|Could this girl be anything less than sweet?|
Recently on NPR, a speaker had the opposite view: babies are born selfish and unable to control their negative impulses. A toddler will hit for pleasure without any empathy for their victim. Two year olds were in the worst in his opinion as they are mobile enough to inflict damage onto others and still haven't been civilized. From there, a child learns and develops empathy or not, if in the wrong environment. Allie just sprouted teeth and laughs after she bites especially if her victim yells Ow!!!
Tessa just turned two. Is she the embodiment of evil that this speaker suggests? Well she is fond of telling her mom that she is a Mean mommy or a Bad mommy and laughs at the response. But on the other hand, she will see one of her brothers crying and go over to comfort him (and get pushed down for her efforts).
Moms do need thick skins. Over the years, I've been told that "you're the suckiest mommy ever" (Josh when he was really young) and many screaming "I hate you'"s from a couple of teenage girls, one of whom is her twenties. They also need the patience of Job. I had a nice night out with Naomi the other day. She happily chattered to me. But just a few days later, she sees almond croissants defrosting in the refrigerator and throws a fit. Why would this sight evoke such a response?
Because it must mean that Shanna is coming over and I make special things for Shanna and not her so I must prefer Shanna to her, yadda, yadda, yadda. Pointing out that Shanna rarely comes over whereas she comes over almost every day just fueled her fire as did pointing out all that is done for her versus for Shanna. Note to kids everywhere: if you want to be the most liked, make yourself the most likeable.
She was still in a snit when we went to a cosmetology school for a prearranged mani-pedi. I had bought cheap groupons for this place (3 mani-pedis for $42). I stopped going to my usual place when the owner arrived 15 minutes late to our last appointment. Telling me that she had to stop for coffee iced the cake. But there were also annoying things: agreeing to 'an old lady discount' but then leaving out the usual massage and then me overhearing her on the phone to the credit card company so and so forgot to add tip so add this more than once (!?!). As soon as we got there, she sees a friend working there. And for it's a small world, I knew her too as she used to work at the Vietnamese place I decided to quit (meaning she was NOT licensed). As it probably is everywhere. nailplaces tend to hire their own. Our neighborhood places seem to be all Chinese (and with everything such as gas, our neighborhood is the most expensive). and excepting Naomi's friend, everyone at my old place was Vietnamese. And this school that we went to? All African-American except for Naomi's friend, who is Mexican. But Naomi was thrilled to see her friend so she went back to her happy, chatting mode. More small world hits again: this friend knew the person Naomi was considering as a roommate and told me I better stop that before it began. So despite the low price, we were definitely catered to with two people each to work on our fingers and toes. In my case, the instructor came to show how to repair my broke in the middle nail and to discuss my feet, which she said were especially soft due to older people being less active. (In my case, the local Chinese had recently scraped off so much skin that I bet I was a half inch shorter when I left but I have put on many miles to my dogs since then).
The woman assigned to my feet was deaf, a sweet young mom. She had an interpreter with her. Not only did this woman facilitate any communication between me and her and also with her and the instructor, she felt compelled to interpret the general chatter such as with between Naomi and me and between Naomi's friend and me (the friend had left the Vietnamese place because the owner was crazy and unprofessional) so that my foot woman would not feel left out of the general conversation. Naomi's foot person was an even younger mom than Naomi and has two kids. All of our attendants were friendlyand diligent but they were heavy handed with the polish such that it bubbled and crinkled in my case. I guess for me it is back to the expensive but professional , local Chinese or try out the cheap Indian place near Shanna.