Wednesday 3 November 2010

There was a little girl...

There was a little girl,
who had a little curl,
right in the middle of her forehead.
When she was good, 
she was very, very good,
but when she was bad she was horrid.

I remember hearing this rhyme when I was a little girl. I never really understood it. How could she be so good and so bad? What did the curl have to do with it? I think I just resigned it to being one of those non-sensical rhymes along with blackbirds being baked in a pie and pulling out plums with your thumbs.

Little did I realise this poem was actually a prophecy. One day that little girl with the curl would become my daughter. 

My youngest, Goosey, is just two years old. She has a head of golden ringlets and eyes so big and blue they swallow you up. She's often told she looks like a little angel, 'Butter wouldn't melt in her mouth'. She has a mischievous smile that melts even the stoniest hearts. She can be so sweet and so kind, you think she may actually be one of Raphael's cherubs. When our roughest, gruffest relatives visit, most kids run and hide, but she'll climb on their lap and give them a warm cuddle and kiss. Her manners are impeccable, she always says thank you unprompted: "Thank you for taking me to the park, Grandma" "Thank you for making me dinner, Daddy."

Then just when you think an angel really is living on earth, things turn. The angel is suddenly climbing on the dining table pouring a bag of flour everywhere; she's painting the walls and her body with red lipstick; she's purposely destroying her sister's artwork just to get a reaction; she's kidnapped her sister's prized bear and thrown it behind the couch – and this is all in the space of 15 minutes. When you tell her to stop, she pokes out her tongue and says: 'Shut up, bum head!'

Lil-lil and I spend much of our day throwing our hands up in the air in exasperation. Lil-lil saying: "That little sister of mine is being crazy." If I take my eyes of her for 30 seconds so I can go to the toilet or do anything, she's into something, something she knows she's not supposed to be doing. She's like the Duracell's bunny, who keeps going and going and going. She will no longer sleep in the day (sob), so the days are looooooong.

The past week couple of weeks have been trying. Very, very trying. People say: "Goodness, what have you fed her today?" and the reply is: "She's like this all the time." All. the. time. Well, at least it feels that way at the moment.

I feel like I'm constant disciplining her. It's exhausting. I feel sorry for her sister as she seems to be on the receiving end of a lot of Goosey's bad behaviour. I don't want either of them to be cast in the roles of 'good child' and 'bad child', cause I know those rolls can stick if you let them. 

Yesterday, was one of the worst days I've had. A simple trip to the local library ended in tears – mine and hers. After playing so nicely for about 45 minutes, Goosey even handing a book to a little girl who was sad and putting her hand on her back to see if she was OK. Soon after, Goosey became upset when another child removed something that was supposed to remain on a table. When the child wouldn't put the item back, Goosey threw the table at her. She threw a table at a child. Was I horrified? Well that's an understatement. I packed her up and said, 'That's it, we're going home' (after explaining what she'd done wrong and me apologising profusely to the other parent).

On our way out, she had the mother of all tantrums, unable to understand that her method of trying to right a wrong wasn't quite appropriate. As we were in a library it sounded a lot louder too. A librarian tried to speak to me as we left, I was trying to restrain Goosey as she screamed and kicked and picked up leaflets on the counter and threw them at the librarian. Right then, a lady behind me lent in and said "It does get better." I freaking hope so!

I've never felt such extreme anger and love at the same time. How can someone so sweet and kind and who you love so much, turn and make you so angry? Lil-lil had her moments, as all two year olds do, but nothing like this.

I hope this is a stage or something we can help get under control, cause I don't know how Skip, Lil-lil and I are going to survive! 


  1. Oh have I EVER been there. Too many times we have left situations like that and even on the weekend (the almost 4 yr old) had another doozy. I have always said that little rhyme about Daisy too...funny! Hang in there, try to avoid the situations you know will be triggers and drink gin. That's all I've got. Sorry x

  2. Oh dear. Her little bit of back chat did make me giggle, sorry about that! But I have one similar but not quite that bad. yet. I can see it coming. My older one never seemed to chuck the tanties this one does, maybe my memory has softened? Maybe it's the second one fighting harder for her space in the world. I am sure it does get better, hang in there.

  3. my son is pretty similar and I am afraid he is 3.5. Very angelic and very strongwilled at the same time. I have had many instances of having to drag him kicking and screaming from places. It is SLOWLY getting better. My only tips are to be calm because I know when I am upset \ angry it makes it worse. And I guess, the old chestnut of discipline on the naughty step etc. She is probably very clever and she may be getting very frustrated at not being able to communicate perfectly so working on that can help. Anyway just some thoughts. I feel for you.

  4. Oh. My. God. You poor thing. Yes, it does get better, but damn, I wish you didn't have to experience this now. Stay strong, give that good behaviour ridiculous amounts of praise {same with Lil-Lil!} and yes, the gin - perhaps an IV Drip of Gordons will do the trick... xxx

  5. I the roughest, gruffest relative? Hope so! Or actually come to think of it, I think that might be Henry!! Mmmmm...sounds very familiar. All of it. I think the IV drip of gin is a great idea. You aren't alone Rin. I know how you feel with feeling like all you do is discipline. There were days when I felt like Henry spent more time on time out than not. It does slowly improve - we can now walk to preschool without 4 tantrums (lying on the ground on the footpath of Darling street, screaming at me/anyone in the vicinity) - actually they are infrequent now. I know that this is not very encouraging, since Henry is 4 1/2!

  6. They don't call them the Terrible Twos for nothing!! Hang in there - it won't last forever.

  7. Corinne, I know this must be incredibly frustrating but I honestly think your daughter is just being two. I've seen this so much. As a matter of fact, I just clicked over from another blog describing much the same thing from a 2 yr old! Neither of my kids were tantrum throwers, which I think was strictly luck of the draw, but means I have little in the way of practical advice to offer. It sounds like you handled it amazingly well, despite the stress. Can't help it though, am chuckling over BabyMac's comment. xx

  8. Since I am not a mother yet, I am in no position to comment... But I have seen my cousins (who are a loot younger than me.. one, is almost 16 years younger) go through this! I guess it's just a phase.. And the good news is, it doesn't last forever... So hopefully, she'll get over it soon. I do admire your patience though! :)

  9. oh yes, I have so been there!

    Manys the times I had to leave toddler group only minutes after arriving because my small sweet ringletted child had run over a baby with a tricycle (and laughed with glee while doing it), or flattened some child's head in a door for pleasure. Discipline? ha ha now that was a laugh. Him stood with his hands on his hips with a look of 'Yeah, and what you gonna do about it?'

    And middle child...well age 3 he managed to string a beautifully coherant sentence together while we were on the bus. Unfortunately it contained all 'f' and 'b' words at top volume. I clamped my hand over his mouth and got off at the next stop!

    Eldest is a creative 12 year old now, an independent thinker. Middle is now a fiesty have-a-go 9 year old. Yes it does get better, or at least it gets different and there'll come a time when you can celebrate those aspects of a child's character that (at times) drives you to despair lol.


Thank you so much for your comments! I'm always thrilled to hear from you.

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