The events of this morning served as a reminder to me that even though it's tough to be a mom, it's also tough to be two.
As I've mentioned, Angelica is a spitfire little girl, full of personality and attitude. (Her favorite thing right now? Telling me I'm being a bad girl when I discipline her. Seriously. Ask the guy stocking the shelves at Publix who cracked up when he heard her yell "NO! YOU'RE A BAD GIRL!" at me in the store over the weekend, after I had told her about eleventybillion times to please stay sitting in the shopping cart.) She does have tender moments though, and she's shown these off over the past few days.
For example, Scott burned his hand while cooking the other day and she saw his burn and immediately ran and got him a bandaid, put it on his hand, and said, "Poor Daddy, all better!" (She says the same thing to his swollen foot.)
This morning was a different kind of tender...the kind that reminds me that under that fiercely independent, thick-skinned exterior, she's still a tiny tot figuring out the world around her. I've had to handle daycare duties in the morning, thanks to Scott's busted ankle, and when I took her to school this morning, I gave her a lollipop on the way out the door. Normally, she finishes them in ten seconds flat and asks for another (and has a tantrum when she doesn't get one, but I digress). Anyway, when we got to school, she was still working on it so she said, "Mommy, lollipop come with us?" Not thinking, I agreed.
Well of course we walk in the door and out to the playground (the kids were all outside playing when we got there) and one of the teachers asks me to take it away because all the kids will want one. So I got to play the mean mommy. (And I should have thought about this issue before I let her take with her FIRST but I guess I didn't.) So she runs away, and I chase her down and we find a garbage can and I ask her to throw it out.
And she stood there, an expression on her face like a millionaire being parted from her wealth, and without a fight, put it in the trash. But she looked HURT. (And seriously, who wouldn't be? If I was dining on a delicious piece of cake and someone just made me throw it away I would be pissed!)
I congratulated her on her bravery (but she still looked as glum as ever) and gave her a hug and kiss goodbye and went on my way. I stopped to talk to a new teacher for a second, my back to Angelica when all of a sudden I heard her yelling. She was trying to get on a tricycle and some bigger kids got too close (she is the 2nd youngest at the school, the others are all age 3 and older)...she thought they were going to take that bike away from her. She and freaked out and bolted for me, so I picked her up and she just started bawling in my shoulder, overwhelmed by the stress of the lollipop being thrown out and the kids invading her space.
Her teacher came over, asked what happened, and reached for her and thankfully, Angelica loves this teacher and agreed to let go of me...but as I kissed her again and said goodbye I heard her calling after me, "No Mommy! Don't go Mommy! I want my Mommy!"
The poor thing, so brave, so independent, so little and lost and trying to find where she fits in the world...it was hard as hell to walk away from her cries (but I was already late!)...but I'm sure it was harder for her to be in that confusing situation, torn between being the big girl she desperately wants to be and the tiny tyke that she is.
She'll be getting TWO lollipops tonight. :)