn't come home from an older boy's prom until the next morning.
Yeah, on second thought, I guess I can deal with a little oatmeal on my glasses.
Dad and I tried our best to curtail your sudden urge to hit and throw things by giving you a stern "No," but our dual negative childhood karma apparently morphed to create the most adorable, charming little girl with a monster rebel streak and a premature penchants for breaking the rules. The combination is damn terrifying when I let my mind fast forward a few years.
So we decided to implement consequences for your misbehavior. The tried-and-true time out.
At first I didn't think you were old enough to comprehend punishment. But when I casually mentioned that your hair was messy while we were playing and you walked away and came back with your hairbrush, I realized you understand a lot more than I give you credit for.
Like most things when it comes to raising you, we figured out the time out rules as we went along. Now you get two warnings if you opt to partake in unacceptable behavior like throwing your toys at Toby, and the third time you have to sit on your stool facing a corner for one minute.
The inaugural time out spurred a meltdown of immeasurable proportions. Although I couldn't show it, I think I was more upset about having to discipline you than you were at the punishment. It is likely the first of many times throughout your life that you are going to hate me for enforcing rules that are intended to make you a better person, but I hope someday you'll understand that all of it is out of love.
Probably not until you have to discipline a child of your own, but by then, I'll be the one laughing.
We had a scare at your regular checkup this month when the doctor mentioned "heart" and "abnormality" in the same sentence after holding his stethoscope to your chest.
Needless to say, my pulse quickened.
He thought he heard a murmur, which spurred a very tense few weeks for your dad and me. We felt we had been taking your health for granted, and all it took was a very small reminder to prove it.
We took you to get an ecocardiogram at the hospital, which was very difficult for you, but afterward we spontaneously stopped at a buffet for lunch -- a place your father adores and I detest -- and you immediately perked up at the sight of an endless supply of beets and tomatoes and Jello and chicken soup.
We didn't get the results of your test for a few weeks, but in that time, I came around to the idea that you might have a murmur. The thought of it didn't scare me anymore. I just watched you play and run and it sunk in that you obviously weren't affected by it -- and hopefully never would be.
At the followup appointment, your doctor provided the good news that the cardiologists didn't detect a hole in your heart, which had been the worst-case scenario. It's possible you do have a murmur, and it's something they're going to monitor in the following months, but you've proved to me in more ways than one that you really do follow your own rhythm.
It only makes sense that it would be reflected in your heart.
But this month wasn't all bad. And I got plenty of reminders from friends with children your age that although you're a handful, there are a lot of things I never have to worry about that they do.
Like the fact that you sleep like a narcoleptic once you're in your crib. You protest mildly until we shut your door, but then it's instantly quiet and you don't peep for 12 hours. Or the fact that you have an entire mouthful of teeth and you haven't so much as whimpered about it.
There were other wonderful moments too. I have been working on the word "up" with you. Every day for four weeks, every time you reached to get UP on a bed or UP in your highchair or UP on the couch or UP on my lap or UP to see something, I emphasized the word and prompted you to say it.
Then one day, you did. You reached your little arms up to me and instead of whining, you said "BOP!'
I was speechless.
So I picked you up and showered you with kisses.
You don't know it, but you lift me bop too.