It’s been a week since we got back from our trip to Malaysia, and things are finally status quo around here. I came home to packages from Amazon.com on my front porch (online shopping, how I love thee), a soup spoon under the rug and a little girl attached to my body. Well, almost back to normal - that last part is new. I think Little Miss is still in a jet lag funk – or so I hope. At least I know that will eventually fade. She has lately been incredibly needy and clingy, wanting to always be in the same room as us or to be picked up every other minute even though prior to the trip she was perfectly capable of being completely independent. Sometimes overly so.
She has also been displaying more aggressive behavior, grabbing toys from playmates and pushing them, and the burgeoning temper tantrums - where did those come from?! Surely jet lag can’t be blamed for all of these…can it? (Do you hear the wistfulness - or is that sheer desperation - in my voice?) She has asked for her paati (although she says "taat-is" - close enough) a few times so perhaps she is missing my mom and is acting out because of it? How about her molars? They must be the culprit.
This is all very worrying (other than for obvious reasons) because for the first time, I actually wasn’t looking forward to coming home from work to her. Since I only see her from 5pm to 7pm on weekdays, I selfishly only want quality time together, but instead of Kodak moments, I get the short fuse and the tears. It's also the witching hour, where kids (even adults!) are at their crabbiest, whether from hunger or exhaustion. Lucky me.
Frankly, I’m not sure how to deal with this personality change. I’ve read that they go through phases, and I’ve seen it happen with her, such as her cheese and peas days. Now she’s back to devouring nearly everything in sight, and that is promising. I had it pretty easy with her as an infant, so is this erratic behavior my retribution? Can parents never just have a proverbial walk in the park with their kids? How can someone so cute be so annoying too? And yes, I did just say that.
I realize that just because I love my daughter (and I really do, I swear), it doesn't mean I am always going to like her. I just thought that would happen later, like when she hits the big T-E-E-N, not when she's still cute and cuddly. Does that make me a bad mom? Maybe.
Or maybe it’s only human that we can’t deal sometimes. That we say things like “why can’t you be just like that kid?”. That we stress about our kids behaving better, saying more, sleeping well, eating less, (insert wishlist here). That after coming home from a full day’s work to a screaming child, we want to walk right back out that door again. That we can’t always decipher our kids’ needs, and it frustrates everyone. That we want to hide when our little angel turns into a little monster in public. Or even at home. That we possess an inherent flaw that constantly doubts our own abilities as parents. That we flourish and flounder all at once. That we go into stasis just to survive the moment, the hour, the day.
Or maybe I’m just crazy.