Yesterday Alexis was telling me all about her bad day she had. While at daycare, she did not have a bar-bar (Nutrigrain bar) for breakfast, then she had an accident in her panties and Mommy forgot to bring underwear for her (oops!) so they put her in a Pull-up and I DON'T LIKE DIAPERS! (good job brainwashing there, huh? :p), then she was playing with Abby and she told her that Angel is a stupid name for a cat, then when she was leaving she did not get to say goodbye because she was being a three year old and did not want to until Daddy had just had enough of it so he picked her up and carried her out.
Holy run on sentence, but you get the drift of just how horrid her day was. Pretty heavy stuff for a three year old.
So as she was telling me this in typical Alexis fashion, all drama and histrionics, I offered her a sympathetic ear, and then a hug. And here is where she just tugged on my heartstrings. She straightened up, wiped her tears, and said, "Nah. I'll be OK, Mom." Then she ran off to play with her princesses.
When did she get so big and mature and KID LIKE? When did she learn to chin up in the face of adversity and to just keep going? I wanted to gather her in my arms at that moment and tell her that Mommy would always protect her from those days. I wanted to go beat up that little kid that hurt her feelings, burn that Pull-up and stuff her bad full to overflowing of underwear so that that would never happen again...you get the drift.
That is a promise that I can't keep though. I can't protect her from those days. I can't make life a breeze for her, nor should I. But when I became a parent (at the ripe old age of 16) the one thing that no one ever told me was that you will be forever torn in two directions. You will forever be torn between wanting to shield your child from all of the world's shit and from knowing that you are doing your child a disservice by doing so. It is hard to watch your kid have a bad day, even at the age of three. The other thing that no one told me is that it is even harder to watch your child cope with it well, as odd as that sounds. It is hard to realize that they have learned how to cope with crap, because that means that they have gone through crap. And you can't stop it from happening to them, and this goes against every instinct you have as a parent.