Only the other day, IMing with a friend, I mentioned that Caroline seemed to have, sortof, kindof, and maybe, gotten over temper tantrums. I’m the superstitious type, so I added that of course she was still disagreeing with me, just not so loudly, so lengthily or at such a high pitch. These days, when she yells I say, “Use Words” and if she needs more help, I get down on the floor to look her in the eye and distract her or try to come up with some way of letting her save toddler face. “Mommie down,” she says, and it almost nearly works. All well and good and truly I find my shoulders at least an inch further from my ears than in the months of her terrible two tantrums when she once screamed for an hour before I remembered that DVDs existed and turned on Winnie the Pooh.
But now that C can rationally tell me what she wants and why, she has also remarkably progressed towards something approaching cunning. She used to insist that everything be “sama,” or “by herself,” but now she mostly doesn’t bother, she simply fetches her stepping stool and does what she will. This morning she decided she wanted the anchovy fish sauce from the fridge, and while I was making up the beds, she carefully poured a stripe down her table. So now most of our food has disappeared from the lower refrigerator shelves and we’re hiding any dry goods we don’t want her to reach on the top of a wardrobe that even I need a ladder to reach.
Caroline is better than a trumpetful of “Taps,” because I know that if I get up after she does, she’ll have her cereal out and half poured and a tea mug sloshingly full of apple juice on the floor. She’s gone cold turkey on her crib and sleeps in what she calls her “big bed” until day break when she comes in to wake me up for milk and then climbs in to either sleep or kick the covers around until breakfast. No more baby mush for her, she likes “big” cereal too, so I crush it up and stir in some yogurt and she spoons obligingly away, feeding herself, her pet of the day and occasionally even me.