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The Baby Blues

It’s not what you think.

I know you may be assuming from that title that I am feeling the ache of empty arms since I no longer have babies in the house. I am staring longingly at the snuggly bundles of goodness I see with other mommies at Target or being pushed in their little strollers throughout my neighborhood. You might think I am pining away for another baby and begging my husband for #4.

Sister, you couldn’t be further from the truth.

In this case, “the baby blues” is referring to the fact that I am about 99.9% positive that my baby, the four-year-old, is indeed going to kill me before it’s all said and done.

That face! Gets me every time.
That face! Gets me every time.
I’m serious. If this child had been born first, she would be an only child because my husband and I would be scared to death to risk it again. For heaven’s sake! Our first child was totally false advertising. She had us thinking this parenting gig was a piece of cake. What was everybody whining about? Our second child was a teeny bit more challenging in temperament, but still, we were feeling pretty confident that we were exceptionally gifted at parenting.

And then… the baby was born. And we were instantly in love.

The good times are SO good. She is the very picture of sweetness. I mean, seriously, look at this kid. Adorable. She’s funny and smart and imaginative and totally lovable.


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But the bad times? Well, let’s just examine the evidence. Perhaps some of you mothers out there can identify with my baby blues because you’re just as bewildered as I am over how in the world you’re going to manage to raise your own little darling.

Exhibit A:
Last week I took the kids and bought each of them a new pair of summer shoes. The oldest chose flip flops, the middle one wanted waterproof shoes, and the baby wanted these cute purple crocs with a big flower on them. She was happy as a clam and couldn’t even wait til we got out of the parking lot to put them on. She was smiling from ear to ear.

And Exhibit B, a mere two days later:
That’s right. That’s duct tape you see there holding the crocs together.

Croc final

Someone was unhappy because she got overruled and did not get to have Chick-fila for dinner. Oh, the humanity of it all. It was just more than her “eet mor chikin” heart could handle. She just couldn’t contain her emotions and those little crocs were in the line of fire. They paid the ultimate price.

Exhibit C:
These are the only pair of shorts the child owns that she will actually wear. And you know what? This mom has decided that battle is not worth the emotional cost to fight. The result? She wears the exact same thing to school most days. Yep. Literally holding clothes on your child to prevent them from being stripped off in the parking lot of the school will greatly deter your determination to dress your daughter in a lovely variety of cute outfits. I know, I know, some of you are saying, “Well, honey, why don’t you just let her pick out what she wants to wear the night before?”

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The only outfit she'll wear.
The only outfit she’ll wear.

Sounds so simple, doesn’t it? And it would be, except my child suffers from a rare condition I like to call “bedtime skitzophrenia”. She lays out her clothes happily and smiles so angelically as I tuck her in, assuring me that she can’t wait to wear them in the morning.

And then morning arrives. Somehow the hours between 8pm and 7:30am completely and 100% change all her favorite choices into the most despised items in the universe.


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For cryin’ out loud. I am pretty sure I am going to get stopped by the staff at her Mother’s Day Out one of these days with concerns that my child is not being well taken care of. You see, I was so frustrated with her I told her I refused to buy her new shoes for one month, so if she wants to wear the crocs, she’d better be okay with parading duct tape for all to see. This in addition to the fact that she lets me do her hair with bows or ponytails and then immediately rips them out before she gets to school leaves her looking a little like a pitiful orphan child. And don’t forget she’s wearing the same outfit to boot.

Babies of the family. What would we do without them? How boring it would be without literally chasing my child through stores and searching for her at Disney World (FOUR times!) and pleading with her to change her clothes. We’re not totally sure where this child came from, but we do know this: she will be the one who takes care of us in our old age.

How’s THAT for scary?

Please, tell me I’m not the only mama out there wondering how on earth she will manage her “strong-willed” baby. We must stand together!

View Comments (8)
  • You’re not alone!!! I have one of my own but unfortunately he’s my first baby!! And now that he’s reached the terrible twos, I’ve just given up. I’m glad I’m not the only one out there 😉

  • Our strong willed child was our first born (5&1/2yrs ago) colic for six months oh yeah forgot to mention she is red-headed 😉 things calmed down for a few months and we decided those months were nice and we would possibly consider having another. God has a “sense of humor” because her brother was born 18 months after her. My son is now 4years old, relatively laid back and we were shocked when we found out we are currently expecting our third child – any day now -another girl. Your post scares me a bit 😉 because this baby is a live-wire inside the womb (could it be another stong willed child?) We had been concerned she would be born preterm, but now dr is talking induction – but I’m holding off for now. I was the third child and of course I think I turned out quite well, but I have a feeling I will be paying for my )and my husband’s) raisings LOL glad to know I’m not alone and others understand the frustrations as well as the joy of raising strong willed children. I keep telling myself, we will be grateful for the strong will “ONE DAY” as long as we survive until that day comes 😀

  • I could’ve written this about our second daughter! You are not alone! She has Autism, so it’s a little different, but there was a time just a few months ago that she refused clothes all together :/ she now has her 1 outfit that she insists on wearing each day…and hair? Forget about it…anything cute, she despises! I often wonder if every mom judges me every time we leave the house! Refreshing to read, thanks for sharing!

  • I can TOTALLY relate!!! Only, mine is my first – and only – child!!!

  • Oh I am absolutely with you on this! My “strong-willed” girl ( first and only, like you, Candace) has refused to wear pants for almost a year now. Made winter interesting and tough. Only one example of ongoing fights that I feel like we lose much of the time!

  • That cute little girl CAN’T be all that bad! Too adorable!

    Seriously, though, I feel your pain. My 5 yr old son wants to tell the rest of the family in what order they are to exit the vehicle and enter the house. The tears and tantrums if his order is not followed cannot be believed! And this is the tip of the iceberg of his contrariness.

  • I have 6 year old twins that are so stubborn! but i can usually lay out clothes and give them a choice and it makes it all better 🙂

  • LOL… I LOVE this article ( late reading.. I know, but it couldn’t have come at a better time). I only have one (for now) but my goodness, I don’t know how many times, I’ve turned to my husband and said THIS IS IT! lol. See my lil one is only 2, yes 2 and she already likes to pick out her cloths and I have to tell her it’s pretty for her to put it on. If she could, she would wear her minnie mouse house shoes all day, everywhere.
    Cute, Cute Article, glad I’m not the only mom! :0)

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