So I must admit, I have been quite smug up until a few weeks ago. I would pityingly glance at parents who were trying to hush their inappropriately loud toddler at the restaurant. I would have some half-ass empathy for a mom whose son had just completely lost it at the pet store after being told he wasn't allowed to hold the bunny. When at the playground, I would mentally shake my head for those parents whose children refused to leave and had to be practically dragged to the car.
Not that Mr. Personality didn't have his moments, believe me. We have had a few meltdowns, some hair pulled, some refusals to go to bed, not wanting the diaper changed, but then things would go rather quickly back to normal.
Apparently, normal decided to give me a good smack-down. Vengeance is thine, fate. I am being punished for my superiority complex, even though it was rather short-lived in my opinion. We have entered the phase where every single request is taken as a personal affront to his independence. Everything elicits pretty much the same response.
"Do you want to get changed to go and play outside?"
"Sweetie, can Mama color with you?"
Do you want me to make you some breakfast?"
"We have to go inside now, its time for dinner."
"But remember how I had to dress you kicking and screaming the whole time to even come outside? I had to force you!"
"The sky is blue."
And on and on it goes. We took him to Disneyland last week after one of his marathon 3-hour naps naively thinking, of course he will have fun, it is the happiest place on earth, right? At one point, after refusing to walk any further because he simply did not like the direction we were going, we pulled the "Bye, bye Mr. Personality" and walked about 6 feet forward without him. The inhuman scream and tears that flowed river-like down his pink cheeks were enough to make a woman walking by pat him on the head in sympathy. I didn't know if I wanted to strangle her for interfering, or think kindly of her for taking pity on my pathetic-looking son. Either way, she startled him enough that he ran to us, confused as to why some stranger had just touched him on the head. He who will screech, "NO KISSES!!" if anyone dares to let their mouth come anywhere he perceives as near his body, was a little freaked out. This worked to our advantage. (OK, so I guess that means I will have to think kindly of her.)
I try to take it as each day comes and just roll with it. Some days, that is much harder to do than others. Like yesterday when he purposely screamed at top lung capacity in the restaurant just for kicks. One day, I know, I will look fondly back on these days, because he is oh-so-cute, even at his worst. I have to remind myself to take each battle as it comes. Oh, and that empathy thing? I am so there.