Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Losing My Best Friend

I know it's probably all kinds of wrong, and potentially offensive to my grown up best friend, but to be totally honest - my absolute bestie,  my partner in crime, the strawberry to my bananna, the milk to my cookies, my favorite comrade, my right hand man on long shopping trips, and the person I can most count on to light up  when I walk into a room, is this kid:

Sure, our sense of style is no longer on the same page, I'm more of an understated J Crew look, and she's more of a drag queen meets early tenth century explorer, meets organic cotton fairy, but we share other passions.  We play a fierce round of Princess yahtzee, we grocery shop for the yummiest apples, and we both breathe a sigh of relief when we shut the door on the last of the drop offs and can snuggle in to a day of "just us", and craft the morning away. 

But lately, the loving snuggle bunny I once knew has been changing.  There was this birthday, and it was followed by a rash of stubborn that could only follow up the precocious streak of  independence I have always loved about Charlotte.   More and more over I find that "the Beast"  that has replaced my go to girl is barely recognizable.

These days, my best friend and I argue.  A lot.  Seemingly about everything.  "Yes you will put on your coat." 
"No I wont put it, I don't have too."
  "I am the mom and we need to get your brothers you will put your coat on RIGHT NOW."
 and so on and so forth -- usually followed by a stomping of the foot and a lot of tears. (Sometimes even the Beast cries too!)  Clearly the days when everything I did was golden are over. 

On this frigid morning we rehashed our usual discussion over breakfast.  It goes a little something like this :

"Charlotte you need to eat some breakfast."
"I want pizza and hot dogs."
"That's great, but we don't have pizza or hot dogs.  You can choose toast, fruit, cereal, eggs"
"I don't like any of that stuff!"
"Well those are the choices"
"No pizza"
"I am the Princess and I can do whatever I want"
(low growl from the Beast)
"Yes but I am the Queen and the Princess has to listen to the Queen"
"Only until the prince comes and then some guy with a chopper thing and then the Queen runs away and the Princess wins!"

As the mother of five, I know it's growing pains.  I know it's normal, I know it's a phase.    I know it's a sign that we are doing something right, because its good for kids to develop their own opinions, to have their own ideas, to foster independence, and to be clearly unafraid to defend their own ideas.   I know at the end of the day I am still her favorite player - I'm just no longer in a one man show. 

But there are days when it hurts just a little.  Who told the baby she could grow up and be one of the kids I need a break from sometimes?

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