The past few days my daughter and I have been arguing constantly. She’s only three and half, but she is the most stubborn person I have ever met. I do try not to argue with her, but who am I kidding, it happens more often than I would like to admit.
I’m stressed about money and the dirty house, I don’t know what’s for dinner yet, I still have to make the shopping list, she suddenly hates her math curriculum, but wants to play chess constantly, and she’s woken me up at 2am three nights in a row. I’m exhausted and I’m done with anything that is not coffee, a book, or a nap today.
That’s not cutting it for her though. She knows every button I have and she pushes them with exquisite precision. She is a natural button pushing prodigy.
But I don’t want this dinner I asked for Mommy.
I don’t like math any more.
I don’t want to wear any of these clothes, I only want the one pair of shorts that are in the washing machine.
I don’t know where my favorite tiny toy is because I just threw it across the room for the 17th time. Can you find it for me?
I can’t reach my juice that is an inch away from my fingertips. Can you stop your work and walk across the room to hand it to me.
And on and on and on.
She is driving me totally insane and I think I would do anything for a break.
Then she asks if she can go with my husband to his father’s house. I agree. I send her off happily. I stay home with big plans for all the things I’ll get done without her underfoot throwing tantrum after tantrum.
I’ll get a shower. I’ll eat cookies and read a book. I’ll get some work done. I’ll get the house clean.
I start off fine with a shower. I plant her mum in a bigger pot (it’s been on my to do list for a week.) I sit down with a coffee and try to work. I cry instead. I spend the next four hours pretending to work, distracting myself for brief periods of time by watching Youtube, and crying because I miss my baby.
I was so irritated with her a few hours before, but now all I want is that sweet curly red hair in my face for a snuggle while she asks me for juice and a snack for the billionth time.
My husband is keeping me posted on their adventures as the day wears on, but each update leaves me with a small amount of relief that she was still alive and a lot more sadness. I am missing so much of her day, of her life. Logically I know missing one afternoon with her isn’t the end of the world, but anxiety, depression, and a deep, four year long, addiction to the girl that makes my life worth living hurt my heart so bad today.
We’ve never been apart for more than four or five hours. I work from home to be with her, I homeschool her because it is the best fit for her. I am with her every day, almost every minute. And today I felt the extent of my separation anxiety.
When she gets back we’ll both have more patience for each other. We’ll have a good evening. She’ll tell me all about her fun adventures while I get her cleaned up. She’ll never know how hard a time I had. And next time she asks to go, I’ll still let her. I try to never let my anxiety and depression effect her life. But tonight I’ll cuddle her a little closer. Enjoy the sweet things she does and try to be grateful that I’m with her for the annoying things she does. I’ll love that girl a little harder, happy to have her safely back with me again.
Does being away from your kiddos get easier as they get older?