Let me present to you Exhibit A: My darling daughter J - a total paradox.
On the one hand, shy, empathetic, loving, intelligent, diligent and caring.
On the other, fiesty, bold, loud, stubborn and opinionated.
This is the child who did not breathe for 6 minutes when she was born (a whole different story), and has kept me worrying ever since. She has me on an emotional rollercoaster with her neediness and moods, and I spend my entire life planning ahead to make sure she does not "kick off" in any given situation. It is exhausting!
Enter Exhibit B: My gorgeous son O - the child I was so scared to have as I knew I would never cope with another J.
O is quiet, calm and smiley - even when he's sick! He is so placid compared to J that I sometimes wonder if there is something wrong with him.
Needless to say, 98% of my mental-mommy-energy is spent on J.
(Which also induces in me more guilt and angst that I am not spending "enough" mental-mommy-energy on O).
And so to yesterday....
It was my birthday - and it did not go well....
Is this the form (or should that be norm?) when you have children?!
It started ok - both J and I slept late (7.45am - pure bliss!) while hubby sorted out O (like I mentioned, he is hands on! Lucky, lucky me!).
However, at 9am-ish J kicked O on the head, received a smack from me for doing so (about number 6 of her life), and I burst into tears because I had done so.
I recalled Plan B's post about smacking her daughter, and re-read her entry. Comforting indeed.
Lest to say I felt terrible. J saw me crying and immediately offered me her "muzzie" - which is her muslin comforter - even though her leg must still have been stinging as much as my hand (there's that empathetic side to her).
I will forever remember my 39th birthday for that exchange.
(oh, and please - any tips on dealing with first child jealousy of second child would be sincerely appreciated.)
And it is a BIG DAY tomorrow. J's first ever Nativity Play.
Star Costume - check
Learnt all the songs - check
Video camera charged - check
Grandma coming to watch - check
High expectations - mmmmmmmmmm - well, let's think about that.
Given that at the rehearsal at the church today J apparently took off her shoe and started screaming and was reprimanded by the (lovely-but-I-can-imagine-quite-frightening-when-cross) head mistress, it cannot be said that my expectation are high.
....and that brings me on to the tantrum.
A new trend appears to be that if J has "had a bad day at school" - i.e. it involved being reprimanded/put in time out/etc - she suffers from such remorse (embarrassment?) at her actions that she throws one serious wobbly once at home. And when I say SERIOUS I mean scary SERIOUS.
Today it involved not wanting to come into the house when we got home from school. As I was sorting out O (removing 6 layers of clothing etc), she bolted inside, grabbed her potty and then bolted back outside onto the pavement.... where, screaming she told me to go away and proceeded to pull down her tights and knickers and sit on her potty.
Not for love nor money could I get near her, let alone get her inside.
I did not know what to do nor how to handle J. A regular theme at the moment. So (and this is only being entered after a debate with "I have editorial rights hubby", as he thinks everyone will think I am a freak - which I am not. Desperate perhaps, freak not), I fetched the video camera as I wanted to demonstrate to hubby the incident, as I don't think he gets how hard managing J all day, every day is.
So picture the scene...
Half naked hysterically shrieking little girl sitting on potty on pavement mommy with video camera.
The man who parked his van opposite could not help himself but to get involved, which only led to a) my acute embarassment b) J shrieking at an even louder pitch.
And this was all a "normal" day in the life of .....
Is it just me???