The Target employee walked by Andi and smiled at her. Andi was trailing behind me and I turned around to see what her reaction was to the friendly gesture by the man in the red shirt and khaki pants. Her reaction -- while it probably shouldn't have -- caught me off guard...She first let out a growl, then lunging at him, she swiped at him with an oversized candycane ornament and then -- like a cherry on top of the assault -- spit at him.
For a moment I was dumbstruck, but then came to my "I better nip this behavior in the bud before she turns 16 and lands in juve" senses and stooped down to her level and quietly told her it is not very nice to try to hit others with candy canes and spit at them. Realizing what I had just said, I quickly turned around and smiled to myself. I have said a lot of things to my kids like "Stop running with the scissors!" and "Don't hold your baby sister up by one arm!" but I have never had the opportunity to ask them not to hit others with a symbol of joy and merriment.
Andi has stopped her major screaming fits, but as is so often the case, a bad habit that is eradicated is often replaced by other behaviors.
The behaviors that have replaced the screaming include: throwing her shoes at mommy and Best Buy employees who talk to her, growling, spitting (especially at "Big Bad Daddy" as she calls Dave), and last, but certainly not least, barricading herself under the chair in the pediatrician's office requiring removal of the chair -- twice -- so she could be extracated for an exam, and later for a strep test and blood work.
This tiny two-year-old terror loves me and I love her and all of her naughty quirks. I know she loves me because in a moment of deep philosophical thought she announced to Dave, "I love Mommy. I love Sophia. I love Ella."
Dave asked, "and do you love daddy, too?" Her response was a silent pause and then, "I love mommy." And then she sauntered away to go do her own thing, leaving Dave to shrug his shoulders and surrender to the fact that I am more popular than he is with our children.