A year ago I was in turmoil with this little person. And so I'm here now with the proof that 'this too shall pass' is the singular most valuable parenting phrase EVER COINED.
Sunday is nearly 4. She's grown like the proverbial weed (the latest spurt being 3 cm in 2 months!) - and not just physically.
There was a moment a few months back when I realised that every day there were moments of potential conflict (put on shoes, get out car, have a wee, eat your supper - all of these the very trenches of parenting warfare as you know), where I was holding my breath, braced for the inevitable mortar fire, and ... not getting it.
'Okay' she'd say, neatly stepping over my jaw (hanging on the floor in disbelief) and complying.
Steadily we've been able to untangle the complex knots of expectation, manipulation, exasperation and emotional damnation and just conduct our relationship like two normal family members. Or maybe it was just me who had to do that, she just ... grew up.
She's learned to laugh it off. She can handle some light teasing. She knows (quite expertly in fact) how to offer an alternative solution if the one at hand doesn't quite suit her. She strikes a mean bargain. She's irresistibly cute.
She is nearly 4. Life is sweet. I'm so glad she's growing, but could she stop growing? Because, ridiculously, as predicted by me, I miss my soft-cheeked babachoo too ...