I thought toddlerhood was exhausting. Kids that are between the ages of a year and a half to four years old seem to have meltdowns on a daily basis. In between these ages, I think that my daughter was actually crying more than not. And pretty much ANYTHING from not getting the stuffed animal she wanted in a store to having the wrong day of the week underwear one (once she actually took it off in the car on the way to school because it upset her that much). Once she hit five, I thought my days of trying to decipher irrational reasons for tears were over. I apparently forgot about the hormones…oh dear God those evil hormones. As we creep into our teen years, the crying remains…the reasons just change. (And honestly, sometimes even the reasons are the same as when she was three). Over the last year or so, she has burst into a fit of sobbing for one or more of the following reasons (and I assure you…they’re not made up despite the fact they sound absurd):
10. When she was 3: We’re having something with sauce for dinner. Or meat. Or anything that isn’t yellow. Basically, we’re not having macaroni and cheese for dinner.
Now: We’re having salmon for dinner. Bear in mind, she liked salmon last week and hated meatloaf. This week she’s demanding meatloaf or else she might starve to death.
9. When she was 3: She wanted to wear a bathing suit to preschool. I said no. She peed on the floor.
Now: I asked her to put her shoes on. To go to school. And she’s not ready. Don’t get me started on telling her we’re going to school if she isn’t ready. Apparently we need at LEAST an hour to stare at our iPad in our pajamas in the morning before we can fathom putting on pants. And also, I told her she needed to put on different pants. Meaning “take those damn ratty sweatpants with the hole in the crotch off your body right now before I donate them AND You to The Salvation Army”. This also can lead to the “I have nothing to wear/nothing that fits me” wailing. Which leads to the “I’m fat” hyperventilating. And the eating of baked goods along with the crying.
8. When she was 3: I brushed her hair, resulting in screaming like I was scalping her because she never let me brush her hair and the knots were atrocious.
Now: I asked her to brush her own hair. Her go-to hair style is a cross somewhere between pecked to death by chickens and rolling in the door after a frat party. Brushing is the least she could do. Usually this crying is accompanied by a hairbrush whizzing past my head.
7. When she was 3: I wouldn’t let her have a sip of my coffee. Or wine.
Now: I won’t buy her a donut or a latte from Dunkin Donuts when I make a pit stop there to keep myself awake during her gymnastics class/softball game/basketball practice….
6. When she was 3: The episode of Bubble Guppies that she was watching was over.
Now: The DVR didn’t record the latest episode of Liv and Maddie. Or Girl Meets World. Or Spongebob. Because she’s “never seen that oneeeeeeee”. The fact they play the same freaking episode forty-seven times a week is irrelevant. She wants THAT episode RIGHT NOW and she will NOT wait!
5. When she was 3: I asked her to pick up all the toys she dragged out to play with. She throws herself on the floor in true tantrum fashion, kicking all the toys and breaking them.
Now: I had the nerve to ask her to put away her clothes,shoes, pencil toppers, books, stupid toys, or whatever else is littering my living room, stairs, and kitchen table. I barely get acknowledgement and an “in a minute”.
4. When she was 3: I threw out the broken toys. They were always her “FAVORITE”.
Now: I threw out aforementioned clothes,shoes, pencil toppers, etc., etc. after two days of asking her to put them away.
3. When she was 3: I wouldn’t buy her yet another My Little Pony in the store. Or a fish that talks. Or another fake puppy that barks. Or a princess wand. Or anything in any store that struck her fancy at that exact moment.
Now: “EVERYONE else has ALL the ShopKins and Yummy Nummys and EVERYONE ELSE’S mother buys them anything they want and EVERYONE ELSE in her class is making fun of me because MY mother won’t buy ME everything I wants. And you’re the meanest mother ever and so unfair and oh, wait…can I have this app for my iPad???”
2. When she was 3: I wouldn’t let her wear my make-up. She snuck in the bathroom and applied it all over her face and her dolls. She cut her own hair and I had a conniption.
Now: I wouldn’t let her wear my make-up. I hid my make-up from her. She can’t find it.
And the #1 Reason my 10 year old is crying? When she was 3 AND Now: I told her to go to bed. And she’s not tired because she fell asleep after school because she went to bed too late because she wasn’t tired because she napped after school that day, too and Oh. My. God. Make her stop crying before I start crying!!!
In conclusion? Preteens are just overgrown toddlers…and if she doesn’t stop crying, I’m gonna give her something to cry about.