I knew before she was even born that my daughter was going to be difficult. Some might say that the fact that she is challenging is a bit of self-fulfilling prophecy, but I don’t. She was stubborn and defiant and determined, and I could feel that in her long before I even knew what she looked like. Her personality was so strong it just radiated through me. And she has done nothing to dissuade me from this stance even once in the last five years.
Sometimes I wish, as much as I love her, that she was like other people’s children. You know, the children who are sweet and easy-going. The one’s that sleep through the night from month one and were never bothered by tags in their clothing or socks that weren’t put on just right. These children were perfect angels in public regardless of the circumstances, went to bed on time without struggles every night by 7 even though they took three hour naps every afternoon. They weren’t messy at the table and didn’t mark every inch of the living room with toys. Never grumpy or sassy, they were just joyful sources of pride that validated the great parenting they were receiving.
Katy never slept more than a few hours at a time when she was a baby and the situation hasn’t improved much in the ensuing years. Tags, creases, long sleeves, fabric, just being dressed in general can still send her into a tizzy. At one time she did go to bed early, but she has never willing napped – ever. She is the messiest eater and like a tomcat she claims space with her markings – toys. Toys are everywhere. She is grumpy in the morning (just like her dad which is ironic since she never knew him as a well man) and she is as sassy as I am, which I don’t find the humor in as often as I should. All in all, I feel like a pretty crappy parent about half the time.
This morning’s attack of grumpiness and the tantrum/tears that ensued when she was sent to her room is a direct result of Christmas hyper-stimulation and sleep-deprivation, but it doesn’t make it easier to deal with or make me feel better. When I finally went up to check on her (Rob went initially until it was time for him to go to work) she tried to play the grief card on me and blame her tantrum on being “sad about Daddy Will being dead”.
I really hate when she does that because she knows what she is doing, and I will not allow her to grow up to be one of those people who blames ever misfortune, or just a bad day, on past grief. She is too little to know that it hurts me when she does this, but she does know it generates sympathy, and in the past as allowed her to have her way. It’s hard to know however when she is truly grieving or just playing the card.
I told Rob that I understood why my own mom hated Christmas vacation more than she hated summer vacation.