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When I picked Bear up from daycare on Monday of this week, one of the high school girls who helps out there after school looked at me and said, “She was hitting kids today.  A lot.”

We have had several occasions when I’ve received “Incident Reports” upon picking Bear up from daycare, and each time, I think, “Oh no.  My child caused an Incident.”  Every time, however, I am strangely relieved to learn that Bear has been the incident victim instead.  Bear must have learned to fight back this week, because surely any hitting from my sweet, innocent little girl would only be in self-defense.

On Monday night, my husband and I talked with Bear about how it was not nice to hit other kids and how she didn’t like when they hit her.  She quietly listened to us with big eyes, seemingly absorbing the meaning of our words.  The next morning, I asked Bear, “Do you promise not to hit anyone at school today?”  She replied with a definitive “yes.”

When I picked Bear up from daycare, I asked if Bear had hit anyone.  “Oh no,” replied the high school girl.  Before I could congratulate Bear, she added, “She scratched someone instead.”

I am going to have to expand the terms of our agreement next time.

On my own

On my own

My one year-old may have toddled into toddlerhood today.  It happened overnight.  This weekend, she was a happy-go-lucky baby, playing and wanting to be held and read to.  Today, she just wasn’t.

The morning started off well-enough.  Bear was happy to see me when I pulled her out of her crib.  She grabbed her “babies” – a stuffed giraffe affectionately named Jo Jo and a little bunny – and happily accepted a bottle from Daddy.  The trouble began when I took her to her room to get her ready for daycare.  I stretched her out on her changing pad, which I’ll admit, is not her favorite activity.   Lately, I’ve pacified her by pulling a book off of her book shelf and letting her browse it while I change her diapers or pants.  Today, however, I made the tactical error of handing her a box of cards that she enjoys, which I found underfoot on the floor.  Unfortunately, as soon as I handed the box to her, she dumped its contents out on top of her.  Approximately 20 cards spread across the changing pad and into the dirty diaper zone.  I quickly pushed the cards away and handed her two to play with.  This action infuriated her.  She flung the two remaining cards at me and flipped over onto her stomach (all while I was attempting to maneuver a dirty diaper out of the way and hold her dirty bum off of the changing pad).  She then became rigid, by arching her back and pushing her feet out (which were still in my hands).  I felt like we were practicing pro-wrestling moves.  I’d like to say in that situation that size matters, but honestly, the little bugger was making the most of it.  Although Bear was the one being pinned to the changing pad, she was clearly in control of the situation.

I managed to clean her and wrangle her into clothes for the day, but she continued to wail and fight me through the rest of our morning routine.  Once dressed, I took her to our kitchen for breakfast.  Once I plopped her down in her high chair and poured cereal and cut blueberries onto her tray, she quieted down a bit.  After Bear chucked her sippy cup at me, which is clearly toddler-speak for “stop trying to pacify me with this blasted sippy cup,” I turned on “Sid the Science Kid”, her favorite t.v. show (even though it is the only t.v. show she watches, and I like it too).   A faint smile appeared on her lips.  I thought that maybe I was making progress, so I began dancing about with the music on “Sid.”  Nothing.  Well, nothing pleasant anyway.  She made it clear that she was not happy with me and would not indulge in any silliness.  In fact, she turned away when I got too close.

When her daddy was ready to leave, I told him that Bear was not in a good mood and that I was pretty sure that she was mad at me.  He laughed as though he didn’t believe that she could be mad at me and picked her up from her chair to take her to the car.  Wait, I told him.  I didn’t want Bear to leave on a bad note, so I gave her a hug and as I leaned in to give her a kiss, she turned her head and pushed me away.  Her daddy laughed again, but not in disbelief this time.  Bear then began chattering happily to him as he carried her out to the car, leaving a dejected mommy in the kitchen.

I felt little pangs of sadness at work today thinking about how my little girl was already asserting her independence from me and how she had apparently grown-up enough to feel wronged by the actions of others, namely me.  Despite her unhappiness with me this morning, thouh, she squealed with delight when I walked into her room this evening to pick her up.  Whatever I did this morning was forgiven by this evening, and I was her much-loved momma once again, or for a hour or so at least until our next clashing of wills.

What will tomorrow bring?