by | Oct 30, 2008 | Lucy, Parenting/Family | 7 comments

Lucy… my darling 3-year-old daughter – with whom I share a very dark tunnel at the moment.

Don’t get me wrong – I can see points of light… when she lets me just hold her, when she thanks me for cleaning her up because she had an accident, her genuine excitement over the smallest thrills (like hot cocoa with mom at the coffee shop), her smile, and the way she looks when she’s sleeping — so deceptively peaceful. That whole “sleep look” is not unlike a well-camouflaged bear trap. One has no idea what lies beneath…

Mothering Lucy has been different than with the other two. They are all so different.

I was able to get her to sleep in reasonable increments as a newborn, and by 9 months she was sleeping through the night. This was vital to the well-being of the entire family. She is child #3, so her ability to sleep through noises only generated by the bowels of hell is impressive. Similarly, her ability to replicate sounds only generated by the terrorized souls of hell is unnerving.

Sometimes I’d swear only dogs can hear her.

While Lucy was pretty easy in her infancy (a comparative, here), she is making up for it as a toddler, now preschooler.


My stresses with Joel were physical – keeping him away from sharp objects, out of traffic, other people’s comfort zones… I remember lots of sweating as I followed my busy, curious little boy from shiny object to sharp object to moving train.

With Lucy – it’s emotional. She is becoming a master of emotional terrorism, and I am the diplomat who is supposed to bring her back to reality.


Like I am in any state of mind to keep others grounded. 

My husband and I are starting to see the stranglehold she has on each one of us. Both Joel and Olivia will give over their most prized possession just to get her to shut-up. Last night, on our way home from soccer practice, Joel said, “Mom… I don’t want to go home. Lucy will be cranky. She’s always cranky at night.”

He’s right. And who has allowed her to “run the show”.

Yours Truly.

It’s been my job to help Lucy learn how to communicate without using terrorist tactics. It has been my job to protect the other two from having to give into the tiny person who rules with an iron fist – or vocal chords which hit such decibels one’s skin just curls off all on it’s own. If WE don’t want to hear it, our skin most certainly does not!

In my defense, it’s not that I don’t try. I try every day. E.V.E.R.Y. D.A.Y.

I give her choices, positive consequences, negative consequences, praises, time-outs… The problem is she kinda doesn’t care. She’s kind of like those dinosaurs on Jurassic Park who tested every area of the fence until they found the weak section. That’s Lucy!

But… here is where I have hope and think I can make it 5 or 6 years until I get to the middle of the tunnel. 

I remember that Joel kind-of didn’t care about consequences at that age either.

Lucy’s socks drive her crazy too – just like Joel! There are little things I see in her that I remember seeing in Joel. I know that they are not the same people, but I am suspecting there are some personality traits they share. It has me thinking that she struggles with deep feelings that she cannot yet express… with Joel that translated into physical outbursts… with Lucy she turns to emotional outbursts and emotional manipulation. 

I’ll finish with a happy note — with one of my most treasured memories that Lucy and I share almost daily… holding hands. But when we do, she often says, “Too tight Mom… too tight.” Which means she wants me to hold her hand tighter, which means despite my shortcomings and failures, she still trusts her mom. 


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