She’s my little bear. I never really used to think about having kids, never mind two and never mind a girl. Kids annoyed me, they were loud, irrational, hyperactive little things that would get under your feet to trip you up, literally and figuratively.

She gives the best hugs, she has the best smile, she’s extremely sensitive and she also has the most incredible tantrums. People would tell me about terrible twos and then someone mentioned terrible threes. We’re somewhere in-between right now, not that it’s a consolation. They come and go, but when they come — shit do they stay around.

Today was supposed to be an easy day. I have the day off, and even though she has day care today I was going to keep her home with her brother. Even though we seemed to get through the morning OK, once it came time to get dressed and go out for brunch things didn’t turn out so well. 

I’m not sure if it was the act of taking off her pajamas, her sleeping socks or not putting the correct shirt on that upset her so much. But once she did get upset there was no stopping her. It was hysteria, the kind of hysteria that paralyzes a parent, one that slaps you in the face with a reality of life. “You think things are going well? Is this easy? Too much of a good time… here… deal with this!

I didn’t know what to do, I tried calming her, I yelled in frustration, I tried distracting her. I showed her toys, packed her pajamas, socks and a stuffed animal into the bag to tell her we can take the with us. I threatened that Santa is going to come back and take his gifts away — this probably didn’t register at all — I tried giving her hugs and holding her. Nothing… but Screams…  

I quit, I gave up, I drove her to the daycare. I ran through justifications in my head: “I’m paying for it today anyways”, “She won’t take a nap and I have a bunch of errands to do”, “It’ll be good for her to hang out with her friends”, “It’s just temporary, I’ll pick her up right after he nap”, “I just need a little break”…