Alternately titled: thank God that's over.
You all know I like to periodically drop in and shower you with my lack of parenting expertise. Three (almost) whole years and I'm as sage as they come. Please, please, please sense my sarcasm here.
I'd like to say that two was a rough age. In reality 18 months and on made me call friends and ask if I was a bad mom. They say if you have an easy infant you'll get a tough toddler and vice versa. Since Olivia was a breeze as a baby, I guess I had it coming?
If you're a real life friend, you've likely experienced our particular brand of crying, screaming, throwing herself on the floor, tantruming. The more public the venue, the better. The more trivial the protest, the more ideal. If you're still my friend....I love you.
The temptation to just stay home and avoid the showdowns with an audience was real. But we persevered, dragging our crazy train all over town in an attempt to show the tiny tyrant that we were in charge and not afraid to administer a time out in a Tex Mex restaurant. Were we occasionally afraid that someone would mistake us for kidnappers as we dragged our screaming child through every parking lot in Texas while she screamed "SAVE ME!"?
Do I think we had it worse than the average toddler parent? Eh, not really. I think I'm just not a born disciplinarian (had to work hard on that one) and I'm still a parenting rookie.
A few months ago though, we seemed to turn the corner. Now I've been warned about "threenagers" and know there's no such thing as a perfect age, but I do know that I'm back to enjoying her the way I wanted to. I'm enjoying motherhood again (and it's ok to admit that parenting is the worst sometimes) and she has me laughing out loud instead of crying in my closet.
Maybe it's that she's talking now? That Ryan and I have had enough hushed emergency discussions on how to handle her behavior that we have a system in place now? That she's older? That we managed to actually parent adequately?
Who knows. It's probably a mix of everything and it's not perfect, but I'm going to enjoy the "yes ma'am"'s, "please and thanks you"'s and the joy of a child who can mostly sit through a trip to the doctor's office before she starts driving and telling us that she hates us. I'm going to soak up every minute of her sweet little self and her funny little expressions (and carry around a purse full of little plastic unicorns and old stickers). I'm also hoping that when the threenager blows on through I'll be slightly more prepared for it.