Lately, I seem to be having a little bit of trouble remembering all of the reasons that I love being Ciara's Mom.
She truly is a wonderful little girl, and deep down I am extremely proud to be her Mother. It's just that she seems to have perfected her impersonation of Satan's spawn over the last several months, and is so proud of her acting abilities that she wants to show them off to everyone as often as she possibly can.
Surely, this must be the case, right? I mean, there is just no way that the sweet little baby that I brought home nearly 3 1/2 years ago has actually morphed into this little beast who loves to throw tantrums of epic proportions at the drop of a hat. It's just not possible.
All kidding aside, it is quite obvious that my daughter has reached a new and all important stage of development. I remember learning about this lovely stage known as "Autonomy" in my Early Childhood Development classes in college. I'm going to have to say that from what I remember reading- college textbooks don't do it justice.
I understand how important it is for Ciara to test her limits. She needs to learn for herself what the rules are...which ones she can get away with breaking, and which ones will result in severe punishment if not followed to the letter. I really do get it. I just wish that it weren't so gosh darned difficult to get along with her while she's doing it!
But, then there are these moments. These little glimpses of the amazingly beautiful and kind little girl that I know and love. The fun part is that you never know when you will catch one of these little glimpses of perfection. Some days are just full of them, but then sometimes you can go several days without a single one.
I got one last night.
Ciara and I were home alone last night. It was getting late and it was time for her to go to bed. She has been resisting bedtime a lot lately, and last night was no exception. I told her that it was time for bed, and turned off the tv...and she started sobbing uncontrollably. I picked her up and carried her to her bed, talking to her as I walked.
"Ciara, what's wrong? Why are you crying so hard?"
No response except for a flood of tears rolling down her cheeks, and a pitiful wail of despair.
This went on for a minute or two. I have to admit, that I started to get a bit impatient with her. There was really no reason that I could discern for her to be crying that way. Finally, I said...
"You don't even know why you're crying do you?"
So I just stayed there next to her and rubbed her head. What else could I do, really?
Eventually she calmed down a bit and then she looked at me with her big doe eyes full of crocodile tears and said
"Mama, will you snuggle with me?"
And right then, I remembered a blog that I had read earlier in the evening about a family who just lost their 3 year old little girl.
As Ciara manipulated my body until she was satisfied with the position I was in, and then put her head down on my shoulder and curled into me, I was flooded with memories of snuggling with her in just such a manner nearly every night for the first 2 years of her life.
We whispered sweet nothings to each other as we spooned and snuggled...and I was reminded once again just why I am so lucky to have such an amazing little girl in my life.