I have always loved it. I find it hopeful, reassuring, and, well, calming. When we moved into our house I searched for a copy for my mudroom. A gentle reminder to keep my chin up, to trudge forward, to believe in the possibility that everything will be okay. At the time I couldn't find the darn poster. About two months ago I found my own gentle reminder, and these days I need it.
I need it because these days I get a lot of Additude. And when I say a lot, that is a colossal understatement.
I get Additude over potty training, over picking up toys, over getting dressed. It's delivered to me in the morning with a demand to watch cartoons. It's flaunted in front of me with a refusal to eat breakfast.
Additude abounds at exercise class, when she locks horns with another 2 1/2 year old. It shows up when Rylan comes over and glances at her toys. It is always present for nap time, usually rears it's ugly head in Target, and without fail it comes out in force when she is overtired.
The overtired Additude? That is a special treat. Overtired Additude is irrational. And loud. And inconsolable. Overtired Additude is characterized by the shrieking. And the spitting. And the hitting. And the foot stomping....and the DR.A.MA.
No one believes that the above Additude truly exists. Everyone looks at Andy and I as though we are the ones being overly dramatic. We must be exaggerating, their looks say, as this sweet cherub could never cause such a fuss.
Tonight, however, she defended our word with gusto. She looked at GG, Grandma Patty, her aunt, uncles and cousin and said "You doubt the accuracy of my parents. Take this, suckers."
She melted down. She sobbed. She screamed and kicked and slobbered. She slammed doors and babbled and got mean.
She was promptly stuffed into her car seat by my loving, wonderful husband. They went home, I stayed and played games. And worried, and felt guilty and maybe a little incompetent.
When I returned home an hour later, she was passed out. He was on the couch looking defeated. We talked and wondered what happened to our sweet, snugly little girl. What happened to our agreeable, loving babe? Where did she go? Will she ever return?
We couldn't get any answers, so we brewed a pot of Millionaire's Coffee and crossed our fingers, and quietly hoped for tomorrow.
Between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. she came into our room crying and wanting to be cuddled three times. She begged me to sleep on her floor and said "Lay down, MAMA".
At 11:45 p.m. she came back in our room sobbing and wanting mommy. When Andy brought her back to bed she cried like he was punching her.
At 2:00 a.m. I woke up to a tiny body curled up against mine, snoring. I carried her back to bed at 2:30 a.m. She slept until 7 a.m. And already is feeling a little bossy.