Ever since her birth she has been a challenge, she hit the terrible two's at 13mths and had I not already been pregnant with DD2 I wouldn't have had a 3rd (I only had a 4th cos DD2 was such an angel).
Anything happens, or goes wrong, you can guarantee that DD1 is involved. She is a constant challenge who gets bored very easily and if not kept busy can get into mischief before you can blink. Wherever we've lived, you could find scribbles on the wall from DD1 and when she finally stopped DD2 learnt to write her name and started writing her name on the walls so DD1 decided this was fun and wrote DD2's name everywhere trying to get her sister into trouble but she wrote it too high and too neatly to be DD2. (See Decorating... Yet Again!). She also seems very jealous and thrives on getting her siblings into trouble and can be very nasty towards them, especially DD2 as I think she's jealous of her and bullies her.
Some days she's such a challenge that I find myself wishing I hadn't had her. Don't get me wrong, I love my daughter to bits but it's just a constant struggle and I hate myself for saying it, I wouldn't be without her really and on the odd occasion I do think that I hate myself for it. She causes more arguments than any of the others combined and every day it seems to be argument after argument. She reminds me a lot of her dad and she has a lot of his annoying habits and behaviours but magnified (I wish someone had told me before I had kids that they will magnify any of your flaws and have them times 10). She also seems to have inherited my clumsiness which makes things even worse as she does things by accident but most things are done deliberately or because she thought it would be fun and didn't think of the consequences.
She reminds me of the poem about the little girls with the curl.
Because when she is good, she is a diamond. So eager to please and be helpful. But she does things without thinking. Like today, which is what started this post, she was cleaning her bedroom she went to the cupboard where all the cleaning chemicals are kept (which has a child-lock and she knows she is not to go into) opened the child-lock and got some cleaning supplies to do her bedroom. Then she sprayed bathroom cleaner all over the kitchen floor.
Her childhood is full of incidents like that, and no matter how child-proof we make something she finds away around it. Take her birthday, she was allowed to paint at the kitchen table using some dry paint you add water too, but she climbed up onto the kitchen worktops and reached up to the roof of the wall units where there was a pot containing the bottles of paint (for supervised use only) and then poured it all over the kitchen floor! (See One 7yr Old - Free to a Good Home)
A few years ago, when she was 4, she climbed up to the top shelf of the wall units in the kitchen and got the Calpol down, managed to get the lid off and helped herself to a couple of spoonfuls of calpol. I rushed her to hospital and felt like such a failure as everyone judged me as a parent and found me lacking because I had left the calpol in her reach! But I never thought she could reach them where they were, even hubby had to use a chair to get them down!
I've tried to get help to deal with her behaviour, but the biggest problem is she behaves at school. I asked her why and she told me because she wants to get Pupil of the Month! I've done The Incredible Years course and I try to use what I was taught, but she is one of those children that, although she loves praise she can't seem to deal with it and misbehaves as soon as the praise has left your mouth, and when you try and tell her off she just smirks at you and she's always bullying and being nasty to her siblings.
She's a very smart and loving little girl and I do love her, I love her so much it hurts and I hate that we constantly seem to be fighting and arguing and I worry what the future might bring for her if I can't get her behaviour under control. I also wonder sometimes, in my darkest moments, whether she is a punishment for losing the baby she was conceived immediately afterwards.
She makes me feel like such a failure of a mother. All I wanted as a child was to be a mother a good one like my mother was to me. But I just feel like I'm constantly fighting with her and at my wits end.
And to make matters worse.... the baby seems to be following in her footsteps!!!