My daughter Azalea will be three years old in less than twenty days. Her changes come with a snap of the fingers, just like that. Last year, almost certainly a month before her second birthday, her sweetest of sweet baby smiles melted away into small fits of temper and long ribbons of language. Unlike her sister, she waited longer to speak until she burst, like a piñata, spilling conversation across the floor.
Now, here again, her temperament has changed into a raving fit of a child demanding immediate attention overwrought with baleful whining and her very sincere brand of love. She is her own so completely and with such tremendous energy she sets her spirit upon us to wear like a crown.
Her sister is her guardian, her tormentor and her victim. Together they pounce across my heart threatening it as much as mending. I am no match for them some days.
This morning, I sent Azalea into her room to retrieve some morning thing and she refused to move from the side of my bed. “You get it, Mommy!” she said. Oh, really? It took minutes and tears to find out what the fight was about.
There is a monkey with glowing eyes that comes out of the wall at night. The monkey doesn’t talk, but it’s scary and it writes. She’s never talked to the monkey, but she thinks now that if she asks the monkey to leave her alone, it will.
I owe her an apology for shooing the writing monkey off my back and letting it run rampant throughout the house.