I am amazed at how in a span of 30 minutes my child can rebound from being a emotional, temper tantrum, piercing screaming toddler to an emphatic, loving daughter willing to share her best friend of the moment.
The other morning started off rather rough for us, but really which morning doesn’t. (As hard as we try to get Ella down before 9 pm, we almost never succeed. It’s tough convincing her that she needs to go sleep before the sun goes down.) Getting her to use the toilet or convincing her of that need was the initial battle lost. She wanted to get dressed first. I knew this was a bad idea but I didn’t have the energy or the time to throw myself into the ring on that one.
Getting her clothes on was a separate struggle. She refused any assistance, yet she was extremely frustrated with her t-shirt. She screamed for me to “get out and leave me alone” when I tried to enter her room. Somehow, her arm managed to maneuver into the sleeve of her shirt. I have no clue how that had happened as I had retreated to my bathroom to finish straightening my hair.
Next stop was the bathroom, my hope was going potty was the first task to tackle, rather Ella decided to combat her incredibly bad breath with brushing her teeth. The potty clock was clicking and I knew we were losing valuable seconds.
Without being allowed in, I listened for noises indicating progress. Drawer opened and slammed shut. Toothbrush set down on counter. Water turned on. I had a fleeting moment of hope that we may in fact get out the door, but it was quickly interrupted with sobs and cries of “mommy, I had an accident.”
After cleaning her and the bathroom floor, Mike stepped in and geared up to retackle the dressing situation. A lengthy battle ensued with floods of tears, screams, and pleas of cooperation. Somehow, we left the house with Ella in dry and clean bottoms and us licking our battle wounds.
In the car, we were blessed with the first few moments of quiet as none of us were sure what to say or do after such a draining morning. As we continued on, Ella seemed to emerge from her early morning persona into her usual inquisitive, loving self. Our conversation also picked up with her noticing passing cars and buildings.
As we approached my office building, I turned around and shared my hopes that she have a good day. I hopped out of the car while Ella was muttering a few words. Mike rolled down her window so I could hear her, and she quickly outstretched her arm. In her hand’s grasp was a pink, soft teddy bear who Ella had been cradling during the entire commute. She was trying to get me to take it.
I thanked Ella for her sweet gesture, but I assured her that she needed the sweet bear for the next few blocks more than I needed it for the rest of the day. Ella refused to accept my no. She said, “take bear and you have a good day.”
There was no denying her request. I grabbed bear, thanked Ella for being so thoughtful, and watched my car turn around the corner. I stood there for a few seconds enjoying the gift of love from my little girl.
After that, I was a little unsure of what to do with the bear as my work bag was out of space. Holding the bear, I stepped on the elevator to hear a man ask, “so what’s his name?” I chuckled and said, “I’m not sure. You’ll have to ask my daughter.” I was a bit embarrassed to be holding a stuffed animal but I was so appreciative of Ella because with such a simple sweet gesture, she managed to completely erase the drama of the morning.