A Tale of Two Mommies

…because more seems excessive…

Is It Nap Time Yet?

It began as a good morning, which any parent can tell you is a strong indication that shit is goin’ to get real and fast.  I was reading to my son on the sofa.  We were snoodled in tight.  It was lovely.  I had my feet up, and was bundled under the covers.  I almost forgot that my son is a toddler and predisposed to changes necessary of an exorcism, which would explain why he is so partial to the goat figurine from the farm animal collection my in-laws purchased.  One moment he was flipping through Llama Llama Red Pajama for the eighth time, and the next a colossal meltdown that I should have seen coming from my ample experience, yet chose to remain delusional until forced to see the error of my ways.

“Are you hungry?”  Little Man lumbers off the sofa in such a way that I imagine would have been the inspiration for The Blob.  Once firmly footed on the ground, he makes haste toward the fridge.  I know what you are thinking, “Easy enough, the kid knows what he wants,” but I’m here to tell you that you are a silly, silly person.  While in fact he is the holder of such information, my son thinks I enjoy puzzles amidst the soundtrack of shrieks and wails.  First he reaches for the large bottle of lemon juice, which practice has trained me to be quite deft in blocking such an effort…I was rewarded by louder cries of indignation…lovely…nothing helps a clear thought process more…

Then he just starts reaching for things I know he couldn’t possibly want before fixing his eyes on the leftover chili and pasta in his special blue plastic bowl…Well, it’s not quite ten in the morning, but okay.  I’m rewarded with the halted laughter of a wise choice.  I select a small plate to remove a portion of the bowl’s contents because I don’t quite trust this is what he wants to eat.  As I’m scooping a small mass he begins wailing in tones that must have called a congregation of dogs to sit on our front lawn.

He kept pointing to the chili but wouldn’t eat it, and I tried every manipulative tactic I could think of…nada…  I retreat and regroup while my son relentlessly screams in stomping fits, begging to be held; but I had been holding him, and he was still crying.  I hold him again and try to clean up.  Balancing the bowl in one hand, Little Man points…Maybe he wants to eat from the bowl?  Yup, I give him his monkey fork and he digs in…perfect…

Without issue he sits in his high chair, I place the bowl and fork in front of him, and affix a bib.  Little Man doesn’t waste a moment, but, of course, I’m dubious…it’s only a matter of time before it will be all over the floor…My son’s preferred dining surface…  Regardless, I’m very hungry and the meal of grits and beans I was in the process of preparing was in its final stages.  I walk back to the kitchen for a time span that would be endorsed by Star Trek travel, but it didn’t matter.  I heard the familiar splat…chili all over the floor and wall…awesome…  So, that phase is done.  I wash up Mr. Man…again, and lower him to the floor…again.

The howling recommences.  My food is ready, finding my rhythm among the noise to reserve a portion for the harpie doing everything vocally in his power to attract attention.  Then in a sudden truce that must be similar to the end of the Korean War, my son is silent, glued to my bowl of, now, lukewarm Midwestern charm.  I carry both bowls to the table like the pied piper.

He goes back into his high chair, this time with his special red bowl.  We both eat in comatose silence.  But, here is the rub with feeding my son grits:  the stuff is like sand.  I’ll be finding it up my nose, in my ears and nether regions a month from now.  Usually I try to limit the destruction by at least setting up his spoon, but, nope, Little Man is independent now and one step removed from joining the workforce and paying us rent.  He’s happily eating; food is all over him, but this time when he is finished, Little Man is ready to go off and play.  But, mark my words, it’s nap time soon and I plan to be extra careful on our stairs…

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