In the past month or so, Anna has unveiled an alter-ego that she calls “Real Anna.” I’m not sure how she sorts this out in her own mind, but basically she’s “Anna” and “Real Anna” is elsewhere. Sometimes Real Anna is causing problems, sometimes she’s napping, usually (according to Anna) she’s on the roof.

The way Tom and I see it, Real Anna is an excuse. Anna tosses a grenade and walks away shrugging her shoulders because…must have been Real Anna!

Anna has been tossing a lot of grenades lately. Tantrums, meltdowns, call it whatever you want.

The truth is, Anna is smack-dab in the middle of being three. She’s not quite a toddler, and not quite a kid. She isn’t quite ready for the freedom that her siblings have, but she’s old enough to know the difference. Plus, no one can understand what she’s saying. If someone couldn’t tell the difference between you asking for Goldfish, yogurt, or healthcare reform, then you might throw your body on the ground, too.

Actually, that’s not necessarily what I would do. I might slow down, say the word again, maybe give some context clues. That’s probably what Anna would do, too. But Real Anna? There’s no predicting what Real Anna will do.

The other VERY REAL problem is that Anna has stopped napping, and she still very much needs a nap. So every day when 5 p.m. rolls around, she starts screaming for dinner and, when her plate is before, she shouts,  “GET THIS AWAY FROM ME!!”

Real Anna. It’s a wild ride.

Her worst time of day, though, is first thing in the morning. Real Anna comes downstairs and she is not even a little bit interested in your “Good morning” because her low blood sugar has transformed her into the Incredible Hulk.

All by  herself, she carries a chair over to the stove. Sometimes the chair, which is at least double her height and weight, knocks her off balance and they both — chair and all —  topple to the ground. “Are you ok? Do you need help?” I ask my sweet little Anna.

She growls at me from under the chair, “I DO NOT NEED HELP! I CAN DO IT!”

And you know what? She can do it. And she does.

She scoots that chair to the stove and orders me to crack three eggs in a pan for her to stir.

She eats those three scrambled eggs for breakfast every morning, and with every bite, her Incredible-Hulk muscles shrink back to three year old softness. Her green skin pales to reveal the cherub I know and love.

This one, I understand. I’m rage-hungry in the morning, too. I stomp and growl my way to the kitchen and how rude of you to ask how I slept last night.

It’s not our fault that no one left a croissant and bowl of strawberries by our bedside. Maybe it’s not your fault either, but someone’s gotta pay.




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