Friday, October 24, 2008

Kelsey and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Yesterday morning my girl was tired and didn't want to get out of bed. We've all been there, right? No seriously, she REALLY didn't want to get out of bed. We could have left her alone, but we are stupid parents and decided to make her get up because, you know, we have jobs and she wasn't sick, and we couldn't just leave her there by herself. And let me just say that you are so lucky that you don't live at my house (or anywhere near my house) because the volume level when she voiced her displeasure about being awoken at the ungodly hour of 7:00am was eardrum shattering. Think Hiroshima, ok?

When she calmed down, my husband made the mistake of saying, "Let's get dressed," which set off another round of screeching and screaming because she clearly didn't want to get dressed either. But it was cold outside and we thought perhaps clothes would be a little warmer than her pajamas, so we stupidly forced her to get dressed. She continued to scream and fight as we got her dressed and her father and I looked at each other and I said quietly, "Thank you for getting that vasectomy."

My little Damien child didn't want to put her coat on either so I let her walk to the car dragging her coat behind her, thinking that she would be happy because I didn't force her to wear it. But no, of course not. After buckling her into her car seat, she screamed All. The. Way. To. Daycare. I turned up the radio to try and drown her out, but nope - not happening. I would have laughed at the annoyed look on her brother's face, but the truth was I had never heard her scream like that and it was a little unsettling.

At daycare, she went into a full-blown meltdown and followed me up and down the hallway as I went to her classroom and put her diaper bag near her cubby. She didn't want me to hold her, look at her, talk to her, touch her. She just wanted to scream and SCREAM and let me and everyone else at daycare know exactly how unhappy she was. I looked at the teacher sympathetically and told her, "I'm sorry. Here's a dollar. If she will calm down, she can have breakfast from the vending machine." The teacher tried to get her to calm down, but she was wasting her time. As I got in my car and shut the door, I could STILL HEAR HER. She was standing at the glass door of the daycare, pounding on the door, screaming at me. (And in case anyone is wondering, the teacher was right behind her to keep her safe and make sure she didn't escape.)

I actually drove away with tears in my eyes. I haven't cried after leaving my kids in daycare since the very first time I had to leave my son there over 6 years ago. When I got to work, I called to check on her, and they said she screamed for about 15 minutes after I left before finally calming down. I know my child is stubborn (she is a Taurus, after all), but jeez...

When I went to pick her up yesterday afternoon, she gave me a "go to hell" look so I would know she was still mad at me. I just laughed and counted my blessings that she was quiet. The teacher said she hadn't had a very good day, but didn't elaborate and I was perfectly fine not hearing the details. She was quiet on the ride home and I thought to myself, "Yes, I can deal with this. At least she's not screaming!"

When we arrived home, I put the leash on the dog and took her out in the backyard to potty and my girl followed me outside. Socks sniffed all over the yard and just as she found a good spot, I heard a loud splash. I knew what had happened before I even turned around and I sprinted to the edge of the swimming pool to see my submerged child bobbing up to the top of the water. I grabbed her coat and jerked her out of the pool. I will never forget the look of sheer terror on her face before she started screaming again. And you know what? I have never been so happy to hear her scream in my life.

I quickly got her inside, stripped off all her wet clothes, and had her Grammy distract her with hugs and cuddles while I ran a warm bath. After a nice bath and some warm pajamas, she was like a totally new little girl. She was actually happy.

I will never forget how scared I felt when I ran to the edge of the pool or how relieved I was to hear her scream. But you know what really frightens me? I am not usually the person who walks the dog when we get home in the evening. She usually follows her brother outside while he walks the dog, and they play around the trampoline as I start getting dinner ready. What if I hadn't been the one walking the dog yesteray? What if he hadn't heard her fall in? Would he have reacted quick enough? The what ifs nearly kept me awake last night. But I woke up today with a completely new attitude.