Friday, January 13, 2012
My middle daughter, the brunette, is three now, and whoever decided to call it the terrible twos, obviously hadn't seen three yet. Three is challenging. When the blonde was three, she was defiant, resistant to both the toilet and time out, a master of temper tantrums, and a although a novice, a regular back-talker. There were days I just wanted to leave her on the front porch until her father came home (but of course, I'm a responsible parent and never did - besides, sitting out there from lunch time until my husband came home is an awfully long time). The brunette, while sharing some of these frustrating talents, has found her own special way to leave her mark on the third year. She is a destroyer. Of all things, both nature and man made. A lovely flower in bloom? Not for long - petals are not merely plucked, but shredded, and a twisted and lifeless stem is left shriveling on the sidewalk. Junk mail left on the counter? Make that microscopic pieces of paper strewn wildly throughout the house. An awesome new toy? Scrap plastic. It is amazing, and not merely because she is demolishing everything in her reach, but because she does so without the slightest change in temperament. Normally, a person would think tearing things apart and smashing stuff would be a sign of frustration or anger, but the brunette is a stoic angel - who is pulling a pillow inside out. And it is not just dinging things up, it is breaking, dismembering, picking apart, utterly destroying things. If she could, I'm sure she'd find a way to set it all ablaze at the end. Yikes, right? My only comfort is that I'm pretty sure she is not doing it with malicious intent. After all, more often than not, the things she is choosing to destroy are her own things. She doesn't take her sisters' toys captive, and so far, all of our electronics are safe. I suppose she cold just have an interest in mechanics - how does the play mixer work? Let's smash it to smithereens and find out! Or maybe there's an underlying interest in anatomy - it might explain all of the Barbie heads and miscellaneous limbs from other toys at the bottom of the bucket (Dr. Frankenstein?) Maybe, she has super human strength and isn't really meaning to break everything but just hasn't yet learned how to harness her awesome powers and use them for good. Maybe. Until she either gets called to join the X Men or grows out of it, I'll just try to look on the bright side of this destructive phase - the sooner she destoys all of those kids meal toys, the sooner I'll get to throw them out.