I’ve been really tired lately. Most likely because I’ve been power-watching The Walking Dead for the past two weeks which involves some pretty late nights. But I’m committed to catching up, you know? I just keep telling myself I’m exhausted because work is crazier than usual and when I’m not at work, I’m wrangling a two and a three year old. That sounds more responsible. I need to rest up because the tired state that I am in makes it really hard to wage the daily battle against the world’s most stubborn two year old. Don’t get me wrong, she’s definitely my sweet-as-pie-cuddle-bug at times, but man this girl is strong willed. There is no question that she knows what it is that she wants and will make it known – loudly – if you do not comply. I know what I should do when she gets like this. I should stand firm, hold my ground, not give in… But sometimes, when I should have gotten out the door twenty minutes ago to get to work on time, I just can’t do it. So this post is for the rule-breaking mamas and daddies out there who sometimes give in when they shouldn’t because they just need to get on with their lives. I’m here to tell you that you’re not alone!
As I typically am, I was running behind this morning. Just trying to slap on some mascara while blow drying my hair. I could hear Little Boo and Princess Rapunzel in the living room and they seemed to be having a disagreement. It went something like this:
LB: “I looka like Apunzel!” (I look like Rapunzel!)
PR: “No, you look like Anna because you have two braids.”
LB: “No!! I looka like Apunzel!”
PR: “No, I’m Rapunzel. I always look like Rapunzel. Mommy put your hair in two braids today, so you look like Anna.”
LB: “No!! I no looka like Anna! I Apunzel!”
As you can imagine, this really sent LB into quite the tailspin. It made perfect sense. If you were channeling one specific princess and then were told that you look like another, you’d be upset too. She came running to me, crying hysterically, telling me how she looked like Rapunzel and not Anna. Evidently she had put a purple princess costume on over her clothes all by herself which only served to reinforce the fact that she looked like Rapunzel. I was so busy being impressed that she had put the dress on herself, that I didn’t really think far enough ahead to envision what type of ordeal would ensue when I tried to take it off so we could leave.
I have a rule for the girls, that they can only bring their blanket and one toy with them to daycare. Mainly because I don’t want them to have a bunch of stuff with them that they will accidentally leave behind, only to realize that they have left something behind when they are getting into bed and now they suddenly can’t sleep without said left behind item. Nobody wants that. I finished getting ready and headed out to the living room to pack up the girls’ stuff for the day and get their coats and shoes on. LB was still wearing her costume and was dragging a Little Mermaid tote bag behind her. She had recovered from her earlier hysterics and happily exclaimed that she was “waddy” (ready). A quick look into her bag and I saw that she had packed her blanket, bunny, bear, baby doll and Olaf. I started by asking her if we could take the costume off so that she could get her coat on. She didn’t like that idea. Not. at. all. But I’d never let either one of them go to daycare in a costume before (and not for lack of asking). I changed the subject, moving onto the abundance of items in her bag. Could a few of them maybe stay behind for the day? This didn’t sit well with her either. We looked into each other’s eyes for a minute. Sizing each other up, wondering who was going to come out on top.
Well, I caved. I didn’t even negotiate some sort of deal or compromise. I saw cold, hard steel in LB’s tiny eyes and knew that I’d be dragging her out the door kicking and screaming if I stripped her of the princess dress or disturbed one of her carefully packed items. PR looked at me disapprovingly as I put LB’s coat on over the shiny purple satin. I’m sure she was reliving the many times that I had told her she couldn’t leave the house wearing a costume and wondering why her sister was getting away with it. She must have seen my defeated look and taken pity on me because she didn’t say a thing about it. But her facial expression made it clear that she did not support my decision.
We made it to daycare. I made it to work. I figure that this type of rule-breaking will result in one of three things for LB. She probably has a 48% chance of becoming a super success in whatever she does; someone who does not take no for an answer and doesn’t stop until she gets what she wants. Then there is a 45% chance that it will lead to soul-crushing defeat when she gets out to the real world and realizes that she can’t have whatever she wants and that life can be a cruel, princess dress stealing smack in the face. Or there is a 7% chance that I am just like any other parent who picks their battles, sometimes lets their two year old get the best of them, and my daughter will grow up completely normal and well-adjusted. Who knows. I’m leaning toward the 48%.