Saturday, June 18, 2005

15 Minutes with Sweetie

Last Wednesday evening was, to put it mildly, a bit dramatic. The problems occurred during a 15- minute span of time when Sweetie and I arrived home before Daddy...

We pulled into the driveway and Sweetie complained that she didn't want her "Walkies" (her safety tether) on, to which I said she could take it off as soon as we got in the house. I successfully got her out of the car and we took the 7 or so steps up to the kitchen door. At this point she proclaimed that she did not want to go into the kitchen. As I leaned over her to get her to turn toward the door, she went and deliberately pushed me back, off the kitchen stoop and into our rained upon driveway! Now, I know she didn't do this with any malice intent to hurt mommy, and I didn't get hurt, just stunned and wet. I know her sole purpose was to keep me away from the door that she didn't want to go into. But she should not be pushing anyone, and especially not Mommy! I immediately set myself and her (as she came down with me - also unhurt) upright, took her under the arms, looking her square in the eyes and yelled "You do NOT push Mommy!" She met this with more demands that she did not want to go in the house. Every time I attempted to open the screen door, she pushed it shut. This went on for about 3 or 4 tries before I took her by the part of the "Walkies" that wraps tight around her body, so I could have better control of where she goes, and I finally got the door opened and her in, screaming the whole way. I quickly got our jackets off and again knelt down to her, took her under the armpits and repeated "You do NOT push Mommy - EVER!" Unfortunately, she has acquired this habit of yelling "Ow! I'm sorry! Ow! I'm sorry!" whenever we make her do things she doesn't want to do - like change her diaper, for example. We're not hurting her, it's just something she's picked up as a thing to say. So, of course, she was yelling this as I'm yelling at her, which made me think that the neighbors could probably hear all this and would think I'm beating her or something. Great.

I had to go upstairs to change - my pants were wet from the rain and the shock of the whole thing had made me have a small accident. Such is the life of me as a woman with Spina Bifida - a woman with SB who has delivered a baby, no less. So I set her up in the living room with her Magna Doodle and I headed upstairs to change. No sooner did I have both my shoes off and my pajama bottoms half-way on then I heard my daughter crying - no, screaming - downstairs. I was able to quickly put on one of my shoes, but the other one didn't go so easily over the extra lift I have on the bottom of that brace. So I grabbed my moccasin slipper (for the wrong foot, of course) and yanked it over my brace and onto my foot. Then I hobbled as fast as I could across the house and down the stairs to find out what Sweetie had done to herself.

So, I got downstairs and called for Sweetie, only to be met with silence broken by her tiny voice telling me "I'm fine". I asked her over and over "What happened? Why were you crying" and she would only tell me "I'm fine". There was no evidence of injury or upset furniture and she really had stopped crying. I still don't know what happened but she, evidently, was fine. I, on the other hand, had had yet another small accident because of the scary thoughts running through my mind of what had happened to my Sweetie while I was away. I had to change again - but I wasn't about to leave her. I was able to find some clean p.j. bottoms in the laundry, but no underwear. I decided that my husband would be home soon enough and he could get me the underwear. Sweetie followed me to the bathroom wear I changed, all the while telling me, quite forcefully, "I want yogurt!"

By the time I had my new p.j. bottoms on and we had made our way to the kitchen to get the much desired yogurt, my husband was finally walking in the door. I told him what the last 15 minutes had been like for Sweetie and I. He also told her "we don't push Mommy" to which she answered "okay". But he wasn't there to witness any of this and I didn't feel he told her as forcefully as he should have. I said how I wanted to punish her over it. He said she doesn't understand yet and she's still too young. I don't know about that but I figured, for now, she had at least been told. We'll see if it ever happens again.

The rest of the evening went well enough. I left the 2 of them to play together while I did some work on the computer. I cooled down and Sweetie's demands turned into giggles and songs. Things have been fine since.

I see her toddler defiance starting to show more and more these days. I find it embarrassing when A) I have to yell at her in public to stop doing one thing or another, and, B) she looks me right in the eye then goes about her own plan anyway. I realize that all parents go through this. I just don't want to see my Sweetie turn "bad". For the most part, though, she still is the sweet, well-behaved child she's always been. And even when she's "bad", all she has to do is flash her adorable smile or do something really cute and she's my darling Sweetie all over again. All kids are cute on purpose for this very reason, aren't they? Yeah, I thought so.

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