Today is a rough one for Purslane Claire and her Mama. She has a difficult time most days settling down for a nap and today was not havin' it at all. She stood in her room and screamed until she kicked down her baby gate separating her world of naptime imprisonment from freedom in the rest of the house. Every time she did this aggravating maneuver and I had to put down soundly sleeping Knox (who immediately woke up and started crying) to put her back in her room, I felt myself getting more and more angry. How is it fair that the toddler stage is the most crucial in terms of introducing little humans to limits and rules so they can function in civilized society- and parents must perform that task without the tools of reason and explanations???
If only I could explain to her how miserable she is going to feel in 2 hours when her stubbornness cannot sustain her through an afternoon without sleep. If only I could know that she understood the choice she is making when I tell her that if she kicks down that gate again we will not spend our afternoon at the library because I refuse to put myself on display when the inevitable sleep deprived meltdown occurs. (which of course is an ultimatum that hurts me more than it hurts her)
So after an hour of the back and forth of screaming, gate-kicking down, correction, returning to room, stern talking-to's.. I accept that she is not going to nap today and all the above are now in effect. The afternoon is stretching in front of me like a hot muggy walk where the destination isn't worth the slog. There are no cold beers in my future, no finger painting with a happy well-rested toddler, no naps on the couch- no rest for the weary. Just another afternoon of playing defense with an almost two year old whose stubborn streak is maddeningly similar to mine.
And just when that reality begins to overtake me, I look over and see Purslane getting a frying pan out of the cupboard. She places it on the floor, sits in it and begins to scoot her way across the kitchen floor saying "Looka me Mama! Pursy funny..." Lucky for her, I find her in that moment pretty damn funny.