My daughter is a "sunny" child. Happy, easy-going, eager to please. At 3, she already has a sense of humor, and her enthusiasm regarding just about everything makes her so much fun to be around. She randomly bestows kisses, loves to snuggle, and has one of those sweet grins that just makes you want to melt.
But sometimes, the clouds roll in. And when the dark clouds cover up the sun in Lauren's world, you better watch out.
About a month ago, I had woken up early to get started on Lauren's birthday cake. A true labor of love because Betty Crocker I am not. So I'm slaving away in the kitchen when I hear Lauren coming down the stairs. I go over to the stairs to greet her, and she sneers, "Go away. I don't want you." Uh, someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed.
Often when we're driving, we play what I'll call the "I love you" game. I say "I love you Lauren Looby Lu," or some other silly name, and she responds with "I love you" and a silly name for me. So we're driving home from her swimming lesson last week and I start the game. "I don't want to play that game," she says with a pout, while chomping on a pretzel. I guess I should have known her priority would be food, not indulging Mom in some goofy game.
Usually the dark clouds come out of nowhere and then retreat quickly, just like a summer thunderstorm. However, other children sometimes bring on the stormy weather. We recently had a park incident that ensured no future friendship with a particular little boy. I had one eye on Lauren and one on Alex's soccer game. After a few minutes on the playground, she comes running back to me, claiming a little boy hit her. I didn't actually see it happen, but she does not usually lie, so I suggested she tell him hitting is not nice, and then go play on another part of the playground. She runs back over and when I check on her a minute later, I see her talking sternly to the kid, shaking her finger in his face. Oy. I'm glad she stood up for herself, but the finger-shaking was a little much ...
Lauren's generally "sunny" disposition makes it easier to get through the "stormy" days. It's hard to get angry at a kid who alternately sings "Tomorrow" (from Annie) and "Squirrels in My Pants" (from Phineas and Ferb) while wearing a princess dress and mismatched high heels. I know things may cloud over more often during the tween and teenage years. Until then, I'll just don my shades and enjoy the sun.