I had a perfectly lovely, sweet little girl living with us until she started to walk.
Then she turned into a monster.
For four and a half years before that, I had what I had longed for, what all mother’s-to-be hope for—an easy, happy, cooperative, snuggly little boy—and I felt like the best mother in the world. Then Molly was born.
I felt like sweet baby Molly had been abducted and in her place dropped in this alien child I had no idea how to handle. She suddenly screamed and fought. She didn’t want to do anything, and she certainly didn’t want to do what I wanted her to do. Everything I tried was wrong. I felt like my best-parent-in-the-world medal had been ripped from around my neck.
Molly and I screamed at each other, sometimes from opposite sides of a door I was holding closed. We were in power struggles daily. (Confession: I was a parent educator and recent Masters degree recipient in Early Childhood Development.) What was wrong with this picture?
We all know how much easier it is to see what others need to learn when we can’t see beyond our noses in our own backyard. But I knew that what I was doing felt wrong, so I went on a quest to find what was right—at least most of the time.