Every day my 3.5 year old daughter cries or whines or fusses about something. For many months since the moment she turned 3, I wondered “WHY ARE YOU FREAKING OUT?!” I didn’t know if it was normal or if I should laugh, support, cry, get mad, keep calm, stress out, etc. Actually, I think it was all of the above. Depending on the situation I would respond accordingly.
I would joke around about what my daughter was freaking out about and some parents just looked at me like “your child is nuts” or sometimes they would offer me advice like “have you tried distracting her?” But then…THEN…I read Jason Good’s blog post a while back and everything normalized for me. My daughter was NOT the only one freaking out about/because:
- Her socks had “bumps” in them. (Reality: The seam on the tip that goes across the toes were on her toes. Or her tights were not pulled all the way up.)
- Her pony tail was not exactly in the middle of her head. (Reality: I didn’t get a ruler out to measure the exact spacing between her ears or her forehead and neck to get the precise center point. BAD MAMA!)
- I didn’t put the clip in her hair in the EXACT spot she wanted it. (Reality: She took it out and placed it in the EXACT spot I had so carefully positioned it.)
- I made her wash her hands with soap after going to the bathroom.
- Her 1 year old brother touched her arm at the exact WRONG moment.
- She didn’t get to put in the password on my iPad.
- I didn’t start the movie at the beginning of Tinkerbell (Reality: I skipped the credits in the beginning so the real action could start.)
- I made her clean up the rice she “accidentally” threw on the floor.
- I made her clean up the yogurt off the window she encouraged her 1 year old to use as “paint”. (Reality: I heard her whisper to him – “You’re a baby, it’s okay, you can do it without getting in trouble.”)
- I woke her up to go to school.
- I made her put her shoes on the right feet.
- I made her eat her vegetables.
- There are crumbs in her seat. (Reality: She just finished eating crackers that she crunched in her hands.)
- Her bath towel fell off.
- She wants to run around naked…when we have people over.
- You’re not pushing her high enough on the swing.
- She wants to wear her princess dress to bed.
- The dog jumped on her. (Reality: After she started jumping and dancing around him which made him excited.)
- The dog stepped on her foot.
- Her brother took back the doll that he was playing with which she had taken from him 2 seconds before.
- She spilled food on her tutu.
- She wanted to dip her food in her water.
- Someone is using the toilet she wants to use.
- Her brother is laughing at her because she’s on the floor crying.
- She doesn’t want to eat anything that I’ve cooked.
There are so many more reasons but I just can’t recall them. I wonder if the same part of my brain that blocks out the pains of labor and delivery is the same part that deletes certain memories of these moments when I want to pull my hair out and replaces them with beautiful, serene and fun memories.