The Chicken or the Eggs?

The rooster just wants to help. I’m not sure who started acting up first this past week, me or my kids. I’m recovering from PPMD after the birth of my second child and thanks to the wonders of all kinds of modern medical professionals, I’m doing quite well….most of the time. Last week I had some weird hormonal shifts and changes in my medication and I took a deep dive back into the land of anxiety for no reason. Nobody likes it there and I fight it pretty hard. Like any self-respecting mom, I try to hide my anxiety from my kids but they are totally smart enough to pick up on it. It just makes Big-O a bit more fussy but Little-C, the older and smarter of the two, acts like the raptors in Jurassic park. Sensing a weakness in the electric fence, she slowly and systematically tests for holes in my armor. What she has found out is that I CAN’T make her do anything, eat food, take naps, pick up her toys, stop spitting on me, go pee in the potty or admit that the sky is blue.
What I CAN do is remove everything fun from her room until there’s nothing left but a bed and a dresser. I even called Dan in the middle of the day and asked him to come home and help me break down her Little Tikes play structure. It looks like the Grinch has just wiped out Whoville in there.

I just hate fighting with her. I hate being mean. I hate taking away her toys. I hate making her take naps. If she weren’t so darn miserable without them, I’d just stop them altogether. Although I like having the freedom to get stuff done while she’s sleeping, I always miss her and am glad when she wakes up and comes out of her room. She is my little sweetness and I just want to be her mommy and her friend but I’m finding out in the harshest of ways that you can’t always be both and mommy is much more important.

I am the byproduct of awesome parents who raised great kids and several parenting books that basically say that if you do everything right, you too can have a perfect toddler. Big fat liars, I say (the authors, not my parents. they pretty much tell the truth). She was the perfect kid but lately she’s lost her ever-living mind and I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off trying to find it and put it back into her cute little head.

So she just woke up from her nap, sad but full of resolve. She tells me that tomorrow she wants to “be obedient and take a good nap so I can get one of my toys out of the garage.” Wow, I feel mean just writing that. In a way, I blame myself for her acting out. If I weren’t anxious, she wouldn’t be testing the limits so hard. But if she weren’t testing the limits so hard, maybe I wouldn’t be so anxious. Then maybe she wouldn’t test the limits so hard. I’m not sure which came first.

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