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Fall Foliage!

September has always been one of my favorite months, I absolutely love fall. I look forward to the crisp weather, fairs, Halloween, the leaves changing, I absolutely love it.
But this one is TOUGH.
I was warned by friends about what happened when their children turned 3.
I hoped my child was the exception.
No such luck. September birthday.
I am frustrated on a daily basis by the behavior of my 3 year, Brianna. I often times end up in tears or so frustrated by dinner time I look like I’ve been through the emotional equivalent of a tornado by the time my husband gets home. It’s exhausting. How can such a little girl ruffle my feathers so much? It’s like she knows exactly which buttons to push and when, and even snickers about it. She has this evil little grin when she knows shes done something wrong and just doesn’t give a damn.
Brianna is sweet and sensitive, extremely smart and talkative.
She’s still all of those things, BUT, now she’s also willful, angry, emotional and frankly miserable sometimes.

“Good morning!” we always say to each other first thing, from there, it usually goes downhill, quickly.
“I want to watch something” she says, everyday. (we let her watch TV recently when she didn’t feel good and we’ve created a monster!) “Not until we have our breakfast and get dressed” I now say everyday, “you have school today.” (I have to use it as a bargaining tool at this point to get out of the door. By the time she stops fighting me about everything and actually sits down to watch something, it amounts to about 5 minutes!) She usually responds with some sort of whiny cry. “Time for breakfast!” Generally something goes wrong when I say, “want mommy to make you eggs?” NO! she screams, like I just suggested running over her favorite doll or something.

I WANT SPECIAL K!

“Umm, ok, I say, in my calm, well-rested voice (at this time of the day), “there’s no reason to yell, go and sit down and use your manners”, “PLLLUUEASE and THANKK YOUUUU!” she says. Often times, just looking at the bowl of cereal will send her into a tizzy, after all, it IS what she asked for, but a girl can change her mind, right?! Somehow, we manage to get some food and water into her belly. The next battle is what to wear. I know she wants to have some sort of a say, but it’s gotten waay out of control. She’s been hitting and kicking. She just doesn’t like anything or what she does want to wear doesn’t match or needs socks that she doesn’t want to wear. “Ok, I say, but you’re missing out on TV time, hurry, hurry!” (the TV thing seems to work just as well as the jelly bean bribes for potty training, it’s all about survival!) Next battle? the shoes. Then, it’s getting out the door. It always includes more tears and anxiety about going to school, so I use the “Frozen” soundtrack for the next step. “Remember, Elsa is in the car and wants to sing to you!” That usually helps. The final protest happens right in the classroom, where she repeatedly asks for a hug and a kiss, which we happily oblige. “You can have more than 1 we say!” We tell her how much fun she’s going to have, all the friends she’ll make and how we’ll see her in a few minutes.
Today, I’m happy to say, I actually got a “goodbye Mom!” HURRAY! Progress! An actual acknowledgement that she’s ok!
She had her 3 year old physical this week and the doctor asked me how it’s going, I was honest and told her it’s been a struggle lately. She said,

I have two daughters and 3 is the worst and September is really hard, October will be better.

I hope so, until then, I guess I’ll just have to get used to time-outs, tears and lots of extra hugs for the both of us and a glass of vino (or 2) for me!”