“I want to do it! I want to do it!” (As if taking a bit of toilet paper off the roll to use is a tremendous and delightful privilege, the denial of which will be unbearable.) She wants to scrape the last bit of yogurt out of the bowl, pull on her own trousers, and connect her own train tracks. The bowl often ends up on the floor, and the trousers are on backwards. As for the train tracks, often she can’t quite get them together and ends up screaming in frustration.
Silly child. Doesn’t she know that she has a parent who deeply loves her? Doesn’t she realize that I only want what’s best for her? That I’m here watching over her, waiting, able to help as soon as she needs me? As soon as her shrieked “Myself, myself!” becomes “Please help”?
I had one of those parenting days that ends in tears. I’ve spent a day striving and talking and scolding. I’ve pitched in with all my ideas and efforts, determined that I’m going to train this child. All by myself. And I’ve been shrieking in frustration all day because I can’t quite get things to line up.
And I find myself at the end of it, on my knees in the dark next to a sweetly sleeping little dolly, asking, “Please help.”