Along with the spirited child front, my child has one characteristic I want her to keep throughout her life because I have struggled with this myself. She's fearless. Bravery. Seriously, the kid has no fear. I have yet to find something that scares her. Thunderstorm? No. Lawn mower? No, she runs toward it. Same with the vacuum. We were in Michigan with my family last year, and as we walked along the pier in South Haven, the kid was leaning over trying to reach the water. Climbing rocks, wanting to explore. She has no fear. I love that, but at the same time, fear that, about her.
We went swimming with friends the other day, and Aubrey could not have been more excited. We've been in a pool maybe one other time with her so I'm not sure why the word pool got her so excited, but she was. We got her in the water, with her water floaties, of course, and she was giggling like crazy. Then it started. She saw the big kids swimming so Aubrey wanted to swim. She got frustrated because she wanted us to let her go on her own. I tried to show her what would happen, but that didn't deter her. "I need to swim, I need to swim!" she kept saying. (Side note: Her new thing is to say she 'needs' something instead of 'wants.') She then saw kids jumping off the side into the pool so she climbs out of the pool and tries to do that herself, with her Mommy scrambling out of the pool with her. We did a modified "jump" with me holding her up to Daddy in the water. It seemed to fool her for the time being, but I'm afraid that will only last so long. She wants to do it on her own. She thinks she is as big as those other kids jumping and swimming. That's my kid.
It scares me because of obvious reasons, of course. I'm already paranoid with my kid around water but now I have more reason to be eagle eyes with her. It's hard to keep up with her, and as she gets older and more independent, I know that will only get worse. She's fearless. To a fault.
I want to strike that fine balance between encouraging her to be fearless but also reigning in her over-braveness. I love the fighter in her, the daredevil and the strong girl she is. I just want to make sure she does not think she's bigger than she is.
I'm frustrated. I know people say that "oh you think the terrible twos are bad? Just wait until the terrible threes!" And I know this too shall pass and it gets better...blah, blah, but seriously, I'm irritated. And tired.
Our doctor, Aubrey's teachers, and pretty much everyone has said that Aubrey is a spirited child. It's basically another word for stubborn. I've even started reading books on it. Aubrey finds something and darn it, that's what she wants and she will bring all holy hell until she gets it. And when she doesn't get it - which is often because we don't give into her - thus begins the fit. And when Aubrey throws a fit, she throws a fit. It's impressive the dedication she puts into her fits when she starts them. And the volume. Yeah, it's not pretty and it's enough for us to not want to do anything at all, go anywhere, leave the house, you name it.
We took her to the downtown canal on Saturday morning thinking we'd have a nice family walk, see some ducks, have a little fun for a couple hours. Yeah, that lasted like 30 minutes when she decided she wanted to go up the stairs to the street. That ended up with her being in the stroller and screaming. So we went home. So much for that....
It's frustrating. And I'm jealous. I have friends who have kids my age, and I see pictures and stories on Facebook of all the fun things they do and see. Why can't we do that too? Oh right, our child will do okay for like a minute before she finds something that will start World War III. It makes the whole point of the outing not even worth it. I'm starting to get a little resentful, and I hate admitting that. Why is their child okay going out in public and ours not? I know the answer. Our child is anything but the laid-back and chill kid. She does not just go with the flow. We get looks from people when Aubrey does meltdown like we have some kind of brat, but we don't. It's not that. No way do we spoil our kid, and she is accountable for her behavior. She's just very strong-willed and well....stubborn. Or wait, no, it's she's "spirited." That sounds better.
Whatever it is, I'm having one of those days where it just sucks. I'd love to go to the zoo or the pool or park...I mean, we try it and hope like hell that it goes well, but 9 times out of 10, we end up with a screaming Aubrey and a frustrated Nain and T.
Just needing to get that out, and yeah...it's my blog, so I can, right? But no, I'm not looking for tips or anything. Maybe a baby-sitter or two.