Literally, the “bang” was my head beating against the wall. Audrey was in rare form today. I don’t know if it’s because she’s sick or whether she’s beginning a new “phase” (please, God, no), but it was almost more that we could take.

Audrey is typically a fairly well-behaved 2-year-old, but today she was a monster from mars as far as I’m concerned. EVERYTHING out of her mouth was either a command, a defiant no, or a scream. After 1 1/2 hours of trying to put her down for a nap, I was in tears. Justin had to leave the house just to regain his sanity. In her defense, it’s been a rough few days that began with a cough, developed into a fever and congestion and is currently being treated with breathing treatments through a nebulizer. I know I would be a grumpy old soul, too, feeling like that.

The problem with days like this is that you trick yourself into thinking that you can deal logically with a 2-year-old. Calmly explaining that trying to balance on a banister above the stairs is dangerous seems like the logical thing to say, but don’t you dare say not to do something, else it results in a battle that is doomed to end with a swat on the rear and a stern, “go to your room, now!” Unfortunately, I’ve come to the realization that spankings don’t work at this point, partly because both parties end up feeling rotten and partly because Audrey goes on a spanking spree herself. We’ve recently been trying the “go to your room until you calm down” approach, but that’s just an invitation to play with toys. I know the best approach is to ignore or change the focus, but really, when it’s been going on ALL DAY you’d have to be the most patient person in the world to pull that one off.

The lesson of the day for me came when Justin was holding Anna and I was finishing dinner. Audrey was standing in the middle of the living room and started to quietly cry. When we asked her what was wrong, she just sadly said, “Anna.” I guess it’s been harder on her than we thought to be a big sister. My heart just about broke when I realized that Audrey just needed some quality time with us that didn’t involve us saying the word “no” or competition with a cute little baby. I took her downstairs for some bonding time and the rest of the night was much more pleasant. I even managed to rock her and Anna at the same time for before-bed story time – a ritual that Audrey and I hadn’t been able to do for awhile since we moved the glider into Anna’s room and the rocker back into our bedroom.

It’s hard, this parenting thing. Just when you think you’ve got it all worked out, you realize you don’t know anything at all. What I do know for sure is that I couldn’t do it alone. Justin is the world’s best dad – there through the thick and thin. Although today, he did say, “are you sure you want to have more than 2 kids?” Only time will tell. We’ll just continue to take it one day at a time.

As for now, we finally have both girls in bed and are treating ourselves to a glass of wine. We probably won’t see midnight unless it’s because Anna has us up for a midnight feeding, but I’m looking forward to what the new year brings. I’m just hoping and praying it doesn’t bring too many more days like these! Happy New Year and God Bless!