"I don't WANT to go to school today, Mommy!" said Addie, climbing into her carseat.
"Because I HATE fun."
"Well," I said, sighing. "It's good to know you have fun at school, at least."
This conversation took place after I found Addie scratching the side of the car with a stick, saying she was taking the "pleasure" out of the car. "The pleasure?" I asked. "Yes," she said. "The pleasure out of the gas tank, so it doesn't explode."
This is a pretty good example of the kind of conversations we're having with Addie right now, who is completely driving us nuts at one moment, endearing us to her forever the next. Here's a picture of her at yesterday's Father's Day picnic; our friend (possibly the funnies man I've ever met) hilariously captioned it "Addie Party Girl":
Addie's certainly an introvert, no doubt about it, and she gets it from no strangers: her dad and I are definitely introverted in that we tend to refuel through quiet time at home. Still, usually Addie is social, likes parties, likes to be outside and talking and playing. The last two parties we've been to, though, she's wanted to stay inside, watching t.v., avoiding everyone.
I'll chalk this up to the transition of moving again, for a little while longer. Addie's normally a sweet, happy, talkative kid. She's affectionate, and she has my heart in her two hot little hands, probably forever. It's hard when you're going through phases like this, though--phases where your three-year-old looks like she constantly wants to wring someone's neck, or is crying all the time, or answers every question with "no," before you've even finished speaking. The worst thoughts flicker through your mind at these times, wondering if your kid has some wicked form of antisocial disorder, and you'll be finding her one day pan searing your housecat over a hot stove.
The most frustrating thing at the moment, though, is not being able to properly giver her the attention that would probably most help her through this: there are just too many demands on my attention. Nolie seems to have some sort of puking flu, so this morning she was holding on to my leg, screaming, while I was trying to talk Addie through getting her underwear and pants and socks on (a Herculean task at the moment). All of us were crying or on the verge of crying, and honestly I felt like just getting up and walking out of the house, never to return. But then Addie looked at me and Nolie, sitting there crying, and started blowing raspberries and laughing. Which made Nolie laugh, which made me laugh. Saved by the raspberry, from flight risks and abandonments and despair.
Which is a good reminder that Addie is tougher than I sometimes give her credit for, and that just as she has to learn to put on her own undies, she has to learn to cope with my attention being divided. What an icky, hard lesson for us first-borns. But unavoidable and important, too.