June 09, 2006


Have I been talking about my kids a lot lately? Well then, here we go again:

Sass. Oh Sass. Sass and I are butting heads. We are like rams fighting on an open mountain top. (I guess. Is that where rams fight?) She is putting her foot down and I am putting my foot down and most days we're just stamping on each others toes and not really making any progress. She's been making me work really hard this week and she's shaken my parental confidence to the core. I've been spending a lot of time talking to my mom about it, to her dad, to my friends who know me best. All the talking reassures me that it's perfectly normal. That I'm perfectly normal. That she's perfectly normal. I know all that, but last night I sat outside her door sobbing in frustration. She was sitting in her bed sobbing in frustration and I just thought What in the hell is wrong with me? Why can't I handle my own kid? My own perfectly normal three year old? She'd taken one look at my bag of tricks, my tools of the parenting trade, and dumped them on the floor. A few minutes later, she came and sat beside me. Mom? She said. I'm not going to bed. Ever. This made me laugh out loud and cry a little harder and then we sat there quietly for a few minutes. I put my arm around her and hugged her and she hugged me back. She was right, she still didn't go to bed -- but we got a little reprieve from the storm.

Tonight? Tonight M was home and I thought Well. If tonight goes like last night, at least I'll have some back up. My little girl likes to keep me on my toes, however, and she went to bed without a hitch. Three books, one song, and one trip downstairs to find Teddy and with a sweet I love you, Mama she rolled over and went to sleep. I just don't get it.

Today, I battled with her over a swimming suit. A swimming suit. I'd bought her a new one and she was horrified to find that it was a two piece. She wanted one that went "all the way over her belly" and I didn't know that. She wouldn't wear it and I tried to make her. Why you ask? I have no idea. I honestly don't care most days what they wear as long as they're happy and comfortable, and I really didn't care if she wore that swimsuit -- especially since last year's suit was sitting right there and it fit just fine. I think I just wanted to win an argument. Just one argument. I didn't, by the way.

I told her tonight, I said "Sass. I love you, I love you so much and there's no one else I love like I love you." Which is the truth. I can honestly say that I don't do favorites, but I have a unique love for both of my girls. I could tell she took that to heart, she smiled a quiet smile and tucked in close to me while I opened up her first book. I just wanted -- needed -- her to know that even when we're in turmoil, there's no one like her and my love for her is unshakable.

And Party Girl. Good golly, Party Girl is cute right now. She struts around with her little baby walk and acts like she owns the world. I took them to the spray park today and she stood in the middle of it all shrieking her happy shriek at anyone who would listen. Or at no one. Or at the water shooting out around her. She went right for the middle part, where the water comes down like a heavy down pour and she stood there getting drenched and just kept shrieking away. Then she walked around the fence line trying to find a gap wide enough for escape. Where she was going, I don't know. Later we took them to a park by the river and she'd charge right up to the railing and though I knew she couldn't fall through, my momma's heart lurched every time. I'd kneel down to put my arm around her belly or hold her hand and she'd say no no no and push my hand away. She talks non-stop and most of it is unintelligible but then you think Did I just hear that? and there it is: a new word. This week it's been "nacks" (snack) and "bus" and coming up to touch my feet and shouting "tigle tigle tigle" and running away screeching with laughter. She checks in with me constantly, and whenever she gives me one of her cuddly hugs and open mouth kisses she croons "Bay-bee." I really wish I could just bottle a little bit of her up to save forever. I want to watch her grow and learn and love and live, but oh how I want to remember her right now, today. I want to remember this always.

We left the park ironically -- M cradled a very tired, weepy Sass in his arms like a little baby while Party Girl walked on her own chubby legs the three blocks back to the car. It's funny to watch them move in and out of stages on their own -- Sass wants to be a baby right now, she craves attention and seeks it by regressing to the point of frustration. Party Girl wants everything a big girl has. She sees Sass moving out in the world and wants to be just like her in every way. They both want what the other one has.



Blogger Lauren said...

I can so relate to the mood swings at age 3.

They are both really cute.

June 02, 2006 3:42 PM  
Blogger Margaret said...

I hope Sass works through whatever she's trying to figure out or whatever boundaries she's trying to find soon. And that Party Girl of yours... she's just joy on legs.

June 02, 2006 6:28 PM  
Blogger Her Grace said...

Margaret -- That's funny, because I've been calling her "Trouble on Two Legs!"

Sass had a good day today, a GREAT day. My mom even said it was great to have her "back to her old self" and she doesn't push boundries with my mom.

Commence knocking on wood.

June 02, 2006 7:32 PM  
Blogger Holly said...

i love what you write about your children. i so understand. mothering is so difficult and frustrating sometimes. We all try so hard and all those parenting tools and tips and techniques and advice just falls away and you're left staring your kid in the eye and thinking "what in the hell do i do now?"

so we do something, anything, and hope its the right thing. but if its not, that's okay too, because chances are if we didn't do the right thing, they're bound to do the same thing all over again. you'll get another chance.

June 08, 2006 11:20 PM  

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