Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Grudge of a Two Year Old

We celebrated Father's Day with my Dad this year by going to the Monterey Bay Aquarium and having a sleep over. It was only for kids older than 5, so it ended up being the three oldest grandkids and their father's (oh, and me). So The Boy and I did that on Sunday night. It was beyond awesome and deserves its own post (hopefully I will find the time to do that...). But it also happened to be the very first time I have left The Girl alone over night.

She was with my mom and step dad, which for her is as close to Mommy as one can get. She spent the afternoon and evening at their house and then they brought her home to sleep in her own bed. I was a bit nervous and was texting with my step dad throughout the evening while I was at the aquarium half expecting to have to excuse myself for a few moments to go into a corner and sing "You Are My Sunshine" to her over the phone. Much to my surprise (and happiness!) she fell sound asleep, didn't need to hear from Mommy at all, and slept the whole night through. It was a total success. I was pretty stoked.

Then yesterday afternoon when I went to pick her up from daycare I was SUPER excited to see her. Her daycare lady told me, "Man...she was missing you!" I said, "Really? She seemed fine according to my mom while I was gone..." and she said, "Oh no. She has spent all day long asking for Mommy and crying and just being super sensitive. She needed her Kitty (lovey blanket) several times and she NEVER asks for Kitty." So I gave her an extra squeeze and we headed home.

As I have mentioned in previous posts, she is obsessed with the movie Cars right now and she has a book that has all the characters in it. She was reading her book when I told her it was dinner time. She turned away from me and said, "No! I reading!" This isn't unusual for dinner time and I did what I always do. I told her she could finish reading after dinner and it was time to sit at the table and eat. I removed the book and carried her over to her booster seat and strapped her in and put her meal in front of her. She looked at me with her most defiant look and picked up her edamame and threw it at me.

So, again, I did what I always do. I turned her chair around to face the wall and removed her plate. She did what she always does and screamed. I let her sit there for a couple of minutes and asked her if she was ready to rejoin us for dinner. "NO!!" was the response. Okay then... So about 10 minutes passed and she told me she wanted to come back to the table. So I let her. She then said, "I want to read my book." I told her, again, that she was welcome to read her book after dinner, but right now it was dinner time. She started slamming her fists into the table and grabbing at her hair and actually pulling big clumps of it out. Clearly frustrated, but I have never seen the hair pulling before. A little alarming...

So I told her she could either eat dinner with the family, or she could go sit in her room and read her book there. She looked right at me, again with the defiant look, and said, "I go read my book in my room." I was beyond done with the arguing (keep in mind I had had about 3 hours sleep, it was 90 degrees in my house, and I hadn't had a shower in two days. I was not my best self...) so I took her book, and put her and the book in her crib. She stayed there for the rest of dinner. Didn't eat one bite of food.

After dinner it was bath time (they both needed baths badly with how hot it was) so I went in and told her that it was time to take a bath. She insisted she was taking her book with her. I told her no and pulled her out of the crib and put her on her changing table and began taking her clothes off. She actually ripped her shirt trying to keep it on because she didn't want the bath. When it was clear I was going to make her do it anyway, she hauled off and smacked me across the face. Oh HELL no! So I took her, just in her diaper, threw her back in her crib, slammed her door and walked out while she screamed bloody murder. I came out to the kitchen where my mother was (thank God she was still here...) and said, "Please. I am at a loss. I don't know what to do. I am just done..."

So my mom went in, got her up, read her the book and then convinced her that she would continue reading it to her while she took her bath (I never would have thought of that). I finished the dishes while my mother was able to get her bathed without much drama. After the bath I checked back in (my own "time out" had done me good) and tried to put on her jammies. "NO! Not Mommy! Want Gigi do it!" And this went on until bed time. I honestly didn't know if she was just pissed that I left...or if she didn't feel good...if she was hungry...or if she was just being two. I was completely at a loss. Bedtime, fortunately went without much drama and she let me put her down. This morning, she seemed pretty normal, although a bit sensitive (crying over the fan being "too loud..." and not being able to bring her stuffed animals into daycare...etc...).

When I went to pick her up today they told me she had had a really rough day. She cried all day long if anyone touched her, or if she dropped her paper, and again...asked for her Kitty all day long. The director thought she was upset I left and that perhaps it would help if I would spend some time with her. I brought her home and did my best to play with her and keep things "light." Fortunately dinner time went well, and she actually ate dinner with us this evening. We went on a walk after dinner and she was her old self. As soon as we got back from our walk she casually came up to me and asked to be picked up. I picked her up and she immediately threw her arms around my neck and gave me a huge hug.

"I really glad you came back Mommy."

I looked her her (tears in my eyes) and said, "Honey...Mommy will always come back. I promise." She smiled, and took her little hand and patted the side of my cheek.

"I really really miss you Mommy."

I gave her a squeeze again and told her how much I had missed her too. And then she sat on my lap (unheard of for her) for 20 minutes and rubbed my leg.

Who knew that a two year old could comprehend all of this? And who knew that she could hold such a grudge? And who knew that she could be so sweet and expressive to be able to tell me that she was glad I was back and she missed me.

My god, how I love that little girl.

And I am SO beyond screwed when she is a teenager. Pray for me now.

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