Yesterday, on the way home from pre-school, Madalyn engaged me in a frightening conversation. She had in her hand a bean - literally, a little dried lima bean they had been doing some art project with at school. Apparently, she had swiped it either off the floor or from the table and thought it was something of great meaning and value. It was also top secret.
"Don't tell Mrs. Jemmifer."
Now, before we get confused here at the beginning, her teacher's name is not Jemmifer, rather it is Jennifer. But, as I think I have discussed before, Madalyn just picks whatever consonant seems right to her and uses it. And Mrs. Jennifer gets so tickled by it, and I must confess, I do too. It sounds so cute.
"If you tell Mrs. Jemmifer, I am just gonna leave you and go stay at DJ's house."
Okay - first thing. DJ is this little boy in her class that she has been absolutely enamored with from the first day of school. He is, as Madalyn says, "brown." She came home one day from school telling me she wanted to look like DJ, and for several minutes I couldn't understand what she meant. I finally concluded that she was talking about her skin. She kept rubbing her little arm and saying, "I wanna be like DJ." She thinks he is the neatest thing in the world. She just really likes him. As Mrs. Jemmifer was putting her in the car the other day, Madalyn announced that she and DJ were dating. This has become a big word in her vocabulary lately, and I am not sure why. Dating. What the heck does she know about dating? So I asked her if DJ is her boyfriend, and she responded, "No, silly. He is just my friend. We are just dating." So I needed to know her definition of dating, and she told me that they just eat together.
Phew. No need to get her the gynecologist any time soon. Not much harm in eating.
Anywho - Rewind back to the part where my almost four year old daughter threatens to run away with the boy she is dating if I tell her secret to Mrs. Jemmifer. It scared me. I literally fast forwarded in my mind to the age of seventeen. Suppose I have just told her she can't leave the house in that skirt, or maybe she has to be home by 11:00 pm. I can just hear her threats then. I mean, these little statements, even at the young age of four, are definitely her way of letting me know who she is. And she means business.
She is so much like my husband in personality. She wants to throw the first punch. She comes out of the gate fighting. She will not be told what to do. She sets the rules. It has made disciplining her such a challenge. She is so rebellious that you just have to let her mess up and then punish accordingly. Nothing like my sweet hearted David whom you can threaten and avoid certain mistakes that way.
Just two days ago, I confiscated the Barbie Diamond Castle and all Barbie paraphernalia because I caught her on my computer just clicking away. She had already been warned that day. She has been told several times to stay off my computer, especially since the day she somehow changed all the names of my icons on my desktop to numbers. ALL OF THEM. When Scott asked the tech guy at work to help us figure out how to change them back, he laughed and said in all his years, he had never encountered that issue. So, when I see her on my keyboard, I am terrified at what she might be screwing up. She was so mad at me about her castle. She cried and screamed. But I told her that she had played with my stuff when she shouldn't have, and now I was going to take her stuff from her. We'll see how well the punishment effects her behavior.
I am worried about my little baby girl. I want so desperately to have the great relationship I had with my mother. We talked about everything, and she is still one of my closest friends. But me and Madalyn, well, I just don't know. It is work. Hard work. But I am willing to keep at it 'cause we have a long road ahead!!