How I feel after any number of conversations with my 3 year old.
Bed time tonight. As an example.
Me: Time to go to bed.
DD1: I need to finish the Barbie movie.
Me: The credits are running. Let’s go.
DD1: The song’s not over. 5 more minutes.
Me: OK. Once the song is over.
Me: OK. Time to go.
DD1: Carry me upstairs. And my dollies [six of them].
Me: You carry your dollies. I carry you. Let’s go.
Me: Let’s brush your teeth.
DD1: I need a snack.
Me: You don’t need a snack. We had dinner an hour ago.
[DD1 already rummaging through pantry]
DD1: I’m getting some cereal. [Reaches into Rice Crispie box, because Cheerios or Mini Wheats would be too kind.]
[While “autonomously self-feeding” proceeds to sprinkle Rice Crispies all over the floor.]
Me: One handful! And stop spilling on the floor!
DD1: [horridly offended and with zero irony] I’m not! [while simultaneously both dropping and spewing cereal]
Me: [while trying to pick up individual Crispies and make sure we have not misplaced any of the six dollies, collect my game face] Okay! Let’s brush our teeth!
DD1: [Now made it to the bathroom] No. Not the Dora toothpaste. The new toothpaste.
Me: Okay – proceed to spread it on the ….
DD1: No!!! Not the Dora toothbrush! The TinkerBell one! [Note to self: We’re SO. OVER. DORA. Inner happy dance. Sadly, to ingrained Dora theme music.]
Me: Right. [Clean. Restart. We’re good]
Me: Right. Let’s get in our PJs.
DD1: I want to wear a dress.
Me: Whatever. Let’s get your pull-up on first [reach for Disney Princess pull-up].
DD1: [Implodes] No!!!! Not that pull-up!!!! I need the one with just Cinderella! Not THREE princesses! That’s a BAD pull-up!
Me: Fine [get’s “right” pull up; and dress from cupboard; thinks crisis is averted until…]
DD1: No!!!! Not that dress. I want my cake pants! And my Dora top! [WTF?!]
Me: Fine [gets outfit; DD1 gets dressed; all good]
Me: Do you need to pee?
DD1: No! I went already today. Want to read the Jack and Jill Book.
[We settle in to read Mother Goose]
DD1: Bunny? Do you have Bunny?! Where’s Bunny!!! [Completely loses her shit; starts throwing dollies; looking under blankies; pulling out drawers etc…while looking for her stuffed rabbit]
[5-6 minutes of searching around the house. After much trauma, locate Bunny on her dinner chair hidden by tablecloth.]
DD1: Okay. Now want Jack and Jill. [Curls up in bed with Bunny; six dollies; two blankies; kittie nightlight; and owl music machine].
[We read for 10 minutes. It’s lovely. These are the moments I pictured when I thought about being a mother. Snuggling in bed with my daughter and sharing the love of books]
Me: Ok. Time for bed [Closing book].
DD1: No! I want to read more!
[Seriously, it isn’t like she asked to do heroin. This is a good problem to have, right? So we read a bit more.]
Me: Ok. Time to go to bed.
[I tuck her in; set the music; kiss her; we snuggle; I say good night…]
DD1: I need to pee.
Me: I asked you if you needed to pee already and you said no!
DD1: I really need to pee mommy!
Me: Fine! [Lights on; undo everything; go pee; get back in bed; snuggle; music etc…]
DD1: I’m thirsty.
Me: [grabbing handy water by her bed] Here!
Me: Good night.
[Escape – to a few whines then … blissful .. quiet]
So yes. She finally released the hostage.