Sometimes I think she's going to go from preschool straight to prom.
She's already got the idea that I may not really be the all knowing, all powerful Oz I'd led her to believe me to be.
"Mom, that's just silly. Animals do not TALK."
"Mom we DO NOT have any Cocoa Puffs at home and we also need more milk."
But we've also entered into a rhelm much more frightening than merely willfully defiant. We've entered the third trimester zone.
Before this weekend her definance was easily -- if not always satisfactorily -- handled:
SOOOO sorry you don't want to get into the car seat right now, but oh, lookie here ... I'm three times your size. It really sucks, and I feel sad that all your railing and raging is for naught when I can just pick you up and put you where I need you to go.
But as I watched her run away from me in the supermarket, I realized for the first time I couldn't catch up. And then I couldn't FIND her despite oodles of other shoppers pointing in the direction she went as I waddled past them, sciatic nerve throbbing and noticably frazzled.
Minutes passed, and I wondered what I should do? Screaming? Going to the service desk for help? She's not going to know what to do when the loudspeaker announces "Annabel go to the service desk your mother is looking for you."
And then out of the stinky cheese aisle she comes -- smiling and happy to see me, as if I were the one who was missing.
"Oh there you are mommy. I was looking for you. Look what I found: seeds!"
I had already abandoned my basket of fruit and milk somewhere to lighten the load, and I picked her up, telling her IT WAS CERTAINLY NOT OK TO RUN AWAY FROM MOMMY LIKE THAT! NOT. OK. AT. ALL.
After explaining that she wouldn't be able to come with me to pick up groceries again until she stayed by my side or sat in a trolley, I made her put away the "seeds" and help me find the abanoned basket so we could pay and go home.
I'm pretty sure I handled it all wrong. That I should have taken her out of the store right then, dairy be damned.
I wasn't worried about abduction or people seeing me as an inattentive mother; I didn't care at all what anyone thought. I was worried she'd wandered into a backroom or into the parking lot.
I pictured her lying under an SUV or a stack of toppled boxes.
Of course, when I mentioned to her WHY I was worried and upset, I get this look and the phrase I will no doubt hear for the remainder of her tenure in our house:
"Maaaah ... that's just crazy-nuts."