What Just Happened?

A second ago, my sleepy little daughter smiled at me and curled up next to me on the chair.  Suddenly, out of thin air, this sweet little angel was replaced by a demon with red eyes and sharp teeth, lips curled in a snarl.  I think she might have actually growled at me while she was viciously rolling her eyes. 

All because I asked her (gasp!) what she wanted for breakfast. 

This has been going on for a couple weeks now.  She’s 8.  She can’t be hormonal yet, can she?  Does she even HAVE hormones? 

I have been struggling.  What don't I know?  What am I not seeing?  Is she lashing out because she’s hurting?  Is she acting out because there’s something upsetting her and she doesn’t have the words for it?  Does she feel wronged?  Is she struggling?  Is it me?

Or is it just a girl thing? 

It’s not been pleasant.  She is always in trouble these days.  I don’t know what to do.  She is an emotional wreck.  An emotional wreck who hates me one minute and is clinging to me for dear life the next, sobs wracking her little body.  There have been many, many tears…from both of us. 

I’m at a loss.  What’s worse than trying to guess what’s wrong with your child?  Than fretting over an internal struggle – real or imagined?  Than not knowing how to help your child…or knowing if she even needs your help?

I wish there was a guide book for children.  Is this normal?  You know, I've been prying so hard, trying so desperately to find out what's wrong...what if this is all completely normal?  She's always been a bit emotional and dramatic (oh, who'm I kidding, yes that's an understatement).  What if it's just pre-tween-ness?  GIRL pre-tween-ness.  What if this is just the beginning of years of eye rolls and snarky comments.      
She’s always kept me guessing.  I guess this confirms she always will.  And just when I was finally feeling like I have her figured out a little.  I guess it's time to pick my battles.  Honestly, if it means that this is just hormones and not some sort of unspoken trauma, I'll take it. 

I can do this.  WE can do this.  Me and a case or two of wine, that is.


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