I can't handle you right now.
Seriously. I can not.
Here are four things I can't handle about you.
1) I can't handle your silly, crazy humor. You're a crack-up.
It seems you've reached a developmental stage where things that are funny to grown-ups are also funny to you.
Lolopop has always noted both your sister's and your "sense of humor." As babies, you'd make a face or some sort of unintelligible declaration. "She's telling a baby joke," he'd note. Then, you'd dissolve into giggles. Or scrunch of your face and smile like, "that was a good one, huh, Mommy?"
Then, we moved to the stage of decipherable declarations, but the humor was lost on us adults.
"Eyeballs!" has been a perennial favorite. Or, "NO NOSE!" which I like to think that I get, so I laugh along. But, I see you rolling your eyes, like: "She soooo doesn't get it. No use pretending, lady."
More recently you've been laughing at things that adults laugh at.
You know, the good stuff. Bodily functions and their respective parts. People, especially your sister, falling down. And characters in movies saying or doing silly things.
You bit me yesterday. I cried, not out of pain, but betrayal. It was so unlike you. And you immediately regretted it. I could tell you were just trying it on for size.
Well into your second (third, technically) year of life, I've become accustomed to your "oppositional behavior." Not accepting of it. Never "allowing" it. Always expecting better from you. So, in a sense I've become "used to" the battles. I just wonder if they'll ever end.
I'm hopeful. There are days with glimpses of the future. Of your helpfulness or willingness to accept help. Of your good manners and listening skills. And your understanding of what constitutes a good choice.
"What bad choice did you make today?" I asked her last night.
"I'm bite Mommy."
"And why did you bite me?"
"Because I was mad."
Guilt. Meta-cognition. People pleasing. Call it what you may. But, I like to think I'm not doing such a bad job. And there's light at the end of the tunnel.
There is, isn't there?
We were dressing up some dolls and stuffed animals a few days ago, lining them up to lean against the wall as each donned its new outfit.
You carefully moved a couple of dolls to the side to make room for another.
"I'm add this to the showcase, okay?"
Okay. But, what's a showcase? I don't even know what that is!
I took a writing class once where the professor suggested that when writing dialogue for a character, you develop some key phrases or words that the particular character uses frequently. Um, sort of, like, you know, in the midst of (@breyeschow) and whatnot.
Your phrases would be: instead, hope sure (sure hope), actually, so cute, even actually, only and eyeballs.
4) I can't handle your sensitivity. But, maybe, I'm just being too sensitive.
Lolopop suggested that I count the number of times that you injure yourself in the course of one day.
But lost count.
It would never be my intentional reaction to mock your clumsiness or the ensuing blubbering tears. Nevertheless, it has reached the point where all I can do is muffle a little chuckle.
It's not just the injuries that have tired me.
Hundreds of band-aids on real and perceived boo boos. Hugs and pats on the back. Coached breathing. And everything ranging from gentle warnings to threats on your life to keep your from your trademark hysterical vomit.
Every effort to comfort you and teach you coping mechanisms.
Not only after injuries, but at the injustices you suffer as a two-year old. Being told "no," made to share, chastised for hurting your sister. And some of the injustices self-produced. Being upset because you wet your own pants or spilled your drink or fought with the Cinderella dress you insisted on putting on yourself.
And no matter what I do or say or model for you, time after time, you're dissolved on the floor, a crying puddle of angst, frustration, sadness.
From your perspective, it seems, the world is against you.
You are a hyper-sensitive being.
This, I have realized and even identified with. But, I'm at a loss, at my wits end, plum out of band-aids and patience when it comes to helping you navigate this cruel world.
So, I've taken to throwing my hands up and laughing.
Because it's all I can do to cope.
Love you no matter what,