Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Bad Baby: The Sequel!

Since I'm fresh off the discipline post, I thought I'd give you all an inside look at what kind of brattiness we are up against these days.

Let me preface this by saying that unless Chris sees any of this behavior with his own eyes, he is convinced I'm lying. Or exaggerating. Or mistaken. And, even when he does witness a transgression, he never thinks she means it, never sees any malice. This isn't due to "not MY child" syndrome; he just think Charlotte's too young to be testing her limits. Let's all tell him how wrong he is, shall we?

When our niece, Athena, was three, we were watching her and her sisters at our house. Chris had left the three of them in the other room for a minute to come tell me something when we heard the one-year-old baby start wailing. We ran in there to find her holding her face and immediately looked at Athena. As she began her story about how the baby "fell and hit her face on the wall. Yeah, that's it! The wall!", our eldest niece, Mikala, was pretty much like, "Yeah, I'm gonna have to stop you right there, seeing as you SLAPPED her."

And Chris couldn't believe it. He didn't want to believe it. It was like telling a kid that Santa isn't real or that their favorite basketball star is a rapist (What? That's totally appropriate for kids.) He was crushed. "But, she's so little! She can lie already?" I hated to have to tell him that kids are pretty much BORN lying.

So, Chris thinks it's a coincidence, and not precociousness when Charlotte waits to make sure I'm looking before doing something I've just told her not to do. Like when I've pulled a knick-knack out of her hand at my grandma's house, said "Don't touch", and then she waits a few minutes, walks over to the forbidden item, pauses to make sure I'm looking, SMILES, and then reaches for it. I tell Chris about it, prefacing the story with, "Man, Charlotte is such a butt...", and he cries "No, no! Surely not. She's not that advanced." Um, advanced enough to be a butt. Looking...shifty

She's also a showoff. Yesterday, we were visiting my grandma and her house guest. Charlotte threw her sippy cup, and, as always, I asked her to pick it up. Normally, she will comply with little to no coaxing, but now that there was a new person watching, she decided to draw the process out as long as possible. She was like, "Maaaaybe I don't wanna pick it up. How about I just push it with my foot? Maybe I'll just lie here on the ground for a minute first." It was so unexpected and so hilarious, it was hard not to laugh through my stern admonitions. In the end, I "helped" her pick it up by holding her directly over it. Not a total win, but she's one, you know? And, at least she picked it up.

I joke about her being a brat, but really I know she's just a normal toddler, seeing what she can get away with. And she's also very sweet. She gives me kisses, sometimes when I request them, and some are impromptu. She seems to be aware of the power of her kisses. She knows how much I love them, which, I can only assume, is why she has hit me in the face, only to quickly try and distract me with a kiss before I have a chance to admonish her. It only kind of works. See? Sweet!

She also shares, though, usually only when she wants to and on her terms. Though, she did steal a muffin from a two-year-old at the coffee shop last week, so that sort of negates any sharing she's done recently.

There are days (like today) where she is pushing my buttons all day: screaming at me in the fabric store because I'm carrying her and not letting her pull all the spools of ribbon off the shelves, pushing my hand away when I try to help her color, and whining for the entire car ride home. Those days, I put her to bed, breathe a huge sigh of relief, and pour myself a glass of wine. Okay, so I do that every night, but some days I do it with more zeal than others.

Then sometimes (tonight) she'll wake up screaming a few hours after bedtime, and when I pick her up to comfort her, she opens her heavy eyes, pulls the binky out of her mouth, smiles, and softly says, "Hi".

And, I seriously forget about all the times she bugged the hell out of me throughout the day. I suppose that's her diabolical plan.

She's GOOD, that one.
And here she is playing with chalk. Why? Because it's cute. And holy crap, I have a TODDLER.


  1. Oh, she's crafty alright--you just know that she thinks she's in charge :-)

    And oh how that nighttime sweetness kills me. Jackson does that (not saying Hi, yet, but the smile and sweetness), and I swear if he could ask, that moment would be enough to get me to give him whatever he wants.

  2. Ha! A also does what I just told her not to do, while looking me straight in the eye and smiling. Crafty trouble makers. She actually hit me three times tonight and for all my talk of having a reasonably good discipline plan, nothing seems to be working to get her to stop. Trouble makers is all I can say.

  3. Ginger- I'm with you. I would probably buy her a pony, a sparkly, blue one, if she could ask.

    K- What is with the hitting??? Charlotte hadn't done it in a while, and TODAY (A must have sent her a memo, or vice versa) she hit me a few times in the mall because I picked her up when she wanted to walk.

    I don't know what to do about it, either. And, I can't get her to stop touching things I don't want her touching.

    Nothing works!