As I’ve mentioned a time or twenty, Annalyn is a feisty little girl. She’s got attitude. She’s a character, that one.

Okay, so all her little habits and quirks are probably completely normal toddler behavior. But still, they drive me straight up the wall.

And on Monday night, we had a terrible evening together. There was crying and yelling and more crying. She got upset, too.

After she went to bed, I just felt awful. Had I told her I loved her? Yes. But would she remember? Or would she only remember how we fought over dinner and how I didn’t let her eat pudding or play with my digital camera or pee in the bathtub?

I know it’s just one day, but it was certainly not my finest parenting moment.

Last night, however, was different.

I picked her up at the babysitter’s house, and other than a stealthy escape up the stairs, she was very sweet. (Sometimes she throws a big old hissy fit when I tell her it’s time to go home. It’s heartwarming, really.)

We drove from there to the library and checked out some board books for her (and a novel for me). She loved the first book I handed her and carried it all the way to the car. And she chatted with the librarian who had to renew my library card, telling her that “No,” she doesn’t like to read books and “No,” she’s not a silly girl.

On the way home, she entertained herself in the car, talking to her favorite thing in the whole world these days: her shoes. Apparently, they have a lot to talk about, my daughter and her shoes, despite the fact that they’re rarely separated. (She even sleeps in them sometimes. I know that’s weird – and smelly – but it’s way easier than fighting over it.)

Once we got to the house, she waited for me to “buck-uh” – or, unbuckle her, as we put it in grown-up English. We went inside and read four of her five new library books – even the long one about Jesus.

Then, because I was about to die of hunger (thanks to a half-hearted attempt at healthy eating), I grabbed a slice of cheese from the fridge. Of course, my little shadow wasn’t about to let me eat the whole thing by myself. So we shared some cheese.

As I opened the fridge to get a second slice of cheese, she said, “Milk!” I love that she’s such a good milk drinker – and it’s so smart that she knows it comes from the fridge. I mean, Mark has tried to explain that it actually comes from cows, but that concept may be a little over her head at this point.

I decided, Hey, why not try something new? So I poured her milk into a regular sippy cup. Annalyn is a champ at drinking with a straw, but not so hot at regular sippies. And really, after a couple days of trying way back when she was, ahem, one, I gave up and figured straws are good enough for government work.

But last night, we gave the sippy cup the old college try. And it wasn’t half bad. There was a lot of spilled milk, of course. But we didn’t cry over it. No, in typical OCD style, we mopped it up with a towel. And by that, I mean, we mopped and dabbed and wiped each little drop.

We’re a little crazy like that, my kid and me.

After this sippy cup adventure, I realized it was actually time for dinner. So I fixed Annalyn her favorite “nuggies” – chicken nuggets. And the only vegetable she’ll eat these days – green beans.
That kid – the one who hardly eats anything non-carby these days – ate her whole dinner! She even ate most her pineapple and drank some more milk. (And, P.S., she got a little ticked when I tried to give her the straw cup. Nope, only sippy cups for my girl. Until tomorrow. Because seriously, that was one crazy mess.)

Pudding was, of course, the perfect way to end this peaceful for the most part meal. As we scraped the cup clean, Annalyn got upset because I told her it was all gone. So, as I got her bath ready, I let her go to town with the cup and spoon. I wish I’d taken a picture, because it was hilarious. Instead, I tried to hold her hands down and keep her from touching me on the way to the tub.

What? She was all gross!

Annalyn took a fun bath, playing with her duck (“Cack! Cack!”) and even standing up to get out when it was time.

I dried her off, lotioned her up, put a diaper on the bottom she’s recently discovered (oh, joy) and got her into her jammies. Then I combed her hair, kissed her little face and told her it was time for bed.

“Night-night. Bye-bye.”

Just like that.

Was it luck? My awesome parenting skills? A full moon? Doesn’t matter. Perfect nights with my sweet girl work for me, although I have no idea how it happened or when another one will occur. For more stuff that works, head over to We Are THAT Family!

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