Oh, Jo-whatever-your-last-name is. Yes, you with the purple skirt-suit you wear in every episode of your show. You know, this one:
I could really use you in my house right about now. You and your British-ness are needed badly. You see, it turns out that I do not actually have a preschooler. No. She is actually a moody 17-year-old merely trapped in the BODY of a preschooler. That is the only way I can explain the talking back (I think ol' Jo refers to this as "backchat), the defiance, and the incessant need to have the last word. (Hmm, come to think of it, maybe she's a member of the U.S. Senate disguised as a preschooler).
Things have gone from bad to worse on the tantrum/defiance front, and it is not fun, my friends. Not fun at all. Now, the lucky thing for me is that we do not engage in public tantrums. So, most of the activity in question is relegated to our warm, happy home. But really. It is BAD. Take yesterday, for example. We decided to take a nice family stroll around the lake. Ava said she wanted to take her scooter, and promised she would not get tired. Why I believed this, I will never know. So, we loaded up the SINGLE jogging stroller and drove on our way. I think we made it about oh, 3/4 mile before her little legs began to get tired. At this point, I should mention that the husband really thought we should bring the double jogger, but I insisted that it was too bulky and didn't want to have to remove stuff from my car (which also prompted me to start whining about needing a bigger car). He was nice and just loaded up the single. Okay, so the whining begins 3/4 mile in. And guess how long the trail is? Yes, that's right. Two-and-a-quarter miles. So, we trekked on, with the promise that we would stop to feed the ducks. so, we did. At this point, the whining/crying was escalating in volume, and the skies were darkening with an approaching storm. It was time to hightail it outta there. The solution was great for Ava, bad for the rest of us. We took Davis out of the stroller, put her in it, along with her scooter and helmet, and I CARRIED Davis for the remaining mile. Have I mentioned that he's 23 lbs? Yeah, that was a lot of work. Not so much fun. But we made it before the storm.
Now, Sunday night is Family Dinner night. (Yes, I know that all nights SHOULD be, but we do not live in a perfect world). Post-lake walk, I made some shrimp fajitas (thanks to Gina for this recipe ). It only took Ava about 5 minutes to finish her 2 bites of dinner, and she very politely (seriously) asked to be excused. Well, kids, we all love polite, but it still doesn't always get you what you want. We told her we'd like for her to stay at the table with us while we finished. That did it. She went on to cry, yell, whine, complain, kvetch, etc. about how badly she did not want to sit there, how bored she was, etc. We didn't give in. We just ignored and talked to each other. But the damage was done, and there was no amending the night. Her antics got her no reading time, and as soon as I cleaned up the kitchen, I sent her to bed. She was asleep before 7pm.
Now, here's the other thing that's going on (and seriously, if there are any of you reading this that would like to offer up advice, I welcome opinions and comments). She is back to having infant-like separation anxiety. I mean, I can't even go out for a run without her bursting into tears. It's bad. And again, this is something that only goes on at home. She happily goes to school, to dance, to friends' houses. It's like she just can't fathom the idea of being at our house without me. And she's also waking up at night saying she's scared and wanting me to sleep in her bed. I'm exhausted today from last night's bout of musical beds. I started out in mine, and then she came in my room around 1:30am saying, "Mommy, I had a really, really, really, really, really scary dream." I said I'd lie down with her for 2 minutes but then was going back to my room. Well, as soon as I started to leave, she freaked. So, back into her bed I went, where I dozed off. Woke up a bit later and went back to my own room. She was back to get me an hour or so later. And then again at 6am, when she was begging to get into my bed. I mean, the EASY solution is for me to just sleep in her room. But that's not what I want to do, and she needs to know that her Daddy and I sleep in the same bed and that's that.
Argh. We're actually going to talk with her ped on Thursday about all this. Did I mention that she pushed over a table a few weeks ago? Oh yeah. Total Real Housewives of New Jersey-style.
To ease my strife, I bought a pretty new Lilly Pulitzer dress this morning.
Made me feel better. :-) Especially since I got to be the person in the dressing room who said, "Actually, can I try this in a 2? The 4 is a little big." Mad love to the clothing manufacturers who cater to our egos and skew their sizing.