My daughter is 3, and simultaneously 16.

There are the obvious ways, like wanting to paint her nails every single day. We’ve told her that she can only do that for special occasions, but it doesn’t stop her from begging and whining EVERY SINGLE DAY. She’s already had two boyfriends. Xander was adorable, smart and sweet. Gus is cute, but more of a lackey, jumping up to get her bag for her every day and opening doors.

The less obvious ways are driving me insane!

leopard

How sweet! Except that look on her face means she’s perturbed with me that I called it a cat instead of a leopard. I was making the same face as the leopard seconds later.

Today, on the way to the zoo she said, “Turn the music off! I’m trying to rest!”

Tonight, she started screaming “Mommy, mommy, mommy!” from her room. (par for the course) I contemplate whether there is even a remote possibility that she’s gouged out one of her own eyeballs with a colored pencil and pray that she just has to pee.

In reality, she called me in there to say, “I want to play with the strings from the toy, not the toy.” I said, “That’s fine.” To which she responded with disdain, “Take the toy out of my bed, so I can sleep!”

Motherhood=indentured servitude.

I know this is the point in her life when I need to be “putting my foot down” and “laying down the law.” But, there’s the other part of me that happens to overhear her imitating my “angry voice” when talking to ME.

Today when she was exasperated and trying to explain her goal in putting a certain blanket on a certain doll in a certain way she said, “No, it goes like this. See how that works?”

That’s my phrase. That’s my “I’m so pissed off at right now I could spit blood in your pretty little blue eyes… you just threw food at me intentionally, more than once, you’re going to time out, see how that works?!?”

Do I really want to create a little monster version of myself?

(As I write this, she is screaming “Mommy” from her room right now. I am guessing a serial killer isn’t hovering over her bed watching her scream my “name” repeatedly)

There are ways in which her maturity is cute, almost endearing. She loves to “mother” her little brother. She comforts him by saying, “It’s okay, Huck.” She rewards him saying, “Good job, buddy!” Mostly though, she just sounds like everything I dreaded about eventually having a teenager. She already rolls her eyes. She already says, “Daddy is crazy.”

In five years that will be, “Daddy is stupid.” In 12 it will be, “My Dad is such a f&^ing retard.”

What happened to the sweet stage? I thought we were supposed to get past the Terrible Twos and into the whole glorious, brilliant and doting child stage. She sometimes tells me unsolicited that she loves me.

Then there’s the day recently when she said, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” I asked her if she was confused and to repeat herself. She said it again, “I love Daddy, you love me, but I don’t love you.” Crushed by someone so small she can’t even put on her own shirt. Breaking my heart daily.

I know I need to grow a pair, but I’m afraid my daughter already beat me to it. She’s walking around with bowling balls. I’m just the unlucky pin that suffered through labor to bring her into this world.

Any day now, I fully expect her to walk down those stairs dressed in ripped jeans and a crop top and ask, “Can my boyfriend spend the night, I mean what’s the big f&*ing deal?”

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