Once I've gotten her dressed, she usually decides to poop. In her diaper even though she's capable of using the toilet. Somehow she escapes and runs away from me each morning as I'm changing her and shit ends up all over some piece of furniture or bed sheets or her clothes.
So I change her carefully negotiated outfit. And then I change it again when she's dumped a cup of yogurt on herself or has insisted on washing her hands by herself which somehow means washing her fully clothed torso in the bathroom sink.
Now, for those of you who are thinking that I should wait to get her dressed until after she eats or takes a dump, I challenge you to pluck her from her crib in the morning, when her the first words out of her mouth are not, "good morning or I love you, mama," but "shirt off!" (Insert another tantrum here if I leave her pajamas on.)
She hates wearing a jacket even though it's freezing outside and she insists on taking anywhere from three to five stuffed animals, a purse and a tea set with her every time we leave the house.
And bath time in the evening? That's a tantrum times seventeen--with every window in the house closed so the neighbors don't mistakenly call CPS. You'd think we were dipping her in hot lava instead of a warm tub filled with bubbles and toys.
Her will and her attitude are wearing me down to the point that I cannot believe I am growing another tiny monster who will perhaps torture me all over again. I actually lay in bed last night not wanting to fall asleep because I knew I was going to have to wake up and be tortured all over again. When she's good, she's delicious. When she's like this, she's completely evil. Dad, if you're reading this, I know what you're thinking: payback or that the Sabine apple does not fall far from the Laura tree. But I wasn't this bad, was I? If so, I'm really, really sorry.
I used to watch Super Nanny and think that the parents who needed her help were ridiculous for needing her help. Now, I think the super nanny obviously does not live with toddlers day in and day out. She's a nanny, not a mom--two very different things. She gets to go home and have a glass of wine amidst dead silence after bossing those families around. She doesn't have to live with this crap on a daily basis. Putting your kid in timeout on a bean bag or a carpet scrap in the living room so they can laugh at you as they get up over and over again, while you spend hours retrieving them and putting them back is my definition of Guantanamo Bay-style torture. I suddenly want to kick super nanny off of her British know-it-all soapbox.
My sister asked me once about whether or not I'm afraid that Sabine will read this blog one day and feel hurt by some of what I say. I thought about deleting certain posts as time goes on, but I also think it's important to be honest. The truth is is that nothing is perfect or perfectly enchanting all the time. I want my readers who don't have children to know this in case they do some day. I want my readers who do have children to not feel bad or guilty or crazy when they feel like locking themselves in a padded room. I want Sabine to know this in case she has children some day, when I will also tell her that all the tantrums paled in comparison to how happy she made me.
If I pretended that motherhood is this romantic, dreamy experience all the time, then I'd have to be locked up or get all Sylvia Plath from the barrel of lies I'd be feeding myself and the world around me.