Every day for the last, oh, ten days or so, I have arrived at day care to swoop Angel Face up in my motherly affection and whisk her away to the joyful dwelling that is our homestead only to be met with Unmitigated Grief and Absolute Despair that slowly devolves into All-Encompassing Anger and, eventually, the Temper Tantrum From Hell.
And I’m not saying it’s happened once, or even twice. It’s Every. Damn. Day. Mommy’s here? Oh Woe and Affliction. Yesterday, I thought I was going to get out of there unscathed, but the crying (eventually morphing into red-faced screaming accompanied by Real Tears and Rivers of Snot) started when we got to the car. And I even let her walk herself.
I know it’s probably just a phase. But it’s really starting to depress me. I used to look forward to that moment of reunification all day. Now, it’s like the time goes so quickly at work I don’t even have a chance to savor the ability to hear myself think. And then I feel guilty for dreading it, because I’m her MOTHER and MY GOD, I shouldn’t hate spending time with her. I get so little of it as it is.
Two days ago, when the tantrum was peppered by Exorcist-like screams of “No!” at no one and nothing in particular, I couldn’t help it – I started to cry myself. I sat in the front seat of the car, clutching my steering wheel and let go. I felt like the biggest failure – I didn’t make my kid happy anymore. She’s not glad to see me. She wishes I would leave her with the babysitter. She hits me in the face and then bites me when I try to punish her with a time-out. Is this the terrible twos? Aren’t we a little early for that?
Later on, in the bath tub, Angel face held out her palm for me to kiss – she has an “owie” and she likes for Mommy to kiss it. Then, as I spread the Baby Magic bubbles over her arm, she noticed I had an “owie” on the back of my hand – and leaned down to kiss it.
It almost made the last two hours worth it. Almost.