Next mood swing in 10.6 seconds
After school today, she lost it. It started when she didn't want to leave school. A group of mothers were standing around chatting about something I don't know or care anything about and the kids from the class were running around the school's Great Room, playing tag and racing.
I wanted to leave. Peanut did not.
Out in the car, she bucked in her car seat and thrashed, folding her arms tightly across her chest making it difficult to fasten the straps. It was like trying to stuff an octopus into a sack. Every time I got one limb under control, another came out of nowhere to undo what I'd just done. I finally got her buckled in, but in the process, both of her shoes fell off.
As we pulled away, she started screaming at me to stop and put her shoes back on. Ummmm, no. Last I checked, I don't take orders from 5-year-olds.
Suddenly, something whizzed by my head and banged - loudly - into the dashboard in front of me. It scared the ever-loving crap out of me. Picking it up off the floor, I realized it was a pink plastic Fisher-Price unicorn.
And then, I lost it. Within 15 seconds, she lost her show, her treat, and I threatened to not let her go to ballet class tomorrow.
When we got home, she sobbed and sulked for a while and then (at her father's insistence) apologized and gave me hug. Within seconds of that, she was my happy, carefree, smiling girl again. The incident forgiven and forgotten. Moments later, she was skipping down the hall with her sister, their laughter trailing behind them.
I sat at my desk exhausted and rethinking the whole thing. If her moods swing like this now, what's she going to be like at 13? or 16?
I've concluded that I'm in serious trouble when the hormones kick in. At least I've got plenty of warning.