Ah, life with a three-year-old. I must admit that thus far it’s been a lot like having a mini Jekyll and Hyde in the house. I don’t know that there has ever been such extreme and rapid changes in personality and demeanor outside of the annals of abnormal psychology.
When I picked Stella up Tuesday at school, apparently she had been a butthead all day, even pushing one of the teachers. She was given a talking to and was sent to the “thinking chair,” as well she should have been. Her teacher, Ms. T, attributes this to normal three-year-old defiant behavior. Ms. T said they all go through it. (I’m sure if this had happened at the Stepford Academy, she would’ve gotten 30 lashes and been forced to write “I won’t push teachers”a hundred times. I do so love her current school.)
As a parent, you’ll use any weapon in your arsenal to curb stupid behavior. Yesterday, I saw an opportunity to harness the power of Frozen. Y’all know the snow beast in that movie? I believe they call him marshmallow. In any case, as we were watching it before school, Stella got a little bit freaked out at the part where Marshmallow is rampaging and knocking men about. Talk about a perfect teachable moment! I pointed out that Marshmallow was a really really grumpy mean guy. And look: he’s pushing his friends. His friends don’t like it. It’s making them very sad (and unconscious, but we won’t dwell). For the remainder of the day, whenever Stella would start to act up, I would call her “marshmallow Stella.” She hated it! She would usually stop whatever it was she was doing and reply “I’m Ariel Stella.” So a big thank you to Disney for providing the two perfect archetypes upon which we can base my daughter’s behavior!
When I picked her up from school yesterday, apparently she had been a sweet girl all day. Ms. T even indicated that Stella had called herself Ariel Stella all day long. So all in all, other than a complete and utter meltdown over putting on her socks that morning, my daughter had an awesome day. Excuse me. Ariel Stella had an awesome day. Socks. Go figure.
Talking to Ms. T, she claims that all kids change when they turn four. I asked her if this was a good change or a bad change, and she said you just never know. Some kids apparently turned sweeter and more docile, while others turn into total hellions. By the way, hellion is my word not hers. So I suppose it’s something like having Forrest Gump’s box of chocolates, only it’s alive. We just never know what we’re going to get on that fourth birthday. Surely after all the worrying, the tantrums, the speech therapy, the occupational therapy, and everything else, the universe will be kind and sweeten my daughter up even more. I could certainly handle a year of Ariel Stella.
Oui Oui posted this on my Facebook page. It needs to be on a tshirt. Or better yet a coffee mug. Even better a giant adult sippie cup for wine.