Thursday, May 24, 2012


At every stage in my daughter's brief life, I have thought things were kinda rough. I'm being dramatic, of course, because rough is relative here. But histrionics aside, I truly felt like I was struggling. I have felt out of control and crazed and frustrated. But at each stage, I have innocently, and perhaps foolishly, looked forward to the next stage with the optimism that things would be better. That when she is 2, it will be easier because she'll be mobile; at 3, it will be easier because she'll be talking; at 4, it will be easier because she'll be a KID and at least somewhat rational.

So here we are at 4 and I honestly feel like we are still in crapville. That with each stage attained, we have dropped off a few bad things and picked up double to replace them. My four year old is argumentative and willful and sassy and opinionated and ohmygodsofrustrating. She doesn't listen. At all. We've done time outs and reward charts and taking away favored toys/tv time/games and sending her to bed early and all manner of punishments and enticements for bad and good behavior respectively and she is still argumentative and willful and sassy and opinionated.

She doesn't listen. Sometimes figuratively, as in she hears me but chooses not to comply and sometimes literally in that I am pretty sure she can shut down the hearing centers in her brain and operate on sight alone thereby negating all of the NO/STOP/DON'Ts that I am shouting at her.

The funny thing is, as much as I hate her backtalk and not minding me, a part of me kind of loves that she is so strong-minded. That she stands up for herself with such fierceness. Of course, when she's giving me the sass I want to smack that fierceness into next Tuesday, but that's the price you pay I suppose. She will likely test me to my very limits. I'm not kidding when I say that it wouldn't surprise me if the police brought her home a time or two when she's in high school for some naughty behavior. Nothing too terrible, maybe caught TPing someone's yard or smuggling a couple cans of beer into the Friday night football game, but enough to give us heart palpitations.

But I also think she's the girl who will turn into a woman who's CEO of a company, or invents the cure for cancer, or wins an Oscar, or hell, the president, because she won't take no for an answer. Because she'll fight against any roadblock until she gets what she wants.

I just hope my sanity survives her early years and I'm around to see this powerful woman I helped create, because at this rate, it's not looking so good.


  1. Strong-willed kids are very difficult to parent when they're young, but you are so right...I think they have the potential to do great things. Good luck until then :)

  2. My little gal is a little, um, aggressive sometimes and also fairly stubborn. A friend in the neighborhood said to me, "That's good. She's sassy. You can tame sass a bit but you can't teach it." So, she's got it, which is good, but also frustrating! Hang in there!

  3. I wish I could say it gets easier as they get older, but each age has its own frustrations.

    I hear wine is good for heart palpitations. ;)

  4. Girl, we hear you. It's rough, this mom stuff. I often wonder if I will end up as one of "those" stories where the kid wanders off; unloved and unappreciated, and ends up living in a van down by the river...

  5. I'm sure she'll mention you in her acceptance speech, but even then, it will probably be frustrating because she won't get just how hard it had been. She'll say something like, "Now Mom, I know I wasn't always easy..."

    We tried a time-out last night, but he just says, "No. I don't want to." Fair enough.

  6. Amen amen amen. Not a day goes by that I don't take a deep breath and say, "attitude of gratitude". It never really works for me. Strong-willed and defiant and clever and sneaky...makes you kinda not want to get out of bed in the morning. But a friend of mine said very recently, "Just be assured that as an adult, he will have no problems establishing boundaries. No one will ever walk all over him." Your post seemed to echo this remark! Thanks again, Cara!


Give me some sugar, baby!