Posted by Duff

Within days of posting how wonderful nearly 2 1/2 is, we have reached the other side of the pre- preschooler coin: The Little Girl With The Curl, Right In The Middle Of  Her Forehead.

(For those of you who don’t know the nursery rhyme: When she was good, she was very, very good. And when she was bad, she was horrid).

I am on thin ice and feel like an elephant on skates. But if I hold still and really try to see the world wearing The Dervish’s skates, I should feel quite balanced in comparison. I’ve been doing this a lot longer. I know how to control my temper (mostly). I know how to weather minor disappointments and gauge them against real tragedies (again, mostly).

Her world is so often out of her control, it’s no wonder she feels like she has been left, shrieking, in the middle of a cracking pond. We force her to wear snowpants. Confine her to a carseat. Limit her intake of sweets. All of this done for her own good, but not her decision.

I was driving to work this morning (after making two trips to daycare – one to drop off a kicking Dervish, the the other to drop off her lunch, which I’d forgotten at home amid the I must wear my polka dot pajamas or I’m not going massacre) when my nose started dripping and I didn’t have a tissue in reach. I tilted my head back as far as I could while still keeping my eyes on the road, and was for once, grateful for a stoplight that allowed me to dig safetly through my purse just as the drip reached my lip.

I have had 34 years to learn problem solving skills like this. Oatmeal on her favorite shirt is still new territory to The Dervish, and I have been known to swear when something similar happens to me. Both fortunately and unfortunately, The Dervish doesn’t know any expletives (yet) or that such things can be fixed. There might never be another pink fleece pajama top with a tan velour kitty, and we must grieve accordingly.

So I really ought to validate her concerns.

Obviously, she will need to cope with some things on her own, tantrum through a few moments during her day. She is going to get angry beyond reason, unable to adequately explain to me the source and depth of her disappointment, and I won’t be able to fix it.

And her head will spin.

And I will stay quiet, and I will listen when she’s ready.

Even if I have to go into the other room and scream into a pillow while she weeps, like her heart is breaking, about the seam of her sock not lining up properly. I am not allowed to fix it. “My do it,” she tells me.

She’s right. I can’t fix everything. I would be doing her a disservice if I did.