Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Stop This Age, I Want To Get Off!

I had trouble naming this post. Alternatives were:

Who Turned Off The Lights?

The Terrible, What Now?

Bipolar, Thy Name Is Sweetie



But no matter what you call it, it's evil. It's awful. Forget the Terrible Two's. It's THE TERRIBLE THREE'S!!!!!!!!!

Man alive! I have had it. I swear, somebody (come on, now. Who was it? I'll only kill you a little) seems to have informed Sweetie that she's 3 1/2 now and she'd best start acting her age.

Honestly. The infamous play date on June 19th (one day before her 1/2 birthday) I guess served as a little practice session for this new phase of her life. This new attitude. And, from the looks of it, she so enjoyed herself that day that she hasn't looked back once.

As my regular readers know, I thought it was my own yucky health/yucky mood projecting back on her. But, really, I'm feeling pretty darn okay now and, yet, it continues.

The whining. The screaming. The kicking and hitting. The stubborn attitude and fights. The fickle-minded/bipolar behavior. The inability to focus on anything for longer than 10 seconds. The unwillingness to tolerate any attempts whatsoever at communicating.

Don't reason with her. Don't tease her. Don't bargain with or bribe her. Just don't. Nothing. Nothing works. But especially the teasing (which, by the way, is dang near impossible for my husband. His middle name could be 'Tease", for Goodness sake!). If you tease her in any way (say, when you're trying to save your own sanity by making light of a situation by saying silly words and/or nonsense answers, hoping to make her - oh, maybe laugh!), she goes ballistic.

It's hopeless. Just hopeless.

So I'm just stuck here wondering, who turned off the lights? The light in her eyes. The light in her smile. The light of her perpetual curiousity and wonder? All I want is to see Sweetie's lightness again. Cuz Lord knows I can't take anymore of this darkness.

Furthermore. Sweetie seems to have slipped back a bit in her routines. She's backslid to the days of not staying in bed when first put there. And she's also, as of late, paid us middle of the night visits again.

The bedtime thing - yes - that comes and goes with her. She'll do great and stay put for a couple of weeks or more, and then have some random nights of escaping. But within the last week or so the escaping seems to be getting a bit more frequent. And as far as coming to us in the middle of the night - that's something she hasn't done in months! But now, she's probably done it 3 or more times in the last 10 days.

Plus - more backsliding - in the potty department. She's still doing pretty well with the peeing. But the other part - not so good at all! Three accidents in a row with that. Not making me happy, let me tell ya. Not at all!

I just don't get it, either. I mean, a little more than a week ago I went upstairs to check on how she was doing (she was playing in her tent). I found her in the bathroom, on the potty, doing her "thing". I was so impressed! She took herself away from her tent, away from the matching game she was playing, to take care of business. Great job!

Then she didn't poop for about 3 days. And when she did, it was her first of 3 accidents in about 4 days.

Great. Just great.

Oh! Oh! And this morning?! Yah, well, she peed in the potty just fine. No problem at all. Then, moments later, she was telling me how I forgot to give her a potty treat. A potty treat?! I haven't given her a potty treat in at least 2 or 3 weeks now. For pooping, yes. But not for pee. So, what's up with that?! I don't know.

So anyway, I've been composing this post in my mind for the last few days. And this morning just solidified it when she had me in tears from all of her tears, fighting, and defiance.

But then we got home this evening and - you know what? - she was actually pretty good. Some minor attitude, yes, but nothing that was long lasting or irreversible. She even cooperated with me enough to play a game and then cuddle with me on the couch.

Hubby and I even commented (quietly) to each other how good she was being tonight. I said something to the effect of, Gee, and I was going to write a scathing post about her terribleness tonight, too. But she's being so good now.

Well, that will teach us to ever speak such daring words again! I don't even remember what it was that set her off (probably some sort of teasing, I'm sure - which she had tolerated just fine all evening. But then again, we are talking about a 3-year old here. If ever you want to know what bipolar means - just look to a 3- year old for the definition). All I know is that something didn't set right with her and everything quickly bolted downhill.

So, off to bed it was. And, like it has been most nights recently, it was a fast, angry, get-this-child-out-of-my-face-now goodnight (well, okay. It wasn't that intensely awful tonight. But it wasn't great, either. And I certainly have felt that desperate to get her away from me a few of these recent nights).

But she did stay in bed tonight. At least we think so. She may very well have crept out to the papasan chair without our even hearing her. At least, if she escapes, she escapes to this chair to fall asleep and doesn't venture any further than that. And who knows what tonight will bring. Hopefully she'll stay put all night and earn herself another storytime with Daddy. This remains to be seen.

All I know is that Hubby and I are meeting friends for dinner this Saturday night and Sweetie is sleeping over at Nana and Papa Dave's. Yahoo! Adult conversation without interruption. Yay! Not having to argue with Sweetie about eating. Awesome! A guaranteed restful sleep without a midnight wakeup call. Priceless.

Peace at last (if only for a night). I can't wait!

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