Monday, December 3, 2007

seems like a valid question

I expected not to be saying this for at least another 12 years, but man, my daughter can be a real bitch sometimes. I thought things had hit rock-bottom when I found her diary a few weeks ago. It seems, in retrospect, that at that point, we were maybe halfway there.

Mostly what drives me crazy is her continual wailing on the cats and drawing on her brothers' artwork, despite repeated reprimands and time-outs. Oh, and also the continual wailing on her brothers with absolutely zero provocation. That and the way she throws food off the counter and then laughs maniacally. And her incredibly high-pitched, loud, and much overused scream. And her insistence on doing by herself everything that she can't actually do by herself ("NO, MY HELP!") and her demands for assistance with all the things she really can do on her own.

With the boys, who were a serious helping of pain-in-the-ass from day one, I barely noticed the transition into toddlerhood. But for the first two years of her life, Lilah was the kind of "easy baby" I had previously only heard about. I had really gotten used to that--I had been lulled into a false sense of security--and then wham!, these terrible twos sure did take me by surprise.

Earlier today, when Levi looked away from a drawing that he was working on for a fraction of a second and Lilah, who had apparently been lying in wait, dragged her crayon across it, Ezra leaped to his brother's defense. After the usual round of urgings that I just smack her, he began crying along with his brother and then screamed--at me, at the world--"WHY DO WE EVEN NEED A SISTER?"

It's interesting, though: when Lilah was a breeze 24/7, the boys frequently drove me to tears. And now, during this period when Lilah is so very challenging, Ezra has been an absolute delight unrelentingly hostile and stubborn, and Levi is just as happy-go-lucky as can be vacillates between falling-apart fragile and too cool to bother with the rules of the household or acknowledge that I have a mouth that issues words aimed in his direction--unless I am offering chocolate pudding. So you see, it all evens out in the end.

No comments: