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You know what really sucks? When you just had an article published on the Huffington Post about how you’re not going to use emotional manipulation to discipline your kid, and then said kid wakes up the next morning in the most foul mood ever and starts pushing your buttons from the moment she lays eyes on you and you wish you could just guilt her into behaving but then you’d be the world’s biggest hypocrite.

Yeah, that happened yesterday.

I don’t know what the problem was, but I’m guessing a big part of it is this thing called the Terrible Twos. She was screaming every other minute, about every single thing I did. If I tried to pick her up, she was flailing around and hitting and kicking me. She was telling me to go away but then screaming out for me to get her something or help her with something or bring her a snack.

People, I about lost my mind.

And I would have loved to use a little emotional manipulation to get the situation under control. What I would have loved even more was to be the patient, calm parent that I strive to be. But I was unable to access the latter and I would have felt like a huge hypocrite doing the former. So I was left floundering.

And I realized: It doesn’t matter how many articles and blog posts you write about it, parenting is still really f*cking hard.

It doesn’t matter how reasonable you are when your two-year-old is sleeping. How many plans you make for how to deal with it. How many coping strategies you have. When you both wake up on the wrong side of the bed, you’re going to butt heads all day. And it’s going to suck.

But you make it through that bad day and, if you’re lucky, the next day is better. Today Addie is, mostly, all smiles. Sure, she’s had a couple meltdowns, but nothing compared to the non-stop temper tantrum that was yesterday. And I’m smiling, too. We feed off each other, and the day keeps getting better.

Which, I guess, is all to say: everyone has bad days. No parent is perfect. And I’m going to keep writing about it, even if I sometimes fall short of my own goals.

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