Thursday, April 06, 2006

And another thing

Know what I hate? I hate hearing, oh, you just can't let it bother you. Because if a two-year-old is trying to bother you, they'll find a way. Maybe my SweetBabyGirl is just more creative than most (well, of course she is, but anyway, we'll acknowledge for the purpose of this discussion that other people's kids might also be clever in their own way) but, seriously, the child makes a study of what bugs me and is always seeking new opportunities.

This morning at breakfast she grabbed something and I was all, go ahead, enjoy it and I saw her register surprise, just a little. So now I know: when she's searching for a way to annoy me her upper teeth show just a little bit over her bottom lip. Interesting to know, if not particularly useful.

They don't tell you that toddlers are like flowing water or the wind in the Texas Panhandle: constantly moving, seeking cracks, finding a way into or around any obstacle. Their goal: asserting their separate personhood in this world over and over again, one handful of dogfood or one crayoned wall at a time.

If a toddler really wants to bug you, she will succeed, eventually. Telling parents not to let it bother them is a waste of time. Better to tell them to try for perspective, to at least remember that some of this stuff (like, say, the dogfood thing--see previous post) will make for hilariously embarssing stories to tell the kid's friends later.

Trying to control one's own emotions is a difficult business, especially when it feels like the stakes are so high ie. one's job as a parent. It's more reasonable to try to manage the simpler things, like getting enough rest, not taking on too much in a day, ease up on the multi-tasking. It's easier to have a sense of perspective and a positive attitude when one isn't exhausted or endlessly frustrated.

And, in the effort to actually take my own advice, I'm taking the weekend off.


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