Yesterday morning I had to take Emma to an ENT for a consultation about getting ear tubes. (Which, by the way, she does need and will get in a few weeks.) The day started off poorly when she refused to eat her oatmeal in her highchair and ended up wearing it instead. Point one for Emma.
Once we arrived at the doctor's office, the lobby became her free-for-all playground. Running from me, throwing magazines off the tables, knocking on any door she could find, going limp when I grabbed her arm (moms, you know that move). It was unreal. "Whose child is this?" I kept thinking. Point two for Emma.
When we finally made it back to the patient room I actually had to spank her for throwing Cherrios at me. I'm usually not one for spanking unless absolutely necessary, but something needed to get this girl's attention. It didn't work. Point three for Emma.
After the doctor came in and did his assessment and, of course, she was an angel. His "Oh, hi cutie pie! Aren't you a good girl!" made me want to barf at this point. Whoever says these tiny creatures are not master manipulators obviously have no children.
We finally made it to the checkout counter. I thought I was in the clear. Until I realized I had to write a check with this squirmy little munchkin on my hip. She tore one check and grabbed a handful of receipts from my wallet, when the receptionist kindly offered to hold her while I made out the payment. She got so many "oooh, look at her" and "well, isn't she just adorable." I SWEAR she looked over at me for a split second and had this mischievous twinkle in her eyes meant only for her mama. Point four for Emma.
Now, if you're keeping track, that's Emma - 4, Mom - 0. By the time I dropped her off at daycare and headed in to work I was literally shaky from frustration. It's a wonder I had not shed a few tears at this point --- I'm usually a crier. Maybe I was just so stunned by the whole morning.
Fast forward a few hours later when I go to pick her up. She's been an angel the whole day. Of course. I had no choice but to stop by the store on the way home for some essentials. But, back to her morning ways, she grabbed at things, fussed when I said anything negative to her, and even fell back into the large part of the shopping cart because she stood up in about 1.1 seconds when I reached for the milk and I couldn't quite catch her. THEN, to top it all off, her butt was soaked when I scooped her up. Apparently one side of her diaper magically came undone and leaked everywhere. 10 Point Bonus for Emma.
Now, to be honest, I really am glad she was good for her caretaker. And I honestly am glad that the other folks can see the adorableness in her. But I about met my match last night. It was unreal. Like I was watching someone else's life. Because this was not MY child. This was not the funny, silly, quirky, good-girl that I knew and loved.
I've come to understand that moments like this are not going to be as rare as I wish them to be. She is only 15 months. It will get worse before it gets better. Going to bed last night I can honestly say that I didn't feel equipped to handle another day like that. I can only pray that God grants me the strength, patience and grace to handle each episode in the manner in which He'd be proud of.
Emma may have won yesterday, but we're still all playing for the same team. I gotta remember that. And hopefully, after these "Terrible Whatever's" subside - be it one, two or three years (God help me), we will have been able to raise a child that not only we, but God is proud of too.
Any tips from some of you experienced moms? I'll gladly take it all!