(I am out of town this week, and as you can see by the lack of posts this week, I am finding it difficult to get on the internet. Today I bring you a post written by writer extradorinaire, Lyndsey Fox, who is not only an incredible person and author, but is also my sister. Thank you sis for filling in for me today.)
I live with a real bully. I’ve been dealing with the situation patiently for sometime now, but it isn’t getting any better. It’s actually getting worse; more pushing, more demanding, more yelling. I wouldn’t have thought to put a label on it, until my husband came home from work the other day and clued me in.
“I need a good picture of Holly to put in my presentation,” he says.
“Oh! I love that you show off your daughter to everyone. Are you going to show off your wife too?” I ask.
“No. I just need one of Holly.”
“Oh, I’m not cute enough? Only the cute Fox girls get presentation time!” Not cool, obviously.
“No, I just want to use her as an example,” he says.
“A bully,” he replies.
My eighteen month old little darling of a daughter is a real bully. Just yesterday I was bullied into wearing high heels the entire day because the second I took them off, even if she was busily playing, or even if I hid around the corner, she would come running over and proceed to follow me around the house shoe in hand.
“Om’ear, om’ear, om’ear,” she’d say scrunching her little pointer finger at me.
And then there are the push ups. If you think only mean drill sergeants are the ones to make you drop and give them twenty and then get back down and give them twenty more while sitting on your back -well, then you haven’t met my Holly. She learned about push ups about month ago out on the high school track where we go on cool mornings to get some exercise in. My husband, having always stayed in pretty good shape, doesn’t mind an occasional baby climbing on his back while he works out. But I just can’t do it. I can barely make it to ten without her.
Do I have any other choice though? No, Not when she follows us around doing her bending over version of a push up and then pointing bossily to the ground, “daddy, daddy, daddy!” Bending over, breathing heavily, pointing to the ground. “mommy, mommy, mommy!”
Repeat ten times until we give in. Repeat ten times until we give in and she gets a fun ride.
Oh, and making dinner is just impossible. I’ve started making delicious mango puree popsicles to distract her with while I try to get kitchen work done. I have to strap her in a high chair with the buckle -the buckle is mandatory- or there’s no food for us. We’d be eating cheese cubes and plain bread if I didn’t. Why? Because the second I approach a kitchen counter, even if she’s busily playing or if I sneak away around the corner from her, she knows, and she comes a’running. She comes running in, whips around to the front of me and with all of her little eighteen month old strength pushes and pushes and pushes.
It’s a good thing I like cheese.
She gets me to sit when she wants me to sit -pointer finger and all. She gets me to swing when she wants me to swing with her -”mommy, mommy, mommy” pointing eagerly to the swing next to her. She gets me to get “foof” when she wants “foof.” She gets me to read when she wants to be read to -”shobok, shobok, shobok” (shoe book). And today we went to the store and bought a book because that’s just what we had to do -”shop book, shop book.”
I think twenty times is my breaking point. Anything said over twenty times it’s hers in a jiffy.
I live with a little bully. But she is the cutest little high voiced darling of a bully. I could watch her pointer finger scrunch at me all day long. And I often do.
What kind of a parent would I be if I didn’t enjoy my only child’s bullying? What else is parenthood all about?