“When she was good, she was very, very good,
but when she was bad, she was horrid!”
– from Nursery Rhyme, There Was a Little Girl
I remember my son’s two-year-old self as being a little easier to manage than his sister, but I’m probably mis-remembering. In fact, I think I vaguely recall the six months between 2.5 and 3 years of age being ones I could have cut out of his life entirely. (You know what I mean.) I also know that with two kids in my charge, my patience and my sanity are thinner and closer to the brink now than they were when I only had one child to care for.
Enter Madame. She is a lovely child. She is bright and charming, and the delight of many. She is joyous. She’s silly. She’s very funny. She’s clever. She’s delicious.
She at times is also a willful, stubborn mule. I know this may serve her well as a grown woman one day, but lately, I’ve really had my fill.
Part of being two is pushing boundaries. It helps them feel safe in knowing that they’re in the same place as they were before. It’s nothing personal – they just push. They push, and push, and push.
Part of being the mum is standing firm. No you can’t push your play stroller down the stairs. No you can’t jump on the top of the bunk bed. Yes, you must wear your rain boots today. You can have the cookie after your lunch. Please hang your coat right here. Please put that wrapper in the trash can. Oh, and you get nothing if you don’t say please.
Push. Push. Push.
No, I won’t nap today. No, I won’t come when you call me. I want to open the box of raisins MYSELF! I didn’t want you to CUT the apple! No!! NO!! I want to wear the pink sundress today! I don’t LIKE eggs! I will babble like a baby instead of talking today. Cookie. COOKIE!!
Crumple into heap and wail and sob and scream.
Mother walks over child and tried to hold her head together with her hands.
They push and they push and they push. It is exhausting standing firm, especially without much of a break from the pushing. But it is necessary.
Le sigh. It won’t be like this forever, I know.