Sometimes, when John was about 2, we would have these days that stand out like jewels in my mind. He was full of wonder and curiosity, he would try new words and new word combinations, he ate like a lumberjack and took solid, uneventful naps. Transitions -- moving from playing outside to lunch, or the end of Mr. Rogers to nap time -- are the bane of parents with toddlers, yet his day would flow into itself and before I knew it we'd be reading a story for bedtime, and he would smell of soap and toothpaste, in his footie jammies, cuddled in bed.
Maia did not have one of those days yesterday.
She has had those good days, of course, just as John had his bad days, too. Yesterday was one of those bad days where you wonder if all the good days were some kind of fluke and now your child's true personality is breaking out of its shell, like a dragon hatching.
Every suggestion or command was met with miserable tears. Not defiant, purely miserable. She wasn't sick. She wasn't hungry or in pain. It just seemed that she was annoyed to be a part of this family, and wanted nothing more than to lie face down on the floor and howl.
So we let her. Then she cried because we had let her. Most babies and small children have many kinds of cries, and most of them have a high-gear cry -- one they kick it to when regular crying just isn't getting the job done.
Yesterday she went from 0-60 in her high-gear cry every time. It's hard to be told that everything you're doing is wrong, but when that information comes in a full-blown scream all day, it makes you a little crazy.
And it's hard to describe that creeping feeling that maybe this is how your kid is going to be all the time -- screaming. Just screaming. An unhappy wreck. Screaming at every transitions, even ones she wants.
She was much better after the bath last night. We settled down for books and some rocking, and she spontaneously gave me a hug. She slept just fine.
Today is another day.