Thursday, July 25, 2013

Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This

Yesterday was a disaster. 

DI-SAS-TER. 

The morning was great.  We played some, got ready, and then headed out to grab lunch and do a little shopping. 

Lunch was great, too.  She sat in her chair, she ate well, and there were no major spills or catastrophes.  She smiled and was pleasant to everyone around us and several people commented on how cute and sweet she was.  I was having a very proud mama moment, let me tell you.  I mean, I could feel myself holding my head higher.  Motherhood?  I've got this.

Then we went to Belk.  (Why oh why didn't I just go home?)  Right away, Aniston didn't want in her stroller.  No problem, I thought.  I wasn't planning to be there long, so if she wanted to walk, fine.  And that, friends, was the beginning of the end.  I insisted she hold my hand and she narrowed her eyes at me.  She wanted to play in the racks of clothing (what is the fascination with that?!) and I wouldn't let her.  She searched my bag for nummies (gummies) and I didn't have any. 

At that point, Aniston morphed from a sweet, darling little girl into a twenty-nine pound ball of fury.  She threw herself to the ground, pulling her bow out of hair and slamming it down as she went because that is the ultimate way to let your mama know how upset you are when you are a Southern girl.  I attempted to talk to her and reason with her, but she couldn't hear me over her screaming and crying.  No surprise there--I could barely hear myself.  I tried to pick her up, but she did a fabulous job of making herself boneless, flopping around while I stared in shock and desperately tried to come up with something to do. 

Then time stood still as she looked straight at me and licked the floor.  So help me, I nearly lost my mind.  If you know me at all, you know I nearly d-i-e-d on the spot.  Now, I am not completely 100% positive her tongue touched the floor.  I may have gotten to her in time, or shocked her enough by screeching, "Nooooooooo!"  but it was close enough for my OCD to kick in and give me the superhuman strength to lift the floppy little thing off the floor and frantically try to wipe her mouth. 

The little old ladies who frequent Belk were staring at the spectacle we were making...whether it was in understanding or judgment, I don't know.  Maybe it was pity?  Commiseration?  Maybe they were remembering their own children as two year olds?

As I hauled Aniston out of the store (still crying and flailing, mind you), I silently swore we were never going in public again.  Forget it!  We would be hermits and order everything we needed online!  We would use Facetime and Skype to keep in touch with people!  We'd have virtual play dates instead of real ones! 

(I'm realizing now that Aniston may get some of her drama from me.)

As soon as we walked out, she saw a little bird on the sidewalk and the tears and thrashing immediately stopped.  And just like that, it was over and she was smiling and giggling again.  I stood there in this drained, crazy state and just watched while she talked to the bird in the high-pitched voice she uses only for animals and Clara.

We finally made it home, she took a nap, and I tried not to cry while I drank a milkshake that I'd picked up on the way home (that's a lie; I had to go out of my way to get it) and didn't care anything about the calories because, bless it, I deserved it. 

Two is a hard very hard brutal age.  There are tantrums and tears, shrieking and gnashing of teeth.  And that's just me.  Lord only knows what's going on with Aniston.  (Ha!  I'm kidding...kind of.) 

The world is still so new for her.  Everything is a fun adventure, and she doesn't understand why she can't do some things.  She doesn't yet understand safety and why it's important to stay with an adult and hold hands.  She doesn't understand why she can't wander away when we're in a store.  She's becoming more independent by the day, and she wants to assert that independence.  She's learning to communicate and deal with her emotions, but she hasn't quite figured it all out yet.  I get it.  As hard as two is for me some days, I know it's so much harder for her.  So I'm praying a lot, reading articles, books, and blogs about parenting, and trying to be the best, most patient mommy I can be.  I'm teaching, guiding, and--most of all--loving her through it. 

When Aniston woke up from her nap, she came to find me in the living room.  She gave me the biggest hug, patted my head, and said, "We alright, Mommy?"

Yes, sweet girl.  We alright.

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