You ever have one of those weeks when you feel like Charlie Brown? Basically a blockhead? You forget things, you lose things, you break things. Doesn't matter how hard you try to remember, take care or be nice, the universe has deemed it your turn to wear the big floopy shoes and pointy hat.

Look ma, no brain
Lately not only have I felt like Chuck right after Lucy pulls the ball away, but I've also felt like my parenting skills are lacking. Lil Miss Austin has become a No Factory as of late and is maxing my abilities to cope effectively without resorting to corporeal measures. I can feel my grip on any situation slipping with every sass or refusal or outburst. Anymore our interaction has become the game Taboo, where I can only say certain things in order for her to respond, but each time those things change. What worked yesterday, won't work today or tomorrow. A year ago I could get away with getting her to go to bed or eat her food by using the same tactics again and again. Now she's become a flu virus and adapted beyond my abilities to synthesize a new vaccine. She knows my tricks and has started to develop tricks of her own, forcing my brain to fire and fire and fire until the synapses are blown and I'm left a crazed idiot using the almighty Time Out trump card.

Which is NOT how I envisioned how this little life would be treated. It makes my heart hurt to always say negative things. No. Get off that. Don't jump. Put that down. Go back to bed. Be quiet. I wish I could slow down and not let her crying and shouting short out the fragile parenting circuits while I think of positive and creative ways to help her become a good, loving person AND keep the house peaceful and orderly.

I didn't expect to play this role, the role of the bad guy, the disciplinarian. Not that Mrs. Austin has it any better. LMA throws things and bites and punches with all she's worth sometimes, and I'm not always the target. Lately, though, I feel like I'm the one who's putting the foot down, while Mrs. Austin is the one providing the love and affection and understanding. Her near limitless patience taxes my imagination and only adds to my fear that I'm not a good parent.

Add that to all the normal adult crap one usually goes through during a slump of brain activity, and you start to feel you're a video camera away from having CPS knocking on your door. LMA is a great kid and her capacity to learn and grow is just amazing to me. Within two years time, she's had to cram in learning how to effectively make me look like a gibbering baboon and at the same time learn our language, customes and gross and fine motor skills. If I had a 2 year old's capacity for adapting, I'd be, at the very least, doing better at my job.

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