Humor is also a way of saying something serious. - T. S. Eliot

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

A New Attitude

I grew up a girl having to play with and try to get along with other little girls.  Now I've got three girls.  I'm used to attitude.  A few times this past week though, I've been caught off guard by the amount of attitude.

When I caught the twins painting at the "little table" instead of the big kitchen one -- a no-no because Andi will get into the paint -- I told them I'd have to take away their paint for the rest of the day for breaking that well-known rule.

Sophia spun around, looked me square in the eye with one hand on her hip and told me,

"I have other paints that I can use and I'll take them out and paint at the big table.  And when I'm done, you're gonna be BEGGIN' me to see what I painted."

And she flounced off and told Ella, "I'm gonna have to play with you because mommy is mean right now."

Oh hell damn.

Mixed emotions hit me -- I was a little glad that she had such chops on her -- as a kid, I often didn't have much for chops and when it comes to kids, it's always better to have to try to reign them in so to speak, than to try to push the overly passive ones out. 

But that kind of pissed me off.

"Madame," I said as I walked into the living room, "that is not a nice way of talking about me or to me.  You'll need to take 4 on the steps."

Andi has also begun to catch onto the whole attitude thing.  She has been flaunting a new 'tude in the last week. She poofs her lips out and furrows her eyebrows, then narrows her eyes and looks away at us disgusting folks who dare to talk to her.  Within the first few minutes of taking her out of her crib this morning, she slapped me five times.  (No, I don't slap/hit/spank, so she's not modelling after me).

I signed Andi up for an ECFE Mommy-and-Me type class with other 12-24 month-olds.  Today was our first day.  She has never done anything like it, but she has tantrums daily when I won't let her stay in the girls preschool room.  I tried ECFE with the twins, but didn't dig it as a good use of precious time...but felt I owed it to Andi to try something geared towards her.

She wasn't too into it.  She liked the toys, for a little bit.  She thought the other babies were novel and interesting, for a little bit, but having to stay for 2-1/2 hours was a bit much (and I'd have to agree).  Circle time was full of Barney-type songs versus princess songs and she found this maddening.

While all the other 12 babies sat with their mothers smiling and letting their moms clap their hands, Andi and the one other free-spirited little girl in there did their own thing.  The mom and I stuck together -- we had learned early in the day that we'd be in a category of our own -- each having spirited/strong-willed/whatever you want to call it- type kids. 

Andi laid on the floor and kicked and screamed while I sat and sang.  I shook the shaker to "Shake it Out" song while she stared at me, her eyes asking, "Why aren't we listening to Pink or Cinderella?"

For the action rhymes she hung upside down off my lap, rigid with anger about this ridiculous crap I was putting her through, while the other toddlers let their moms bounce them side-to-side "Tick! Tock!" 

Snack time was no better.  Who wants crackers in a cupcake wrapper?  And sitting in a mini chair -- that's for babies and she hiked off and one of the teachers got bubbles out to entertain her -- and guess who else -- while the rest of us went through introductions. 

I guess we'll go back and try again next week. 

And now I hear Andi awake from her nap, Sophia demanding she get to work on Valentine's -- writing time is over. 

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