Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The mini me

My daughter is slowly but most assuredly becoming a smaller version of me. Not in the good ways, but all of the bad ones. What I mean by that is that she seems to have picked up some of my neurotic bad habits, added them to her pre-existing 4 year old tendencies towards nastiness and ended up with a ticking time bomb of OCD.
When I was expecting my oldest, I was more than a little disappointed to find out it was a boy. I had dreamed that I would have a cute little pig-tailed girl that I would dress in fancy frocks and have lovely tea parties with. I had dreams of redeeming my own childhood failures through her. I had no idea how to raise, much less bond with a boy.
nd yet, when the Fidget was born, it was lovely. I learned step by step what he needed and wanted and realized that it wasn't as hard as I thought it would be. As I looked to friends who had daughters, I realized I was actually quite blessed to have a boy - a nice, compliant, easy to dress, easy to manage boy.
Then came the girl. The Mouth, as she is affectionately known, is not so nice at times, rarely compliant, difficult to dress and will be managed by no one, at least not willingly. Sure there are fancy frocks (but they hang unloved and unwanted in the closet) and there is a tea set that she is not allowed to touch for fear that her temper will send it clattering across the room. I know she will not always be like this, but she is like this NOW, and that is the problem.
Over the past year or so, I have come to realize some startling trends in her behaviour. She is meticulous. And by meticulous, I mean anal. She has a routine, and if we deviate from that routine, she LOSES IT. She has her toys in certain spots, and if they are not in those spots, she will not sleep. We must follow the bedtime routine to the letter or she gets very upset. She knows that on certain days, we do certain things, and if - God forbid - some emergency pops up and we have to change plans, get ready for the fury of a four-year-old to be unleashed.
She lines her books up according to size, and can tell at a glance from across the room if they are out of order. I must brush her hair a certain way if I want to brush her hair at all. The list goes on and on.
While I may have started to blame myself for these foibles, I begin to think this way: I myself feel the exact same things as she does, only I have trained myself to have restraint, to go with the flow, if the flow so demands. Not that I am all cheering and happy about it, but I do it without saying anything. I have had to significantly relax my standards on cleaning and routine since the arrival of children, knowing that children do not fall into a neat and orderly schedule. Therefore, seeing how I have have hidden these things from her, how on earth is it that she learned them?
And that is where I begin to feel some relief. I don't think she learned them at all - I think she inherited them. I think genetically, she is predisposed to these behaviours. Just like her temperament. No one around here taught her how to act this way (pigheaded and stubborn, and I say that in the most loving way possible)- she just does, and has from nearly the day she was born. So aside from my decision to procreate, I am off the hook, right? Right.
Well, that is it for tonight - off to relax before the circus that is my life begins again tomorrow.
God Bless

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