It appears we have reached the teenage years at age 4.
Yesterday I chauffeured Caroline, her friend and Claire to a birthday party last night.
It was supposed to be a pool party, but it stormed with a lot of wind and thunder and lightening.
Obviously no swimming.
When I loaded up the kids she started.
Caroline : Why you not let me swim
Me: Because there was lightening and I didnt want you to die
Caroline: (30 minutes of complaints and whining)
Me: Caroline, I cannot allow you to continue to treat me like this.
I dropped off the friend, picked up some dinner for Lynn and the backseat situation was drastically escalating.
Me: (repeating to myself, don’t engage – she is looking for a reaction)
Caroline: You are the MEANEST MOMMY EVER! I want to live with someone ELSE! Aaaahhh! Wooohoooo!HELP! (Pounding the back of my seat with her feet, waving her fists and SPITTING)
Me: (Loses my mind)
I pull the car in some random strangers driveway.
I put it it in park.
Calmly (the calm that scares people) I walk around go her door and open it.
Caroline is watching me with giant eyes still weakly flailing her arms and kicking her bare feet. (Having already thrown her shoes at my head)
Claire is enjoying the show, and perhaps enjoying being the kid NOT in trouble for once.
I grabbed sweaty kicking Caroline held her close while unbuckling her from the car seat. I kissed her head and smoothed her hair.
Me: I’m so sorry you want to live with someone else. I’m going to miss you.
Caroline: WHAT DO YOU MEAN?!
Me: You said you want to live with someone else. So this looks like a nice house, I hope the people that live here want a little girl and you will be happy here. They certainly take good care of their flowers. We love you a lot and will all miss you.
Caroline: I DIDN’T MEAN IT! I am SORRY! I love you! I don’t want to live with strangers!
Me: Are you sure? You sounded like you really wanted to, and I want what’s best for you. Plus, we are already here.
Caroline: I’m sure. I love you. I’m sorry I was mean, please take me home.
So I did. And no more screaming.
And when I tucked her in bed she said that she was sorry and she would never be that mean again…which was probably a lie, but it was sincere at the time.
And this morning? Well, she’s a ray of cheerful sunshine. Once again loving and helpful.
Lord help me!