This magical little girl has given me, given Taxman, a full term in office. Four years.
Of course, we weren’t elected. She didn’t choose us. And heaven help us, this regime is nothing close to a democracy; as the years have progressed the balance of power has shifted from her being entirely the boss (when she didn’t know the power she had) to something more traditional for a preschooler (she has limited power; she knows it; and it distresses her mightily). I like to believe that we are willing to hear objections, ignore said objections when they get too vociferous, give in when appropriate, and try to reach workable solutions that are in everyone’s best interest.
It doesn’t always happen. There is a lot of yelling. There are a lot of tears, tantrums, lost treats, skipped television viewings, and, when things get really bad, the cancelling of bedtime stories.
This year has been a challenge, starting from the desperate potty dispatches from last June 18th. That actually went remarkably well, overall, but I am not at all sorry that we have targeted next week, rather than today, as The Final Frontier in Nursing. No reason to have her birthday be traumatic two years in a row.
The challenges of “three years old” have been mostly of the mental and emotional variety.
Preschool this year hasn’t been the unicorns and rainbows and bubbles that I had hoped it would be. She’s had as much trouble following rules and listening to instructions there as at home. “Red flags” were mentioned regarding her attention span and her ability (desire?) to take direction, along with “you should have her evaluated for…something, I don’t know what.” As recently as two days ago she made a scene at dropoff. Some of the girls are cliquey. Some of the boys are outrageously wild. It’s made me, by turns, angry, sad, and frustrated.
The question remains: How I can love someone so much and at the same time want to lock her in her room until she’s 22, because maybe by then she will say please without being prompted. (Oddly, she always says thank you; it’s usually spontaneous and usually hilariously overwrought and breathless.) And stop with the tantrums, because, dude, I have had enough.
So while the daily grind can be hair-raising and lengthy and full of explanations–“But why?” was big this year–at the same time, she is a wonder. Her exuberance. Her readiness to dance, to spin, to jump at every opportunity. Her creative spirit. Her capriciousness in sibling relations, which you all tell me is normal; one minute hair-pulling and hitting, the next minute reading together in the glider, or taking AM’s dictation, one letter at a time, in chalk at the playground. And that hair. Still.
I can’t even imagine where the next four years will take us. It should be quite an adventure.
(I hope whoever dreamed up shorts sewn into skirts is making a killing from girls like mine, who want to wear dresses–skirts are actually always second best–but have a penchant for swinging high, turning upside down, and “unladylike” maneuvers. As I often say, “There’s no reason for everyone at the park to know what color underpants you have on.”)