On Sunday while I was pushing Delaney on the swings at a birthday party, and while I happened to be feeling insecure about my place in the world in general for no particular reason, she suddenly screamed, "Don't push me! Go away, Mama!" and my heart sank six inches into the damp ground beneath me.
My future flashed before my eyes and it wasn't pretty. I saw 16-year-old Delaney yelling at me, telling me she hates me, flipping me off and walking out the door. Oh dear God, my little girl can wound me. She can devastate me. I had no concrete understanding of that until her short-lived toddler tantrum popped up. But when it did, my world shifted and it terrified me.
I know this is silly. Ever the consumate drama queen am I. She's shouting at me and disobeying me BECAUSE SHE'S ALMOST TWO. Duh. Boundary-pushing is on the agenda (hell, it IS the agenda) and I'd be worried if she wasn't trying to get one over on me from time to time. Why did I take it so personally? I just couldn't help it. But it's time for me to snap out of it and remember that in less than two weeks she'll be two. Yeah, I need to remember that and the fact that I'm not 16. It's not "all about me all the time" any longer. It never will be again. I need to be the mother. I can't let my feelings be hurt so easily by my toddler's tantrums and tirades.
For the first time since becoming a mother I'm having to figure out how to step up and discipline and actually be a parent. It's extremely hard for this people-pleaser--this insecure little girl trapped in a 36-year-old's body who wants everyone to like her--to act like an adult. I feel like a fake. I have no idea what I'm doing and I'm not reading parenting books fast enough to find out. I don't know if I'm doing any of this the right way or what the repercussoins will be if I'm not.