The Prissiest Tantrum.

Girls are fascinating creatures.

After giving birth to two wild boys, I was elated to finally have the chance to parent a little girl. I remember the day we found out we were having a daughter. I spent the remainder of my pregnancy too excited to care about the fact that my nether regions were turning blue, and that’s saying a LOT.

Yes, you heard me right. Blue vagina. You can read all about it here … or not.

So far, it has been even more fun and amazing than I imagined it would be, although dealing with her hair is a lot harder than I’d expected. It’s so slippery, and she’s so wiggly. She has a lot of fine, thick hair, and she likes to chew on it. She pulls out all of her cute barrettes and bows.

Okay, FINE. She’s a hot mess, and it’s totally my fault.

I try to keep her neat and clean, with every hair in place, but it’s harder than I expected to keep a little girl looking put together. It’s hard enough keeping myself put together. So, more often than not, I end up saying JUST FORGET IT — let’s throw on a tiara and call it a day.

Using the oven as a mirror.

Using the oven as a mirror.

She does adorable things like walk up to me and wordlessly hand over her patent leather shoes or her brother’s cowboy hat, smiling up with her big, blue eyes until I do whatever it is that she wants me to do. She laughs and claps and is just learning how to hop up and down, which is adorable of course.

She uses our oven as a mirror, running to look at herself every time we change her clothes or fix her hair. Then she stands there and watches herself slooooowly pull out the pigtails I just spent half of my life painstakingly putting in.

Captain Cook to the rescue!

Captain Cook to the rescue!

She’s really easy going, especially for a toddler.

Except when she’s not.

Pepper threw her first real temper tantrum yesterday in the kitchen as I watched with my mouth hanging open. She was playing with her brother’s Angry Bird slippers, and I don’t know what pissed her off, but it must have been bad.

She carefully arranged herself on the floor — there’s none of the hurling her body to the ground or smacking her head repeatedly that I’ve grown accustomed to from the boys — and paused for a moment, letting her rage brew.

One she was ready to begin, after she made sure that I was watching, she proceeded to throw her first epic tantrum.

I can’t tell if it’s that I’m desensitized from going through this two times already with really violent tantrum-throwers, or if I’m just out of fucks to give. Either way, instead of feeling super stressed out by it, I was absolutely captivated by the theatrics of her little girl tantrum.

Prissy tantrum.It was the prissiest, angriest thing I’ve ever seen.

So much rage.

Careful not to look too ugly as she screamed.

Just crazy enough to hold my attention.

Precisely scary enough to keep me at a distance.

A lot of angst.

It reminded me of … me.

(If you liked this post, then you will LOVE I Still Just Want To Pee Alone! Click here to find out more!)

The Psycho Threes.

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Asher is in a difficult phase I like to call the “psycho threes.” Based on prior experience, I expect it to last until he’s about 5 years old.

I’m pretty much over it and it only began in earnest a few weeks ago, the epic meltdowns and unintelligible screaming over things like his sister sneezing on him or touching him or touching his blanket or staring at him.

Sometimes it’s over things like the fact that I broke his banana off the bunch because HE WANTED TO DO IT, or because there is sand on his hands after he got in the sandbox or there is a rock in his shoe after he walked through gravel.

I’ve gotten better this time around (because Maverick’s third year of life was literally the hardest year of mine, and this experience by comparison isn’t that bad) at maneuvering the whole living-with-a-tiny-psycho thing … but it wears on me. A lot. It begins first thing in the morning when he can’t get his blanket to hang just right on the back of his chair at the breakfast table, and it ends approximately 12 hours later when someone pulls the plug on his bath because HE WANTED TO DO IT.

Some days I handle it better than others. There have been many days lately where I just sat down and cried with him because I didn’t know what was wrong or how to fix it and frankly, I needed a good cry. Being a mother is so, so hard when you’re not at your best emotionally and physically, when you are tired and feel like you need a break and yet … they are still there, asking for things. Needing things.

But tonight, at the end of a long stretch of hard weeks, after a bath and dinner and a book and a bedtime struggle, came the arduous task of picking out just the right pair of pajamas and the right pair of socks and trying and failing to put them on himself. And then it was finally time to put that sweet, psychotic, three-year-old boy to bed.

I was so OVER it, but I was holding it together, masking my exhaustion by sitting calmly on his bed like I had all the time in the world. I said — because now I must ask first, instead of just picking him up and plopping him on my lap — “Asher, do you want to sit in my lap?”

And after a long pause, he broke into that dimply grin and said very seriously, “IT IS MY FAVORITE THING.”

Then he climbed up, leaned in, smelled my shoulder like someone would smell a bouquet of flowers, and put his head on my chest.

It’s my favorite thing too, you know. So at least we have that in common.