I think Little Miss is starting to learn that she can't have everything simply because she's so stinkin' cute. Add that to the fact that toddlers are notorious for collapsing in fits means....well, there have been quite the breakdowns lately.
Tonight she didn't want to eat her dinner. Fine. Having a picky older child has made me just have to grin and bear it and if they aren't hungry and don't want to eat what's on the table, then they just don't eat. (Okay, that's partly a lie; if I've made something super weird then I let it slide because not everybody is an adventurous eater. If it's something they eat all the time but are being a butt about it, then no, I do not coddle them about it.) So tonight Little Miss slides her plate across the table, knocking it into the hubby's milk and then grumbles about not wanting to eat and blah blah blah. Then my son decides he's done too, but he knows the consequences and accepts that because he only ate a tiny bit, he gets one M&M for dessert. Not big cookies like me and daddy who ate all their food ;) But of course, because we are all enjoying a dessert of some sort, Little Miss goes to the floor wailing about how she wants dessert too. Sorry little one, no dessert for those who don't eat! Everyone finishes and goes about their business and Little Miss is now curled up under the table screaming for her daddy. After a few minutes I ask her if she would like to get up and maybe have a slice of cheese, or some banana. Nope. She doesn't want me, she wants daddy. So I leave to go into the living room. Realizing that nobody else is coming for her (or giving her sympathy) she calls for me. I come back a minute later and she's decided, nope, she really wants daddy. The second I get up she finally thinks "Hey, I really want my mom instead." And clings to me with all her might screaming for cookies.
Here's where I'm pretty proud of myself. There was calm soothing asking if she wanted cheese or bread or bananas instead and when she screamed louder, I just kept snuggling her 'til she calmed down. If you've ever tried to calm down or even keep your hold on a screaming toddler, it's not easy. Mostly because they don't want you to. But I apparently was soothing enough because after a few minutes she gave up the idea of cookies and just wanted to curl up on the chair with me. Too bad right after this daddy decided it was bathtime for her and the screaming started all over again.....
This is one of the things I dislike about parenting. I hate having to be the person who says no, the person who does 'tough love' because you don't want them to grow up to be spoiled little rotten children who don't understand what it means to not get their way. But at the same time, I enjoy watching how their brains work in these situations. Just the other night Little Miss knew she was in trouble and every time I went to say something to admonish her, she'd give me a giant smackeroo. (How do you get mad at that? Honestly.) Or like last night when she refused to go back to bed, I knew she just wanted to be in our room, but when she saw that daddy and the animals were (faking) sleeping comfily, she nuzzled my neck and said she wanted to be in bed too. Or later on tonight when she decided she had had enough of being a crab and just wanted to sit and hang out. Watching my kids find that on their own makes me happy.