My littlest daughter threw another one of her gargantuan tantrums yesterday, a shrieking, yowling, scream-fest that seemed to go on for hours, though it was actually only 15 or 20 minutes. It all revolved around a pacifier that she dropped on the floor and which she was perfectly capable of picking up herself. I was also taking care of my friend's 1-year-old, and I was not in a position to stop what I was doing with her and pick up the damn thing, no matter how much she tried to force me with the power of her screeching.
The episode was just the icing on the nasty cake of the last few days of pain and sickness, and I pretty much handed her over to her father for the rest of the evening, lest I begin bleeding from my ears and stain the new couch.
That evening, I put her to bed as usual, and as we rocked in the dark, I decided to talk to her about the day. Usually we rock in silence, settling down after a long day, but knowing that often the tantrums of young toddlers stem from the frustrations of not being able to communicate, I thought that we might try to have a quiet chat.
She loved it. I loved it, and in those few minutes we were able to forgive each other.
That same day, I received a shipment of all the pictures I had ever taken of her from the time she was born - at least all that I had access to. A tragic external hard drive accident had obliterated nearly all the pictures I had taken between April and December of 2007. When she was at her cutest. I had just never gotten around to getting prints of all the remaining pictures and had a sudden whim to do so over the weekend. All 753 of them.
Then it suddenly occurred to me that I had emailed the best of those missing pictures to my parents, and wondered if a copy was kept somewhere in the bowels of my email software. They were. In a few days, I will be able to pull down photo albums and show her how cute and sweet she was, and even when she makes me want to beat my own head with an iron skillet, I can look at these and remember that this is her true nature: