I love watching my 3-year-old eat grapes.

I love watching her in her gymnastics class where she just goes full out with whatever she’s doing. All her movements, following the instructor, have an enthusiasm about them.

Her little arms give the most wonderful hugs.

She talks and talks and tells great stories filled with wonderful imagination.

She is totally adorable, even – maybe especially – when Mommy puts her in pigtails that are slightly askew.


We’ve been having some hard times this kid and me. She always wants Mommy, nothing else will do. Last night at 3 o’clock in the morning she exploded in tears because Daddy brought her the banana she asked for instead of Mommy bringing it. She always wants to be with Mommy. She’s been waking in the night, even just dreaming and crying out for me – always me – and I’ve been losing sleep. She’s been forgetting to say please and issuing orders instead of requests. She wants to be carried – by Mommy – all 35 lbs of her. She’s refusing to use the potty, sometimes sitting in a soiled diaper just because she’s as stubborn as I am.

When I look at her lying on the floor of the grocery store, whining and crying because she wants to go back to the aisle where they sell a few toys that I had already told her we would not be buying, it’s this strange, brutal mix of anger and love, this exhaustion that makes me want it all to be easier.

I want her to have absolutely everything that she wants and dreams of, but I also know how dangerous it can be to just give in. I’ve been giving in to myself for years and now I have to fight back against all that to fix things.

This morning she ran in to her gymnastics class and the tears came. The overwhelming stress combined with the overwhelming love just blew up and I sat there in the little plastic chair wishing for answers. Wishing for a break from her and feeling guilty about it all.

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