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noon on a Monday. I just got my little girl off to daycare and am settling into
my workspace at home, preparing to tackle the writing and editing projects that
await me. Before I can get started, though, I have to flip open my planner and
put eyes on my checklist for the day.
toddler apparently decided Mommy's planner (otherwise known as Mommy's
lifeline) needed some decoration when I wasn't looking. So much decoration,
that I can't see a single thing I am meant to accomplish for the day.
meticulously, I start to tear the stickers away, wincing a little every time
some of the page comes with them. And as I attempt to reveal my carefully
crafted to-do list (beneath my daughter's artful expression of sticker love) I
think about all the other ways this little girl of mine is working to break me
of my Type A tendencies. Or perhaps her goal is simply to break me … period.
Why does that creative expression have to come at the cost of color conformity?
words came out of my mouth one day before I could stop them. In front of me, my
toddler had four different fresh, vibrant color varieties of Play-Doh. And she
was slowly pulling pieces off each one, laughing maniacally as she smooshed
Why, why, why? Those beautiful colors turned to greys and browns in front my
very eyes. But I fought hard to stop myself from interjecting. After my initial
objection, of course. Because a) Play-Doh can be pretty easily replaced and b)
Who am I to eff with her creative expression? Still ... why does that creative expression have to come at the cost of color conformity?
"Stop emptying out the drawers!"
since my girl became mobile, she has been fascinated by cabinets and drawers.
Or, more accurately, she has been fascinated by emptying the contents
of those cabinets and drawers.
having a child, I was a pretty well-organized person. Since becoming a mother,
most of my organization has gone out the door. Because, while we clean up every
night, nothing ever quite goes back the way it should. The result? Cabinets and
drawers are chaotic messes, and these zones give me minor panic attacks every
time I open them.
"We don't throw food on the floor!"
you know what my daughter loves? Clean floors. You know why she loves them? Because she gets a sick satisfaction out of
throwing food on them.
swear, my child is old enough to know better. And most of the time, she does
know better. But it never fails that as soon as those floors are mopped, she
chucks something edible on them—just for kicks.
my kid can be a real jerk. I mean, I love her, but … jerk.
on the walls!"
do kids do this? Why do they target perfectly painted walls and decide to
deface them like common little taggers?
To be fair, I
think this one is a bit of payback. When I was a kid, I convinced the neighbors
we should sidewalk chalk our entire house. It would be a "funny" surprise
for my parents. Guess what? Sidewalk chalk doesn't come off walls like it comes
Apparently I, too, was a bit of a jerk as a child.
Remembering that just because I'm Type A, doesn't mean my daughter should have to be as well.
"How do we feel about matching today?"
I'll admit, I
may be a bit too invested in how my child looks when she walks out into the
world. I have a bit of an obsession with her tiny toddler clothes and a strong
desire to do her hair every morning. But more and more lately, she has other
ideas: pink pants and a purple shirt, for instance, or purple pants and orange
shoes. And no matter what I do to her hair these days, it never lasts long.
Ponytails come out, dirt is rubbed into freshly washed locks, and my child's
face inevitably winds up hidden behind those beautiful, dark strands of hers.