But when she has a series of tantrums, it can sap the very life out of you.
Unfortunately, I had my patience tested severely today by little Miss M. Not yet three years old, the little imp, transformed into a cranky, whiny and clingy mess earlier this morning. Despite my best efforts, she simply refused to be her usual happy, sunny, smiling self.
First she cried because there was no milk.
Then she needed some glow-in-the-dark paint and we were out of it.
After that her craft beads fell all over the floor and it took forever to pick it all up.
Then she pushed a little girl in playschool and had a breakdown.
Ten minutes later she scraped her knee while running outside.
Then she poured paint all over the table and herself.
Then some other kid emptied a glass of water all over her.
Later she didn't want to go home from playschool.
After that she didn't want to nap.
Ugh. It just went on and on. So much whining and so many tears.
Just when I'd put out one fire, another would start in its dying embers.
I tried hard to maintain my good humor and fought to keep my smile in place, as I spent my morning volunteering at her playschool, The Dayemi Parent-Child Collective. Every Thursday I lead a toddler arts and crafts class there, where we explore the joy of creating art using various materials.
But days like today, joy is hard to find. I was so mentally exhausted with all the tantrums that I felt like I needed a week's holiday just to recover from the trauma of it all!
But after a two-hour nap late in the afternoon and a good long tantrum after she was "woken up," Little Miss M. was back to her usual goofy, smiling self.
Oh what a relief that was!
We played Hide and Seek before dinner and just to hear her yell, "Ready or not, here I come!" filled my heart with joy and brought a smile to my tired heart.
After dinner, Little Miss M. gave me five kisses and a great big hug.
"I love you, amma," she whispered right before she crashed for the night.
In that moment, it all seemed worthwhile.