My daughter is a real pain in the dick. She’s the second child, and it’s my amateur opinion that second children are just shittier than the first ones. There are two reasons why this is so: Firstly, they’re dealing with more broken down, pathetic parents and so their day to day bullshit is just crueler because it’s being hurled at more completely helpless, destroyed individuals. Secondly, they don’t give a fuck. When my son was born, his entire world consisted of me and his mom. If we were mad at him, his universe was suddenly this dark, lonely place. Therefore, he made pretty consistent efforts to behave, right any wrongs and generally keep us on his good side.
My daughter does not give a fuck. She grew up in a universe where her older brother is always there and ready to play and if we’re pissed at her, eh, fuck it, my brother is down to play/hang out/giggle/smear shit everywhere. Therefore, when we attempt to punish her, we encounter the unflinching iron will of someone who’s not afraid to die and fuck me if it’s not frustrating.
Now, some of you that know my kids are surely saying something like “what the fuck are you talking about? That little girl is so sweet and the boy is a total monster!” To that, I can only say you’re out of your fucking mind. The boy is a boy, and therefore he’s loud, physical, and destructive, but these aren’t malicious or even particularly psychological states. They’re more just kinetic impulses. When he’s around his friends, he can act like a shithead and when I bring him into new places he sometimes explores/destroys shit. He’s also really into talking about poop and poop sandwiches these days. I think it’s funny, but I definitely understand why he could potentially have a rep as kind of a hellion. His thing tends to be that he’s kind of good all the time, with a fairly boundless and often destructive enthusiasm for everything that sometimes gets overwhelming.
My daughter is quite the opposite. She’s ridiculously cute and polite and quiet. She’s well behaved and says please and thank you and by all accounts is absolutely perfect. She doesn’t go for her brother’s fucked up reindeer games that wind up hurting people or things and generally, she’s regarded as a sort of living doll. And she is incredibly cute and good when she’s being good. However, when she decides to turn it on, she’s such an uncontrollable nightmare that it almost defies belief.
The real point at which things come to a head is when she wants something that, for whatever reason, she’s not able to actualize, be it an item, some food, or an experience. She begins loudly screeching. She begins to wail and then…then the repetitive shrieking of whatever she wants begins, and fuck me if that’s not a waterboarding-esque bit of will testing. It doesn’t stop. She will not be tired out. She’ll shriek the exact same thing, “I wanna turn off the TV” for example, for well over an hour, long after the TV has been turned off, after we’ve gotten in the car, driven to the store, gotten out of the car, gone into the store, and left the store in subsequent shame because the tiny, red thing covered in tears and mucous is still screaming “I wanna turn off the TV! I wanna turn off the TV!” and I just can’t handle that.
Trying to punish her is equally impossible. I let my son have his pacifier until he was 3. The reason I indulged his addiction for so long was perfectly selfish. Before he was able to deal in logical imperatives, threatening to take it away and/or giving it back was one of the only effective ways to negotiate his behavior. When this one starts getting saucy, she throws her pacifier at me in an act of strategic defiance before I even get a chance to take it away. She refuses to take it back and generally, she’s fucked up the whole thing by calling my bluff. It’s the same with putting her in time out. She’s fucking something up and I ask if she wants to go into time out and she says yes. Sometimes when she’s being a monster, she’ll suggest to me that she wants to go into time out, just for the sake of being defiant. Then she’ll go, wait it out and go right back to whatever bullshit she was doing that started the whole goddamn thing. It’s enraging.
She now can get out of her crib. She scales the bars and trashes her room when she should be napping. When I come in and threaten to take her blanky or her baby (her little doll thing that she loves) she throws them at me and refuses to take them back. This is vexing because without them, she absolutely won’t sleep. She is literally willing to destroy her own happiness just to stuff it up my ass that I’m not the boss of her. I don’t know what to do. She’s got me over a barrel and she’s fucking 2. By the time she’s fucking criminals in my bed while I’m at work and drinking all my booze while she should be at school I’m gonna be so broken down and mentally fragile from the years of this psychological abuse that I’m gonna have absolutely no move whatsoever.
Oh, and one time she smeared her crib, room and body with her own feces. That was awesome too.