I never fancied myself a ballerina, which is particularly ironic since I'm walking on my tiptoes a lot these days. And also on eggshells.
My daughter Hurricane Hadley has become a tyrant. When I offer suggestions for a snack, I brace myself for the unleashing of how dare I even suggest something so unthinkable as apples. When I pretend to turn her into a princess with my magic wand, I am sent to the dungeons because I held the wand at the wrong angle. Anything sets her off, which makes me wonder if she has some kind of chemical imbalance.
Or if it's the fact that she's turning three years old this month.
I've heard from some that the 3s are worse than the 2s. Doubting Thomas that I am, I didn't buy in. And now here I am: sold out.
We recently had a good day with what I would consider to be a reasonable amount of T.O.N. (Tantrums Over Nothing). We were sitting on our leather sofa watching out the window for my husband Jamie to come home. I looked down at how precious she was being and decided she needed some positive reinforcement.
"You know, Mommy is so happy with how sweet you've been today. Thank you for being so nice to your brother Bode and me."
Within seconds, seconds people, she started acting up and it did not stop the rest of the night.
As we were eating dinner, she miraculously downed most of the curry chicken phyllos I made and I decided again: positive reinforcement.
"Haddie, what a great eater you're being tonight!"
Within milliseconds, milliseconds people, she choked out her food and spewed it all over the floor. Jamie looked at me dubiously.
"Hey Amber. Here's a new parenting strategy for you. How about ditch this positive reinforcement crap and STOP WITH THE COMPLIMENTS."
We'll begin our book tour next month.
Amber is a former adventure-travel writer turned adventurous unraveling mother to two-year-old Hurricane Hadley and baby Bode.