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All of a sudden, my sweet baby girl is so willful, so stubborn, so dramatic and so irrational, I feel like I’m under siege.

I griped to Dave, “How on earth did she get like this?”  Cue raised eyebrows and pointed stare in my direction.  Okay, fine, so these traits are not entirely foreign to me.  But oddly enough, that does not make them any easier to manage.  Especially in a 2-year-old.

climbing Viv crop

Yesterday was a day that tested my strength as a parent.

It started when Viv refused to take a nap. The nap strike has been ongoing for over a month, and while it may be time to accept that she’s simply done napping, I’m still in denial.  I need the naps.  They are crucial to my parental survival, even more so than wine, coffee or Bravo.

Besides, from what I’ve read, most kids nap until at least three.  Precocious is nice, but I don’t need Viv to show her specialness by being the first toddler on the block to drop the nap.   I never thought I’d say this to my child, but please try to be average.

So I brought my non-napping daughter to a kids’ art studio that is pretty awesome, unless like me you have no control over your child.  After painting the easel, walls and floor, she started applying the paint directly to her hands.

“Paint goes on the paper,” I said.  “Paint goes on my hands,” she replied. The “dummy” at the end was implied.

I didn’t want to get her sleeves wet when I scrubbed her down, so I removed her shirt.  I turned around for about three seconds to start running the water, and in that time, my daughter did this:

painted Viv bar

Which, okay, is funny and maybe even artistic, but not when you’re the dummy (see, she was right) who didn’t bring a towel or change of clothes and who also just bought a new car.

Luckily, friends came to our aid, and I was able to clean Viv up enough to take her out for an early dinner at a family-friendly burger joint.  She ate calmly in her high chair, but after about 20 minutes she asked to be released.   “Sure sweetie, just sit next to Mommy while I pay the check…”

I turned around for about three seconds to grab my wallet (what’s the definition of insanity again?) during which time she emptied the salt and pepper shakers on two neighboring tables.  I left a healthy tip.

But wait, there’s more.

Obviously this kid needed a bath, and I was grateful when she agreed to take one without complaint (some nights you’d think I was trying to water-board her).   Only then…I couldn’t get her out.  She was really super busy with her ducks and turtles.  I actually tried draining the water, thinking she’d get cold and come out.  She didn’t.  Naturally that’s the moment when Dave got home from work and found us in our stand-off.

“I’ll take it from here,” he said.

He’s kind of like Homeland Security around here.

Please tell me this is a phase.

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