Friday, August 7, 2009
Just a week and a half shy of three years old, Miss Eleanore Sue has officially earned her title as a "Military Brat". One day she was a baby faced angel, she could do no wrong, her wintry blue eyes cast a calming spell on everything they saw. Everything was "please" this, and "thank you" that. Time outs were sparse, and rewardingly affective. Taking her places with me was both a pleasure and an adventure. The perfect toddler.
And then, when I wasn't looking, her evil twin swooped in and made the switch. I remember it exactly. I went up the stairs to collect her from her afternoon nap, opened her door oh so quietly, just in case she was still asleep, and "GAH!"... complete horror.
I put my hands up in the air as if to surrender, and then backed away slowly. I closed the door just as quietly as I had opened it, and then stood staring at the white paint as if something was going to break through it and attack me. What had just happened?
When I had gone into her room, her eyes were stiffly open. She was staring directly at me, without blinking. She didn't move when she saw me. She didn't move when she heard me. She just, stared. Her eyes weren't comfortable and soft, like they usually were. They were stiff and threatening. They were scary. As creeped out as I was, I fought with myself and forced out a "do you want to come downstairs with Mommy?". No response. Nothing. Just staring. Still not a single blink.
At this point I went into silent panic mode. I know you know what I'm talking about. We've all had brief, and sometimes not so brief, moments of mom-hysteria. The kind of hysteria where unthinkable things flash through our imaginations. Images of us opening our child's bedroom door to find them with red glowing eyes and foam dripping from their mouth. Visions of our little boy or girl responding to us in a lower than humanly possible voice, followed with growls and snarls. Claws for fingernails! Lightning bolts shooting from their tightened fists! Mind reading intrusions and silent communications with demons and evil spirits and creatures that don't really exist!!
...Um. That's not just me, right? We all do that sometimes?
"Sleeping with her eyes open", I told myself. "She was just, sleeping with her eyes open". I turned around and went back down the stairs. I wasn't sure how I'd tell my husband about my 5 minutes of complete insanity, so I summed it up with a joking tone of voice, and followed it quickly with a reassuring laugh. My husband doesn't know just how crazy I really am, and I'd like to keep it that way if I can.
I'm almost positive that was the turning point.
The adorable please and thank yous faded into ugly demands. The precious hand holding and hugging merged into full force pushes and direct hits to the face. Laughs into screams. Play time turned tantrum.
I'm still searching for the cure. I won't give up until I find it. But until I do, and I repeat, I will find it, I've come to grips with the reality of my beautiful darling Daughter, being held hostage by an out of this world Military Brat.