Some of the behaviour we have seen from our daughter since she started school two weeks ago has brought back some dark memories of her toddlerhood.
The very morning I broadcast my love of school uniforms for making life so much easier, our daughter had an epic meltdown - about her school uniform.
I knew it was optimistic to think we were past it, but there's always that bit of you that just hopes the crazy behaviour you battled with for so long and hadn't seen for some time is really over. But, no.
People talk about the "Terrible Twos". Everyone knows about that. You expect some crazy then. But no one tells you five-year-olds can sometimes behave like two-year-olds. On meth.
It's so much worse when they're bigger because you know they know better, and it sort of takes you by surprise seeing this large toddler/small person throw themselves on the floor and start screaming: "But I can't be a pony today, and I want to be a pony!" (Actual quote).
"I'm sorry to tell you, honey, but you are not a pony. You can pretend to be a pony though, even when you're wearing a school uniform."
Wrong answer. Howling.
I frantically searched the room for something pony-ish but found nothing.
I don't know what was going through her head because we don't have a pony costume, so she was going to be pretending to be a pony whether she was in her school uniform or not.
You can't reason with them. They are always right.
It's as if school has refuelled her already feisty-spirit. The attitude! I was warned, so I was at least expecting it.
She now sticks her fingers in her ears and says "I'm not listening to you" when I say things she doesn't like. And the eye-rolling!
I try explaining things to her, such as how some words have "tricks" in them. The number two has a "w" hiding in it which doesn't sound like a "w".
"I knooow," she'll say, as if I'm stupid. You did bloody not!
A friend's daughter who started school this term has started having tantrums every day; throwing things and shouting. They have never seen her have a tantrum before.
Another friend had her daughter screaming the school yard down at goodbye time for weeks, until a sticker chart with a reward/bribe ended the drama. All for a cheap watch!
We're all freaking out over what's wrong with our kids and our parenting and we don't know what to do.
My advice to myself for now is this: Don't worry about it. If someone is screaming about not being a pony, or they're thrashing on the ground over apparently nothing at all, it doesn't call for you to be the one questioning yourself.
And who knows, maybe my girl's onto something. If all else fails, stick your fingers in your ears.