|Out with The Terribles|
It's amazing to watch babies turn into people. More and more, we're reaching these landmarks that tell us for certain that we have gone from having babies to having children. Last weekend, we rearranged our house quite a bit. Instead of having the safe area we referred to as "the grubling cage," we now have a new enclosed space= "the Daddy cage." The girls have free run of the house, with the exception of a gated area that encompasses M's computer desk, the door to the balcony, and the DVD player.
But this comes with a down side. They are now aware of the limitations of their own tiny bodies. They are aware that I have far more power of their lives than they. They are suddenly lashing out at both of these humiliations.
|SI's motto: If you can't beat 'em, destroy 'em|
DD doesn't get angry at the cruel joke that fate has played upon her. Her tiny hands, her awkward fingers, these are not cause for ire or wrath. They are the great tragedy of her life. She becomes inconsolable, pounding her tiny fists on the ground, bashing her head into furniture. Anything to make the incomparable pain of her little existence seem less all consuming.
They both try so hard to assert their independence. DD says "No!" to anything and everything, even if she really wants it. She has to be in control, if only for a moment. SI simply does things her own way, determined that she'll MAKE IT WORK, until the building frustration reaches its peak and she instead decides that if she cannot make it bend to her will, the only other option is to destroy it utterly and completely.
On one side, a toddler determined to outsmart or decimate her environment. On the other, Emo child.
And then there's me.
I alternate between laughing at them, soothing them, or desperately trying to distract them. The freedom they now enjoy in the house, being able to move freely across our entire shotgun flat, makes this so much easier. If we're in the living room I can suggest a cup of juice or a cracker, and by the time they've made the commute to the kitchen all is forgotten. If we're in the kitchen, the suggestion to watch cartoons sends them scurrying so far away as to escape all memories of the previous frustration. But it's an endless game.
|DD the little girl|
They want to learn. And they want to behave. But it's hard. And that means that where there's an obvious solution to a problem, they want to SOLVE it. The wrist-leashes I put them on when we're out, for example. If they just TAKE THAT OFF, they could go farther. See? Solution! But they don't understand that the real problem is that they need to stand still and just wait in a damned line.
They're still remarkably easy children. I still can't imagine what I'd do if they stopped being easy children. But it's exhausting nonetheless. And I find it really saddening. They're just going to keep finding new things to rebel against. And I'm probably going to be the one they rebel against for the next decade plus. And I don't particularly like being the villain.
Still, at the end of the day, they seem to forget just about all the wrongs I've inflicted upon them, from not picking them up while I grate zucchini to closing the bathroom door. Each morning they wake up somehow oblivious to the fact that their worlds are filled with a million little frustrations. Every day is a new day, without any of the baggage of the day before.
I could really learn a lot from them.