It’s a stand off, mom vs. toddler. Avery goes silent for a second, then gets this look in her eyes… the sky above starts clouding over, and I can faintly here the thunder rolling in. Avery has a glass jar of pickles (yea I don’t know where they came from either) and is determined to hold onto them for dear life. I calmly walk over and try to pry her tiny vice gripped fingers off of them. We lock eyes, then after a long pause she lets out a high pitch squeal that would put a hyena to shame. Sure I could let her hold onto them for a bit, but now I’ve committed to taking them away. I can’t back down now or she’s won, and I can’t let this tiny human know that her screams scare me.
I thought the terrible two were suppose to start at…well two. So how come the big number one hits and I now live with a little tyrant? These days this stubborn child refuses to bath, refuses to eat anything green, and don’t even get me started on how changing her diaper goes over (poop no longer grosses me out). She is pushing her boundaries at every corner, testing and seeing what she can and can’t get away with, and you know what? I love it!
This child is smart, this child is strong, this child is slightly horrifying. Instead of reading the many ways to turn this child into a quiet obedient kid, I want to figure out the best ways to nurture her curiosity and grow this tiny human into a women who isn’t afraid to stand up in what she believes in. Yes these tantrums are draining, and yes I still need to stand my ground and be a parent, but instead of getting frustrated at the fact that this child now challenges me, I smile because well, this child now challenges me.
At the moment I take a deep breath, calmly count to three and remove the jar safely from her hands. Avery throws herself to the floor in a fit of tears as if I have just taken away the only thing she has ever loved. Don’t worry, she gets over this whole tragedy the second I pull out Doctor Suess (he fixes everything). As I read to her how there is a ‘woket in her pocket’ I smile to myself, silently happy that this stubborn little child is so strong willed, and at the same time silently dreading the teenage adventures that lie before me.