My daughter gets on my nerves sometimes

Well, she does.

Some of you are laughing and nodding at that statement. Others probably would look less horrified if I’d farted loudly in public. I am even a bit uneasy saying it so boldly. But she does get on my nerves.

She’s strident and bossy, crabby in the morning, spoiled rotten by her grandparents, and not at all as much of a mama’s girl as I’d hoped she would be.

She watches way too many unboxing videos on YouTube. Actually, she watches too much YouTube. I wish Hobby Kids would lose their ISP for…well, ever.

She “needs” every toy ever made. Worse, she feels she is owed them, simply for breathing and not licking the restaurant windows. She sees no problem in trashing her stuff, because we’ll just buy more.

She takes one bite from an apple and leaves it on the counter for five hours, then declares it “old” (but doesn’t throw it away).

She paints her walls with lip balm, and smears crayon shavings into the carpet.

She’s strewn kinetic sand throughout the house, despite the fact that she is only supposed to play with it in the kitchen with parental supervision.

She hates being taught. Actively resists it, with clenched teeth and hunched shoulders, like she’s about to be flogged with knowledge. It is exhausting trying to introduce her to anything new. Yet she craves novelty, to the point of rejecting treasured activities because they’re not new activities.

Her knee-jerk reaction to anything is “no.” She will beg to go play Pokemon, and when I finally relent, swear that now she wants to go to the store instead.

She sasses, talks back, yells for no apparent reason, is snotty and scornful and cusses like a sailor.

She is a headstrong, fierce, independent little girl. She knows her own mind, and will not be swayed by anyone. She will fight to the death for what she believes she deserves.

And those are exactly the qualities I have always hoped my adult daughter would have. These qualities will help me relax a bit when she is in her teens, as they will serve her well in the face of peer pressure and rebellion. If I teach her well now, she will stick to her guns later.

It’s just that this strength is not all that pleasant at 5.

At night, after she’s gone to sleep, I stroke her hair and kiss her temple. I tell her she is still, will always be, my precious baby girl. I used to do these things when she was a baby, but now she rarely sits still long enough for me to hug her. So I have to wait until she’s dreaming.

Sometimes she smiles when I kiss her. I hope that, in her dreams, the love filters through. Because I know while she’s awake, she hears more “no” and “stop” and “shush for five minutes!” than “I love you, baby girl.”

For that, I am sorry. Because I don’t want her to ever forget how very much I love her. How much I went through to have her. How very far I would walk through fire for her.

Even if she does get on my nerves.

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