Friday, February 10, 2012

Negotiating With Terrorists

Once upon a time, there lived a moderately flawed Princess who had an answer to virtually all parenting issues (and pretty much everything else for that matter).  She reigned supreme in her own mental kingdom--slaying bad behavior, sleep issues, and other parenting dilemmas along the way.

Then, one day, the moderately flawed Princess had a little girl.

For a time, the Princess continued to preside over her fictional kingdom.  The Junior Princess, as she shall be known, was a ridiculously easy baby.  There was no colic, there was barely any crying....just lots of sleep, lots of smiles, lots of cuddles.   There were no potty training fights, there were no issues with sharing, there were no public meltdowns.  For three years, the Senior Princess frequently entertained the thought "Wow- I have this parenting thing DOWN."   The Senior Princess dared to think that she just might a very special, very excellent mom.

The Senior Princess was a fool.

Somewhere around the Junior Princess's third birthday, an evil witch spiked the Junior Princess's juice box with a massive quantity of time-released PMS pills.   Since that day, the Senior Princess has regularly been in way over her head---frequently trying to reason with an organism who has the uncanny ability to simultaneously be completely unreasonable, completely hotheaded, and completely bursting with self-righteous indignation (and the vocabulary to match).

This isn't my kind of fairytale.  Life with my 3 year old ain't no joke.

Some days, I get hours and hours of quality time with the sweetest little girl in the world--the girl Little M used to be.  Some days (and today was one of them), I spend hours and hours of time engaged in a losing battle of wits against the world's smallest (and funniest) terrorist.

Little M: 286.   Little Miss Sunshine:0.

We thought that taking Little M ice skating would be a fun activity.  That would be incorrect.  I'm pretty sure I can never again show my face at Ice Line of West Chester.   It was in that Ice Line where I morphed from a reasonably well-adjusted member of society into a stark raving Jerry Springer style loon.

The whole event started off poorly. Her Majesty informed us, and anyone who was willing to listen, that she required her skates to contain flowers, butterflies, and princesses.  I didn't realize that she required a famous-person rider, complete with a list of unreasonable demands.  (For the record, if I'm ever a famous rock star, my rider will demand that my dressing room be fully stocked with Diet Dr. Pepper and Lucky Charm marshmallows, and that all Pepsi products be removed from the premises).  In any event, she was decidedly less than pleased with the black, unisex rental skates she actually received.  Strike 1.

After a 15 minute change of terror, where I feared that my digits would be severed by the flinging blades, we made our way onto the ice.  We completed 2 laps, 3 tops....where she was overconfident in her abilities as a skater, which meant that she was flailing all over the place.  Those might have been the longest 30 minutes of my life---compounded by the fact that we were the parents of the only small child in the place that was sans helmet.  Oops.   She demanded to be taken off the ice.  Strike 2.

It should be noted that today is the husband's birthday, and he took the day off to spend with us.  I imagine that he sorely regrets this decision.  Any sane person would surely prefer a day in the office than waste a vacation day spent with a 3 year old in the throes of terrible, and a wife who (using highly technical terms) lost her mind and her shit in a public place.

Despite the two strikes, I might have been able to be a return customer at Ice Line.  Then it happened.

Her Majesty saw the vending machines that were stocked with Dippin' Dots.   She demanded Dippin' Dots.  I said no.

As a side note, who actually eats Dippin' Dots, anyway?  To me, they look like disgusting ice-cream pellet droppings.

Boys and girls, it all went downhill from there.  The switch was flipped, and all reason went out the window.  She went nuts.  It was epic.  (The husband picked a great time to return the skate-walker.  Lucky him.)

It started with her repeating her demand that I furnish her with Dippin' Dots.  I declined.  She put her hands on her hips, gave me a filthy look and duck lips,  and tapped her foot (while still wearing skates).  She repeated her demand.  I repeated my decline, and this time added, "I don't negotiate with terrorists."

She didn't say a word, but the look in her eyes clearly said "Bitch, you not only negotiate with terrorists, you're going to accommodate them with a smile on your face."  And then she took off, in a full sprint, down the looooooooooooong hallway of Ice Line----while still wearing the rental skates.

For someone who couldn't stay on her feet while on the ice, Little M made a remarkable on-skates sprinter in a public place.  Unlike my daughter, I am a proficient (if by no means good) ice skater, but a total crap skate- runner.  I chased her, as fast as I could without biting it in humiliating fashion, pleading (and by that, I mean screaming) for her to "Come back here....NOW.  Get back here...RIGHT NOW, GOD DAMMIT.  You're going to time out...FOREVER!!!  STOP!!!!!!!!!!  GET BACK HEERRRRRRRRRRRRRRRE, DAMMIT.  YOU BETTER HOPE THAT I DON'T CATCH YOU BECAUSE WHEN I DO YOU'RE GOING TO GET IT AND I'M SERIOUS THIS TIME...."

Classy.  Way to exercise virtually no parental control and sound like a whiny (and uncoordinated) idiot---ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Thankfully, she bit it before I did----right next to the massive trophy case that I am so thankful that we didn't break.  (Don't worry, she wasn't at all hurt, and was still looking at me with her "you and what army, lady?" expression.)

Of course, we had an audience.

I attempt to walk her back to the changing area to return the ugly rental skates and get the hell out of there.  She wasn't really having it, so I'm dragging her by the hood of her jacket while whispering that I will get her a candy bar if we can leave without any further public humiliation.

I am pleased to inform you that we managed to get out of Ice Line without any further dramatic escapades.   She got her frigging candy, and I got 3 minutes of peace.

I shall collect my mother-of-the-year award now, thanks.

For the record, the following picture most adequately captures my plans for the rest of the day.

To being a pint-sized terrorist enabler,

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