When I turned 21 I had a party. I seem to recall it involved a blue coloured cocktail, a jukebox and several people wearing stockings with open toed shoes. Is that a fashion faux pas? I wouldn’t know I live in my gym gear.
It also involved the discovery that I wasn’t the perfect child I’d always imagined myself to be. Come on, I have 3 brothers, how could I be anything but?
But it turns out that my early behaviour was so wretched, my mother delayed having her 3rd child because she was exhausted from my antics.
At the tender age of 21, when I was surrounded by my friends and family and meant to be hearing nothing but praise and accolades for my fantastic life so far, I hear I caused my mother to reconsider procreating.
It wounded me to the quick and I considered chucking a tantrum about it but then I remembered I was 21 and it wasn’t acceptable anymore.
And now here I am, 12 years on from that horrid revelation, to discover that genetics can be a real bitch.
The apple does not, it seem, fall very far from the tree.
Karma has bitten me but good.
For you see, I too, am now the proud owner of a similarly tempered girl and she is giving me a serious run for my money.
The other day I was looking after my friend’s delightful human, born just the day before Q in the same birth centre, but the turnover is so high in that joint, we didn’t even high five each other as one went in and the other went out.
Anyway, there I was Little Miss Q and her buddy Ini, on our way up to playgroup which required we cross the road. Ini obligingly stays in my arms, but not my girl, no, she commences a complete, full-throttle meltdown on the corner of one of the busiest roads in Sydney.
Throws herself down on the footpath, writhes and thrashes, arching her back like an electrocuted eel but with the noises of a hyena caught in a trap.
Pride and dignity flew out the window as I watched my daughter’s performance with awe. Ini, delightful Ini, observed from her perch on my hip, a look of bemusement on her cherub face.
My mother said she did some reading back when she was enduring the same, and the book said ‘if you find yourself laughing,’ it does not mean you think it’s funny, it’s a sign of hysteria. That you don’t know how to cope and this is the only response your body can think to have.'
I’m pleased to report that I did not, in fact, laugh hysterically, but yesterday (having endured these episodes at least daily, one of them for a full 35 minutes) my body responded by crying. Great tears of desperation and fatigue.
I have it on good authority (my mother-in-law) that my husband’s tantrums were the stuff of legend as well, which leads me to believe that we should have considered adoption far more closely.
You can't really blame Q for her nature when she’s the direct result of Gregory and I. Our procreating is like two meteors smashing together in space. You’d hardly expect there not to be some fallout and debris now would you?
But I'm a Pollyanna, constantly looking for the positive.
Today dawns a new day. Full of new promise and opportunity.
Don't preempt her I tell myself, she might surprise you.
There was a small scale hissy when I insisted on shoes before our first adventure for the day, and the usual rage when we dress and suncream her, but so far there have been no full body episodes.
|Not strictly true, we only allow her chalk.|
Then again, it’s only 10.21 and we’ve got another 9.5 hours till bedtime…