Skip to main content

What Goes Around Comes Around

How can the person who brings you the most joy also be the person who can drive you to the brink of insanity?

Sometimes when I am with Caroline she brings me total peace. Like a zen moment, I can actually feel my breathing slow, my heart calm and my mind clearing. When she puts her arms around me and I feel her chest rising and falling in sync with mine, I am taken to a new level of consciousness. I am so happy it makes me want to cry and often the moment brings real tears to my eyes.

Tears also come to my eyes on many other occasions with Caroline. As quickly as she can calm me, she can agitate me. It's like she has a good girl/bad girl switch that turns on and off as quick as the "That Was Easy Button". I know her behavior is a stage because the terrible twos actually happen during the third year but it doesn't make it any easier for me to accept or to deal with.

A bad attitude for Caroline starts at sun up and ends at sun down. It's as though she has decided, in her dreams, to act like Satan's spawn for an entire day. She dedicates herself to 12-14 hours of putting me through toddler tempter tantrum hell, no breaks necessary.

And she enjoys it. She has a little, secret smile that she gives me as she tests my patience. After telling her not to do something she will look right at me while she does it again. She wants to see my reaction.

Andy and I have tried a number of Super Nanny tactics to curtail Rosemary's baby. We try calmly talking to her like we would an irritating colleague in a meeting, "Caroline: while I understand your perspective on the issue, putting the keys in the potty will result in Mommy and Daddy not being able to drive the cars, or drive you anywhere and that won't make any of us happy."

We are the punishers. We do corner time outs, time outs in her room and take away her lovey. We make her help us clean up her spills and apologize for rough housing. And yes, we do spankings. Come on, talking to your kid like you are in a disagreement at the office does NOT work and we'd all like to turn the annoying client on his or her tummy and give them a swift spank. Being the budding actress, Caroline throws her body on the floor, cries inconsolably and juts out her lower lip, if she wants sympathy. Or, if she's feeling really confident, she gives her little "make me" smile and reenacts the bad action, says yes to our "you want to get spanked?" threats or runs away laughing.

We are the victims. A long day locked in the house, away from the rain and snow, can lead to a hostage-like situation.

"Hello. 9.1.1"

"Yes, Operator. I need help. Now!"

"Ok- what's going on?"

"Someone is in my house and I'm pretty sure she is trying to kill me. I'm hiding between the washer and dryer right now in the laundry room. I've barricaded the door with the dirty clothes hamper. But she keeps banging on the door, calling out. I'm terrified. "

"Ok- what is she saying?"


Caroline has a deal with the men in the white coats. Every time she throws to the floor a stack of neatly sorted papers, colors on a freshly painted wall, spills milk on my laptop, pulls the cat's tail, refuses a nap, runs away from me in a parking lot or empties a bottle of body lotion onto the bathroom floor, she knows that Mommy is one step closer to the looney bin.

It reminds me: my mom used to recite a poem which she felt best described me:

There once was a girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. When she was good she was very good. When she was bad she was horrid.

At least when I get to the mental ward I'll already know my roommate. I bet good old mom will even have my bed made for me.


Popular posts from this blog

I Love Otsego but I Love Andy More

Growing up, my big brother was your typical older brother. He loved to torture me and his favorite hobby was making me mad or making me cry. He took my own stuff and made me buy it back from him at a yard sale. He put dog crap in my socks and sneakers. He threw spit balls at me, pinched me and never let me win at any games. Despite his daily doses of teasing and displeasing me, I did notice that he wasn't particularly interested in other people making me mad or making me cry. I'm not saying he was ready to fight on my behalf, or ride up on a white horse to protect me, but he was pretty firm in his position as the number one bane of my existence. Despite the fact that he no longer tortures me quite like he used to, our relationship has left a lasting impression on me, long into adulthood. As a self proclaimed arm chair therapist, I take note that I have been trying to work through that relationship for years-with Andy. Poor Andy had no idea that, when we started dating, I'…

Holiday Letters- in Two Versions!

I don’t know about you but I love a good holiday letter. Nothing sends me into a tailspin of self doubt and depression like reading the carefully crafted story of the highs and accomplishments of those in my life. As the letters flow in, alongside the photos of the beautiful smiling faces of my loved ones, I curl up under a warm blanket, look out at the bleak, gray winter skies and think: what the fu#k is wrong with me?We are so fortunate, due to modern technological advances, to be able to experience this self doubt an average of 20-50 times per day as we addictively scroll a variety of social media channels. Yet nothing truly confirms our own personal inadequacies like a yearly summary of others’ successes and happiness neatly packed in an 8 1/2 X 11 sheet of paper, folded in thirds and slipped into an envelope alongside a card collage of beach shots, matching sweaters and smiling, happy faces. I, too, have sent along such letters to accompany our smiling happy faces, providing thos…

An Open "PM" to Polly

Hey Polly, it’s me- Melissa. Can I call you Polly? Because I feel like I know you. Do I know you? We’ve been in the same social media circles for many months now.I see from your profile that you went to Cornell. I have a lot of friends that graduated from there. It’s an awesome school. What year did you graduate? I also see that you’re self-employed. I really respect entrepreneurs, particularly female entrepreneurs. What’s your business? Are you a photographer because your Facebook profile picture of Doubleday Field is fantastic.I see that you don’t have any Facebook friends, Polly. I understand that. Are you lonely? It can be really lonely around here. Listen Polly, this election got really nasty but at the end of the day are all neighbors right? Do you want to meet, do you want to talk about it? Haven’t seen you on social media since the election. I totally get where you’re coming from, Polly. It’s been hard for me, too. When you put yourself out there with really strong opinions pe…