The Demons Are Back


The demons have possessed Gracie again. Don’t be fooled by that sweet smile. She’s like those man-eating plants that lure prey to them with their sweet smell. You lean in for a minute and think, “Well, that smells too good to be dangerous…” and then – STHUWMP!- you’ve been sucked up into the deadly petals and life as you know it is over.

That’s what Gracie’s smile is like.

(Don’t look at me like that. Like you’ve never compared your child to a man-eating plant?)


Lately, Gracie has become clingy and whiny again. Everything makes her cry, and she only wants to be held by me.  Like, all day long.  We had done our best to curb this using some methods from “Raising Your Spirited Child,” and that has gotten us happily through the past few months. But last week, the dragon emerged again. This time, though, Gracie not only cried and pitched temper tantrums, she wanted to cry and pitch temper tantrums IN MY FACE. She wanted to be as close to me as possible. I’m almost positive that she would get back in the womb if she could find the door.


Gracie has always been a mommy’s girl and she’s always been a bit of a cling-on, but this was different.

My mom antennas went up, and I knew something was off. I took her to the doctor yesterday and, sure enough, there was a tiny little issue. I try not to get too specific with medical things about my kids because that’s a line Chris and I have drawn for our family and the bloggity blog. But it was a small thing, nothing major. Just enough to bother her. We didn’t even need a prescription to fix it, but came home with a good home remedy to help her out.


While we were talking with the pediatrician, I asked him about Gracie’s crying issue. I told him that we were letting her cry through some of those periods, and even sending her to her room when she couldn’t get herself calmed down. I love our pediatrician because he has something like 7 or 8 children of his own, all under the age of 16. I would pay a co-pay to see him whether he had been to medical school or not with street cred like that. He laughed when I described Gracie and said that she was exhibiting pretty normal two-year-old and second child behavior.

“No matter how much attention you give her,” he said. “She is going to think it is not enough. That is generally the way with the second child. Especially when they are girls. And when they are two. And when they are cutting two-year-old molars. And when they are sick.”

Then he paused for a minute, looked me in the eye and said, “So, good luck with all that.”

We seem to have entered the Bermuda Triangle of toddlerhood with Gracie, where anything can happen for any possible reason. And sometimes without any reason. Which is good because I was worried that things were getting too calm and orderly around our house anyway…

*palm to forehead*

I’ll tell you, though, that smile might be a killer, but it is worth it all. Gracie lures me in with it on a daily basis, and I willingly walk too close to her, knowing that she is going to swallow me up any minute now. But I can’t help it. She just smells so sweet.


Turns out, nature might know what it’s doing.

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13 Thoughts to “The Demons Are Back”

  1. Emily M

    Love all the posts about Gracie and her “spirited” nature. I, too, have two children almost the same age as yours – a boy and a girl. My daughter (younger, like Gracie) is so similar with her actions and attitudes. Except, I don’t compare her to man-eating plants, I just refer to her as “tiny dictator”.

    It’s so refreshing to hear I’m not a failure as a parent and it isn’t completely my fault…. it’s being two, and cutting teeth, and being a girl, etc.

    I don’t comment much but wanted to say “thanks” and keep on keepin’ on. 🙂

  2. With baby2 on the way any day now, a girl, I will bookmark this and read it again two years from now!

  3. Same boat! Used the Spirited Child book at your recommendation and things were going well until they weren’t. I thought all the dramatics were because we are having another baby at the end of the summer and she sensed it but maybe it’s just her age/personality. Everything makes her cry and only Mommy can help (of course I’m pregnant and can’t do much which is even more frustrating.) I guess I’m just glad I’m not the only one with a man eating plant child!!

  4. The pediatrician that diagnosed Nate as autistic (who left the practice we’re with and now does ER pediatric medicine at Yale) had two kids under the age of three. So when Nate was 15 months old and he wasn’t sleeping through the night, he told me the textbook definition of what we should do. Then he said, “But not even my wife and I can do that so we give in just like you.” and I felt like a great parent. Gotta love pediatricians who are grounded in the at-home reality of their daily jobs. 🙂

  5. Peggy

    How can you NOT like that smile?

  6. What the Dr. father of 7 or 8 didn’t tell you was that if you would have ANOTHER BABY NOW Gracie’s self esteem would rocket!! Oh yeah!!! But something tells me you and Chris are stopping at 2…….Boo. Not that it’s any of my business. ;(
    I wish I lived close enough to babysit sometimes, but alas, I do not. Just console yourself with the thought that these days when she only wants you ALL DAY LONG are numbered and you will miss them when they are gone, and I am already sure Gracie will turn out just fine. You will be glad of her temper when she is your advocate in the nursing home for extra blankets or whatever. 😉

  7. Abby S

    Have you seen the ‘reasons my son is crying’ tumbler page? Hysterical! I So could have done a similar thing with my third child!

  8. Mae

    It seems like Avery (also a newly turned 2 yr old, cutting her molars and 2nd child syndrome) goes thru the same thing as Gracie around the same time. I’ve been describing her as sweet and sassy since before she turned 1. By the way, I tried the water play activity you do at the sink with her and it works wonders so thanks!

  9. I love your posts like this- I am going to be a first time mommy in November and I’ve been storing away alot of your words to look back at when the time comes. (I’m already a little afraid of the power of my baby.)

  10. Oh dear… this does not bode well for my sweet Amelia who just had her first birthday. She is also a clingy child. She has pretty much out grown our bjorn and I am thinking about getting a back carrier just so I can get something done!

  11. Ha, I love the doctor’s response. My pediatrician basically said something like to that to me during a recent period of time when Aubrey would throw an exorcism at bath time. Not comforting…

  12. kat (for T…who is now officially 3 weeks….)

  13. Alyssa

    Best comment ever from a DR…yeah, good luck with that. Wonderful. I have an almost 2 year old little girl with a bossy type A big brother. This is going to get fun isn’t it.

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