I blame the teeth. It’s those darn 2-year molars. It has to be. I recognize that my 2 ½ -year-old is going through the developmental stage of autonomy (also known as the “I do it myself” phase), which lends itself to frequent tantrums when others (namely me) try to usurp her independence for the sake of saving time. I try to build an extra half hour into our morning routine to allow for the time it takes for her to choose her own mismatched outfit, “brush” her own teeth, fight with me about my desire to finish brushing her teeth, attempt to put on her shoes, get really angry when she can’t do it herself, come crying to me to help her, and then freak out because I end up being the one to finally get her shoes on her feet. Somehow, that half hour is seldom enough. We are late most days, often because I make the mistake of putting her in the carseat when she can clearly do this herself. I also recognize that even on a good day she has a really bad temper. Despite all of this, I cannot figure out why my ordinarily funny and good-natured girl has turned into a beast on most days. The only thing that makes sense to me is the teeth. This is the child that keeps us in stitches with her antics. She usually takes great pleasure in making us laugh, but lately, not so much. That’s why I have to cling to the one funny story from this week. It started out not-so-funny. I was talking on the phone with my sister when my darling girl began her 37th tantrum of the day. Generally, I walk away from her when she begins her tirades, and generally, she follows me, complaining loudly. I was explaining this routine to my sister, and I was just commenting that it was strange that she was not following me. That’s when I heard it. The crying that had been coming from the floor below me was now coming in loud and clear…over the intercom. For some reason, my girl decided it would be easier (???) to go in the bathroom, get the step-stool, carry it into the other room, and continue her tantrum over the intercom the previous owners of our home so kindly installed. After a long, long day dealing with drama after drama from my youngest, I really needed this moment of humor. I guess she can be funny even when she’s in beast mode.