Dear Benevolent Dictator:
Before Christmas (so basically a couple of weeks ago), you turned 30 months old. Christmas itself was a blast -- you had fun playing with your cousins on both sides and getting all the love and attention in the world from your grandparents, aunts and uncles.
Then we had the insanity of the post-Christmas illness. Basically you and I came down with a 48 hour stomach bug. After that recovery, we quickly headed out to a waterpark/hotel, where you splashed until you were exhausted. Then there were more visits with family and friends, your father's birthday party and other crazy events.
Is it any wonder that parents are glad when the holidays are over? I'll confess I was RELIEVED to get our lives back to the usual humdrum routine. At least we all could sleep in our own beds and you could stretch out in your crib (as opposed to the Pack-n-Play, which now seems tiny for your body).
Looking back on the recent months, I have to say that I'm proud of the fact that you're learning diplomacy. You do say, "Please" and "Thank you" quite well, which does smooth some things over. I'm also impressed by your composure. During Christmas, when one of your cousins was playing with his new toy, you asked if you could play with it. He politely and nicely said he wanted to play with it right now.
Unlike other kids, who would perhaps hit him and take his toy, you walked away with some composure in your face, took two steps, saw me and then started bawling. Both of you deserve a lot of credit --he for being polite about the whole thing and you, for not smacking him and stealing his stuff. It's an important lesson to learn -- sometimes you ask nicely and you don't get what you want. It's how life is.
All this being said, I think that we now need to work on your private face. You've got a great public face -- you're like Bill Clinton. People can hardly believe that this sweet, giggly girl is the same one who pantses me when she wants something from me. Or that you've hit me. Or kicked me in the jaw while I do diaper changes. Or screamed her lungs out.
"She does what?" They ask me incredulously, as if I have accused you of punching Mother Theresa. "This sweet girl?"
Yes. You're a toddler. You're fickle, bossy and stubborn. You have to learn how to wait and share. You need to know that as your parent, I am not your whipping girl. I am your mother and I deserve respect. And right now, I can hear you laughing at that.
It's because you know I'll always be there. You can be as much of a shit as you want, and I won't leave you. My love is unconditional. But that doesn't mean that I won't like EVERYTHING you do. It's just harder now. I have to shape you to be a productive, kind and social member of society and to do that, I'm battling you and your id (which is basically all of you right now).
It's a tough battle, but if we can keep your charisma and sweetness and channel your rough behavior into something kinder, I think you will be unstoppable. And I'll continue to be your loyal minon.