My beloved girl has always been a little bit high maintenance. But her demands for milk and juice and her need to have her socks perfectly straight have always been more than compensated for by her helpful, loving nature, her sunny smile and her enthusiasm and persistence in everything she does.
But in the last few weeks we have seen a different side to her. A side we’re, sadly, not so keen on. High maintenance is becoming stroppy. We used to have all the positives of a ‘typical girl’, but I’m guessing we’re now getting the ‘typical girl’ negatives too.
If things don’t go absolutely to plan, she sulks. The bottom lip comes out and the beautiful face is transformed. It’s no longer beautiful. Sometimes she doesn’t just sulk, she screams and cries and stamps her foot. She’s started answering back and being cheeky too. She always knows best.
Part of me feels sorry for her. It’s not easy growing up being dominated by two big brothers – at least one of whom continually winds her up. Not only do they dominate her themselves, but their activities dominate her life. She has no say in what she does on a Sunday morning, because she goes to rugby.
Is that really fair on her? Probably not.
So sometimes it gets too much and she reacts.
If her biggest brother is taunting her, she will lash out at him. She might kick him or push him. She shouldn’t and I tell her off for it. But I know that partly he deserves it. Unfortunately kicking isn’t the right way to deal with it, but how else is a 6 year old going to react to her older brother deliberately baiting her to get a reaction?
More than anything, she hates being told off. So it’s a vicious circle – he winds her up, she lashes out, I tell her off. Then she shouts and screams and cries. She feels wronged. And she hates to upset Mummy and Daddy, because she is a good girl really. She hates to think that Mummy and Daddy might think badly of her.
And of course we don’t think badly of her really. She’s our girl and we love her. But we would rather she didn’t get stroppy and get upset so easily.
The other day she threw a cheap bracelet because she was cross. She was aiming at the floor, but missed (!) and hit Daddy in the face. She was devastated, absolutely inconsolable. She didn’t hurt Daddy and he wasn’t even cross, but my girl was in bits for the rest of the day. She hated thinking that she might have hurt him or he might have been cross and nothing we could say would make it any better.
So is the way it’s going to be forever now? Because she’s a little woman, and what woman doesn’t get sulky and stroppy from time-to-time?