That being said, they are about to drive me insane. They have already driven me to drink, which, let's admit, wasn't much of a stretch. But my little angels are full blown GIRLS.
I asked facebook last night if girls truly are more emotional than boys, even as toddlers, or if it was something I did to cause this. This...daily battle of meltdown after meltdown because YES YOU HAVE TO GO TO PRE-SCHOOL TODAY. The tantrums that are thrown when you tell a child that they cannot stand on a chair on top of the fireplace hearth to reach up and grab the ornament on the top of the tree that just happens to be made of glass. (Why oh WHY did I not put up only plastic or cloth ornaments this year?) (Like it would have really made that much of a difference, Charlie breaks everything.)
The general consensus was summed up best by my sister, the saint who is a mother of three darling little humans of the female variety, two of whom are twins. Her response was, and I quote, "Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes." I presume one Yes for each of our girls.
One of my facebook friends said that it greatly depended on the child and parental reaction. Which, apparently I have two more emotional than less emotional girls. And as far as parental reaction? I have tried everything. From ignoring to calmly responding to screaming, to mimicking the tantrum at a lesser level, to putting them in their room or timeout. I've tried to sympathize with them, let them know that I DO feel their pain (which sometimes calms them down), there is just nothing I am going to do about it.(which gets them fired back up again) The only thing that consistently works is to give in and let them have their way. Which...no. Does not work for me. At least all the time. Life isn't fair, and I guess my kids are learning that young.
As the parents of four girls, I sincerely do not know how mine survived. One definite side effect is that my dad no longer attempts to talk if there are female relatives in the room. Sometimes he will raise his hand at dinner, but no one ever calls on him, so he doesn't get his turn to speak. Poor, poor man. My mom made us dinner every.single.night of our childhood. And she always kicked us out of the kitchen, saying it was too small for more than one person. Which, OK, maybe it was. But I see now that making dinner was the only alone time she really ever got. If there had been a door, I am quite sure she would have shut it. And put in ear buds if those existed back then. Poor, poor woman.
Another thing I remember from my childhood involved our parents getting mad at us for fighting. And the thing is, I am not even really there yet with my girls. What gets me is the attitude I get my
When the girls make a mess, they know that they must clean it up. And then we tell them to clean it up. Five times. Eventually, Workaholic gets mad and tells them he is going throw out everything that is on the floor. Which creates an instant and very loud negative reaction from Sam, and Charlie usually just wanders away. I supposed she figures she'll let Sam get the attention for this, and Sam is more than happy to be dramatic enough for both of them. Last night, I came home to two screaming, sobbing, clearly traumatized children. Daddy had "thrown out" all their toys. Workaholic said that when he got out one trash bag, Sam immediately ran over to the cabinet where they are kept and tied the handles together with a string, and then ran back to him to try to rip the bottom out of the bag. He was pretty impressed with her problem solving skills. I was less impressed with that than the endurance of my kids.
I know that kids thrive on routine and positive reinforcement and all that jazz, but sometimes that shit just does.not.work. And what do you do then? Besides tear your heart out and chug a bottle of wine. I actually totally get why Brittany shaved her head, being the parents of two kids, especially that close in age, will make anyone want to do something drastic.
I know that in 20 years me and my girls will have an awesome
mother/daughter relationship. At least I hope.