"Let's get ready to rumble!" This is the catchphrase that plays in my head each time I am about to change my daughter's diaper, outfit ... you name it. Isabella is beginning to assert her independence and will let you know in no uncertain terms that she is the boss and is going to fight you tooth and nail.
Every morning and every night I feel like I am in the ring with Evander Holyfield. Isabella pushes me away and tries to block any attempt to undress or dress. She can really pack a punch as she arches her back and fights you off. Thankfully she has not yet entered the biting stage or taken a cue from Mike Tyson. If that stage ever creeps up and steps into the ring, I just may need to invest in some headgear.
At some point during the match, it morphs into a WWF wrestling match as Isabella decides to twist her body mid-diaper change in an attempt to crawl out from under my ironclad grip. I feel like Jimmy "Superfly" Snuka as I wrestle with her and try to pin her down so I can finish the task at hand and move on with our lives. I am amazed at her strength as I try to readjust her on the changing table. You think baby, small, weak - but not so. She stiffens every muscle in her body and you cannot move this child. The diaper struggle becomes a battle of the wills to see who is going to cave first. The outcome is usually 50-50 with mom and baby in a tie.
I give Isabella a taste of her own medicine. Really, she just gets a taste. The majority of her medicine ends up in her nose, running down her face or smeared on her shirt. Administering antibiotics is another scrimmage with little miss independent. I usually start out positive and pretend that she is going to get a treat made of the best stuff on earth. As you have read in previous blogs, my daughter is way smarter than me and will quickly present me with her cheek, not allowing the syringe to go anyway near her mouth. I try sneak attacks from every direction and each time I squirt medicine at tightly pursed lips. Each time I think I have successfully infiltrated enemy lines, my daughter looks like I used her as a canvas for an abstract painting and I feel bamboozled. I can successfully manage multiple half-million-dollar accounts but I cannot administer a teaspoon of medicine to my daughter?
I know the little skirmishes and protests are my daughter's way of testing her limits and establishing boundaries. The boundaries that are set forth now during her formative years are going to help mold her into a mature, successful, accomplished little lady that I am going to be proud of. These boundaries are going to be the tools to guide her decision-making process, and hopefully help her to make good choices in life. I hate to see my daughter upset, but I do not want to inadvertently teach her to be uncompromising with no sense of responsibility or hierarchy. If I caved in to every demand and crumpled at every tear, I would be setting my daughter up for a lifetime of hardships and disappointment.
Each day, I will put on my battle gear and go to work molding my daughter into the wonderful woman I know she is going to be. She will wear a clean diaper, and she will change into a set of fresh clothes. She will continue to get one-third of the medicine she is supposed to get. But as she starts to get older and I can use my words to reason with her ... the gloves will come off.