Tonight, my daughter lost her mind. Over a toothbrush. Okay, two toothbrushes. She was so enamored with her old brush. Now with the addition of her new toothbrush, she wanted to spend all evening brushing her teeth. And by brushing her teeth? I mean sucking water and fluoride-free toothpaste off the toothbrushes. Under no circumstances could I assist her with the brushing of said teeth. And when I cut her off after 10 minutes? She turned into the hulk. Full body convulsions on the floor, tears streaming down her face, screaming, “No! No! No!” and, “I want to brush my teeth!” On repeat. Ok, I hear you. But we’re done with that. It’s time to go to bed.
As I watched her thrashing around the bathroom floor? All I could do was laugh and think, “It’s a darn good thing you’re my second child. Because I can do this all night.”
Turns out that’s a good thing. Because WOW. She’s got stamina. After hauling her up the stairs by her ankles (because that’s my only option when you go boneless sweetheart), and settling her gently on the floor of her room, she proceeded to tell me that we needed to go back downstairs. So she could brush her teeth. All the while she screamed, convulsed, and sobbed.
I have to admire her commitment to oral hygiene. I also have to recognize that today was her first day back at daycare after two weeks off for the holidays. She’s exhausted. And she’s turning two in a couple weeks. So it’s time for the tantrums to start. Super. And yup. Keep screaming at me, girlfriend. I can go all night. Because you are my SECOND child. I gave up planning on enjoying my evening years ago.
And I think that’s the difference. With my first child, I could still recall how it felt to prepare a meal, eat the meal, clean up from the meal, and then relax in the living room completely uninterrupted. Then came the delusions. “Okay, we’ll just put him to bed, and then we can rent a movie and relax. Or sit outside and make s’mores by the fire pit and relax. Or study for the GRE (and not relax).” If I had a plan in my mind of how I’d like to spend my time? My son inevitably chose that night to take 1.5 hours to get to sleep. And I’d get so stressed and so upset . . .
But now? Shoot. I’ve been dealing with this stuff for years! I can’t finish a sentence (let alone a meal) without a question (or five), a spill, tears, screaming or some combination thereof. My “plan” for the evening involves brushing my own teeth and reading a book (okay, six pages) before I fall asleep. So, go ahead, girlfriend. Beat that floor. Kick that diaper genie. I will sit here and watch. And when you’ve calmed down? We’ll read that Llama Llama book for the 26th time, and I will snuggle you and shower you with kisses. Then I’ll go and do the same thing with your brother.