At every stage in my daughter's brief life, I have thought things were kinda rough. I'm being dramatic, of course, because rough is relative here. But histrionics aside, I truly felt like I was struggling. I have felt out of control and crazed and frustrated. But at each stage, I have innocently, and perhaps foolishly, looked forward to the next stage with the optimism that things would be better. That when she is 2, it will be easier because she'll be mobile; at 3, it will be easier because she'll be talking; at 4, it will be easier because she'll be a KID and at least somewhat rational.
So here we are at 4 and I honestly feel like we are still in crapville. That with each stage attained, we have dropped off a few bad things and picked up double to replace them. My four year old is argumentative and willful and sassy and opinionated and ohmygodsofrustrating. She doesn't listen. At all. We've done time outs and reward charts and taking away favored toys/tv time/games and sending her to bed early and all manner of punishments and enticements for bad and good behavior respectively and she is still argumentative and willful and sassy and opinionated.
She doesn't listen. Sometimes figuratively, as in she hears me but chooses not to comply and sometimes literally in that I am pretty sure she can shut down the hearing centers in her brain and operate on sight alone thereby negating all of the NO/STOP/DON'Ts that I am shouting at her.
The funny thing is, as much as I hate her backtalk and not minding me, a part of me kind of loves that she is so strong-minded. That she stands up for herself with such fierceness. Of course, when she's giving me the sass I want to smack that fierceness into next Tuesday, but that's the price you pay I suppose. She will likely test me to my very limits. I'm not kidding when I say that it wouldn't surprise me if the police brought her home a time or two when she's in high school for some naughty behavior. Nothing too terrible, maybe caught TPing someone's yard or smuggling a couple cans of beer into the Friday night football game, but enough to give us heart palpitations.
But I also think she's the girl who will turn into a woman who's CEO of a company, or invents the cure for cancer, or wins an Oscar, or hell, the president, because she won't take no for an answer. Because she'll fight against any roadblock until she gets what she wants.
I just hope my sanity survives her early years and I'm around to see this powerful woman I helped create, because at this rate, it's not looking so good.