We’ve had a rough bunch of days the last little while. For once, we’re not sick, it’s not cold out, and we’re not moving. However, because a calm life is something to be avoided at all costs, the Maiden has taken it into her head to turn into her evil clone.
This is not poetic exaggeration. Since Saturday or Sunday, she’s discovered personal fulfillment that can only be found through knocking stuff over, running away, screaming for things she knows she’s not getting, laughing when we try to discipline her, and just plain making the Man and I wish we could mail her to her grandparents, who don’t believe that sweet thing could possibly be as bad as we say.
(Believe me, she is.)
Let’s start with a typical day.
Normally, the Maiden is a morning person. I am not, but we have an understanding. She can get up after 6, but she has to play nicely and quietly. Usually, this involves books, a puzzle, or dress-up clothes. This week, it involved that @#@$! harmonica her dad bought her, alternated with that #^!@%@% recorder that I bought her. (Yes, we are pretty stupid sometimes. Be quiet.) It also involved the sowing of clothes and toys in every room of the house. Of course, said sowing was not followed by harvesting the items and depositing them where they belong. Not willingly, anyways.
Then there is the matter of food. If she gets hungry before breakfast, there is a snack on the bottom level of the fridge, and she’s welcome to fix it for herself if she wishes. She is not permitted to decimate an entire bag of pita bread, turn the cranberry juice into a Montessori measuring-and-pouring lesson, and/or take bites out of random pieces of fruit. Or eat so much ice cream she gets a stomachache.
I suppose I should be grateful that she’s showing some independence. I’m not. Especially, since 5 minutes after devouring all these, she is bouncing on the bed demanding breakfast right now.
I don’t do breakfast at 6:25 a.m. End of discussion.
The rest of the day goes downhill from there. Independence I can handle, although I’ll complain about it privately. But not all-out mayhem. Not trashing rooms, throwing around toys, refusing to clean up. Or demanding treats, toys, and impossible things that she doesn’t even get when she’s good, let alone when she’s gunning for the Miss Jailbird America prize. Or throwing fits over nothing. Or bouncing out of time-outs, laughing when I remove privileges, and giggling as toys get put in toy prison on top of the refrigerator. And definitely not, when as a last resort she ends up with a spanking, chuckling because it’s just so funny. It’s all one hilarious game: let’s see how crazy we can make Mommy, because when Mommy finally cracks and goes into a mental institution, she can eat all the junk food she wants.
I hate to say it, but I’m about 3/4 of the way there.
But there’s light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s not just a hallucinatory illusion of the kind experienced when the carriage pulls up to the door, waiting to take me to the madhouse. (“I’ve always depended on the kindness of strangers,” and all that.) The other day, after a second spanking incident, the Maiden seemed to show a little remorse. If nothing else, she wanted me to make it all better. Her solution: “Can you please kiss my spank?”
Wait. My daughter just told me to kiss her a**.
I think it can only get better from here.