I always feel a little down the day after my birthday, anniversary, or a major holiday. I love the anticipation that goes into preparing for the big event, whatever it might be. The celebration itself always contains a little disappointment, too, of course--does the reality ever live up to our big expectations? But the day after is especially depressing. The detritus of the day before (in this case, the dirty dishes from cupcake baking, the remnants of frosting stuck to the countertops) is a visible reminder that this day isn't special.
So today was a downer day anyway, and then it turned out to be one of Charlotte's worst days ever. EVER. Do things improve after 3 1/2? Because if they continue to get worse, I don't know how we'll get through. I have had days in the past few weeks where, after Charlotte goes to bed, I try to think about one thing about her that I liked that day, and I can't come up with anything. There are days, in other words, when she's a first-class brat, a real three year old. And today was one of those. She was so uncooperative, so deliberately stubborn and obstinate and sulky and talking in that horrible whiny baby voice she does now and refusing to cooperate with anything and ARGH. She went to bed at 5:45 p.m. and I really think we could have put her to bed an hour earlier. She was obviously tired and not coping well with her own emotions. It just sucked, frankly.
So, 3 1/2 = not my favorite age.
Sam, on the other hand, is in one of my favorite ages. Plus, he sleeps great, so he's already getting a grander portion of my vast estate in my will. I feel bad liking Sam's baby shenanigans so much when I dislike Charlotte's behavior just as much, like I'm betraying Charlotte, but it goes without saying that of course I love them both equally. Sam's needs are just simpler to understand, his demands fewer. Charlotte is tapping into a part of my brain that is unused. Reasoning with a willful young child is stretching out areas of my cerebellum in a way that is at times just painful. But it can be enlightening, too, and my hope is this stretching will lead to flexibility.