The 'stage' that I mentioned a few posts ago, the slapping, pushing, hitting, screaming stage that I was hoping she would grow out of.....well, it has gotten worse.
Funny thing, is she doesn't really have big tantrums any more. I know I have blogged about pulling my hair out about the tantrums and wanting it to pass, sitting, crumbling inside as she kicked and screamed on the shopping centre floor, trying to wrestle her into a trolley that she is trying to throw herself out of; has she grown out of that or have I grown into it as a parent?
Now, it's pushing, shoving, hitting, sitting on... well you get the picture. It's not pretty either, to see the perfectly formed baby that lay in my arms deliberately whacking other children in the head with sharp objects.
Does it keep going like this? Do I have to keep redefining boundaries as she grows and learns? Does it get harder and harder, until I am faced with real problems, and a young adult who is not quite as maleable as a 2 year old?
How do I prepare myself to dea with a teenager who wants to experiment with drugs? I have no experience with illicit drugs at all. Yes, I am telling the truth. I am one of the only people I know who has never experimented with illegal substances. How do I prepare her to resist peer pressure, be safe and not become a part of the pervasive culture that is youth today?
How do I deal with her posting provocative pictures of herself on the net? I didn't have a boyfriend until uni, didn't have sex until I was a legal adult. How do I relate to and protect her from becoming a woman until she is ready for the moral and emotional implications of sharing yourself so completely with another person?
How do I help her be a adult when I am not even really sure I get it yet?
When I was pregnant, I prepared myself for having a baby. I had nappies (cloth, thank you very much!), blankets, toys and tiny little jumpsuits. I educated myself about birth choices and breastfeeding, taking control and making decisions that were best for me and my baby. I was ready.
As Ava grew, so did I as a parent. I learned how to balance my work and home lives when I went back to work. I worked my butt off pumping breast milk in every break I got so that Ava would have the best nutrition I could provide for her. I learned how to introduce her to a world that is terrifying and big, even for me, a reasonably stable (I did say 'reasonably'...) financially stable woman in her late twenties.
I guess as she grows into a young woman, and the world she has access to continues to grow, I will grow with her. I hope I can steer her in the right direction, and catch her if she falls. She will be who she will be, with or without me, even after I'm gone, but for me, there is no world without her.
For now though, I am going to keep doing my best to guide her to the next stage.....which I am sure will be ten times as trying as this one!