Of Devils and Angels (well, fairy princesses…)

Last Saturday Annie woke up possessed by the devil. BY THE DEVIL I say. The last four days Markus and I felt like we were in a very, very hot place. Annie’s independent streak has been building for months now. Years, actually. But it has gone to a very unhealthy (for the parents) place. If I do something completely ridiculous and horrible like, say, turning on a light in a dark room or handing Annie a spoon so she can eat her cereal, crisis ensues. “But I wanted to put on my clothes/choose my socks/peel my banana/stir the boiling hot soup/etcetcetcetcetcetc.” Any one of these things (except the soup maybe) would be great. A real show of independence. But every single second for every single thing is exhausting.

Markus and I are getting our ducks in a row with this, as we haven’t had too much of the tantrums in the past to need to strategize about. We are trying time-outs, taking away toys, ignoring, praising (the moments of good behaviour), reasoning, redirecting, bribing. And I certainly try letting her do whatever she can by herself when at all possible or giving her choices to let her feel like she is in control. What I found works the best is if I take a time-out. I leave her wherever she is freaking out (so far only at home, so that is doable) and tell her she can come find me when she can speak properly to me. We’ll see how long that works. I’m chalking it up to the fact that we are phasing out afternoon naps, and so she is undoubtedly more tired than usual. Here is hoping this is a very short phase.

On top of it, Annie didn’t want to get dressed or go out all weekend. So along comes Halloween. Well, not really, as they don’t have Halloween here. But I’ve joined an expat group and we organized pumpkin carving and dress up for the afternoon at a local restaurant. I made a commitment to go, so I needed to get that girl dressed and out the door. Annie was having none of it. Finally I took her downstairs naked, and then, after  more drama and trauma, managed to shoehorn her into her costume in the car.

And, of course, once she got there she had a wonderful time. And mommy had a drink.

Here are the pictures. (It was fairly cold, so the crown was replaced with a hat and scarf after some time. Next year I’ll find a costume that goes over the coat.)




With new best bud, Max, from English Club

With new best bud, Max, from English Club

The restaurant was also a farm (common in these parts), so here is the fairy princess feeding the animals.



And a couple of Annie and Dad carving a pumpkin at home. (Who needs pants?)



Doesn’t she look like an angel? Sigh.

One Response to “Of Devils and Angels (well, fairy princesses…)”

  1. Sox says:

    I feel your pain. So do the parents of three and four-year-olds across the globe. If it helps, things are a bit easier with Elliot now.

    Doesn’t help that the increase in Annie’s quest for independence coincides with the elimination of her afternoon nap.

    Hang in there.