It was one of those particularly difficult nights with my three year old daughter. My ever growing 4 month pregnant body sat exhausted on the couch wishing at that moment I could be somewhere else. Anywhere else.
I listened to my daughter whine incessantly about wanting an Almond Joy.
I listened to my husband telling her that she couldn’t have one because she didn’t eat dinner.
I listened to my daughter screaming and whining and kicking her feet against the wall.
I listened to my husband’s exasperated voice ask me ”Why are we having another kid?”
I have extensive experience in melt downs. Sadly, it is not a rare occurrence in our home. But for some reason on this night I couldn’t distance myself enough from this particular tantrum to handle it. There are those times when you are a parent that you can’t help thinking “What the hell is wrong with this kid?”. This kid who, despite the fact my husband and I were working off of 3 hours of sleep, we took out to her favorite restaurant because she wanted to have a special “restaurant night out”. This kid for whom I purposely made a Target stop to buy a new Hello Kitty doll one hour prior. This kid who is supposed to be the light of our lives was making our life a living hell.
I watched as my daughter squirmed around the floor trying to create as much destruction as possible.
I watched as my exceptionally patient husband’s eyes looked into mine with a look of despair.
I watched as my daughter’s brand new Hello Kitty doll was thrown across the room.
I watched myself in the mirror with tears in my eyes mouthing “Why are we having another kid?”.
In that moment I did not like my daughter. At all. Not even a little bit. I was too lost in physical/mental exhaustion, frustration and annoyance.
I felt drained and defeated.
I felt as if my husband I must be doing everything so terribly wrong.
I felt that no other parents ever felt this way.
I felt there was no good answer to the question “Why are we having another kid?”
After 30 minutes of pure toddler torture it suddenly stopped. Like when the sun peaks out after hours of torrential rain, there was finally a little light. Suddenly, with her red tear stained face my daughter got up from the floor, walked up to me and crawled into my lap “I’m sorry I was cranky, I love you so much mommy”. And just like that it was over and I knew…
I knew that despite every tantrum/meltdown/sleepless night, my child was my everything.
I knew that despite the fact this would happen a thousand more times, it was going to be ok.
I knew that there was no love out there as unwavering as the love a parent feels for their child.
That is why we’re having another kid.