Saturday, August 22, 2015

One Just Like You

The other day, in a clearly frustrated voice, I asked my eldest daughter, "Nell, why are you such a pack rat?"

She just smiled at me, but my son picked up on the opportunity to act superior to his little sister, "Yeah Nell!" He shouted at her, then he turned to me, "Why is she such a pack rat mommy?"

And the answer came to me, clear as day. In my mother's voice I heard it, "I hope you have a daughter just like you someday." And I looked into Nell's sparkling little eyes as if to say, "Hello Alizabeth Anne, how are you?"

"Ouchy, I need a bandaid!" Repeated five times a day. As far as I can tell, 98% of her ouchies are invisible. The 2% that aren't require no bandaids, they just leak blood all over my carpet as she picks and picks and picks at them.

And then there is the defiance. Yesterday I asked her to go get me a diaper. "No, Mamma," she responded so casually.

"Nell, go get me a diaper please."

"No," she stared straight into my eyes.

"One." Deep breathe through my nose. "Two." Angry eyes shooting through my brow. "Three." She was not impressed with my fabulous counting skills. So I (foolishly) tried again.

"Nell, I'm going to count to three and by the time I get to three you better go get me a diaper."

Her blank stare felt like an "or what?"

"Or I'll spank your butt."

After three more slow deep breathes through the nose I had to spank her butt.

She continued to stare right at me.

So, I spanked her butt, again.

Then she broke. She sobbed. And I held my defiant little girl and whispered sweet sorry's into her ear.

I remember the messes. I remember the love of bandaids. But I do not remember the defiance. Or at least, the little defiance I had didn't settle in until I was a tween, and even then it felt like smalls bits of anger. Small bits of asking for love. It didn't feel any more recurrent than older brother's short temper bursts. It didn't feel like a personality trait.

So what am I to do with this defiant little girl? One thing is for sure, I vow to never spank her butt again.

And tell me mom and dad, is this my little Alizabeth Anne?


Dad said...

No doubt about it!!! I don't remember you being really defiant. It was Jon that we had to spank the most, and he would just look at us like, "Drop dead, you idiots." I think you should not vow not to spank anymore. Spanking is a lost art that more parents need to utilize -- if you want my sage wisdom!!!

Claudia said...

I just can't wait until she picks up clothes off the floor and checks them to see if they smell! When that happens she is truly your child!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...