Catastrophic Atrocities and the End of the World as We Know It!
March 22, 2016
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A typical morning in the life of experiencing a toddler with the number of personalities that would make Sybil cower in shame. My little man is very sweet and loving so much of the time, but then there are moments, and they are moments, peppered throughout the day when all happiness grinds to a halt and ruination overcomes his beautiful face.
This morning he ate breakfast as he normally does…simultaneously shoving multiple chunks of strawberries in his mouth and grinning at me while making it rain cereal all over the floor. He eats what he eats and scampers off to play. I want to hurry us out the door, so the cereal explosion will wait until later. I bide my time until he is distracted before clearing his breakfast plate, but it seldom works. Mr. Man glances up and spies me covering the plate of remaining strawberries he proclaimed he no longer wants, as well as restoring his milk cup to the fridge. Well, apparently what actually happened is I kicked a puppy and urinated on a kitten because a screaming blur of two-year-old runs at me, tugging my shirt and pleading with me. If he had the vocabulary I’m sure he would be making the case that the milk should spoil and I should leave the pieces of strawberries on the table to turn into potpourri. But, it isn’t just that he is upset with my actions that is always astounding, but the instantaneous waterworks and abhorrence expressed so acutely on his face. If I returned the warming milk and fruit to the table, his devastation would immediately lift. Mind you, he wouldn’t return to the table to eat the food he fought so nobly to protect; he would resume his play that consisted of launching all of his toys across the rug as though he were an Athenian Olympian.
Over the course of an hour while I prepared snacks and such for our outing, my son intermittently played independently among sudden, more enduring tantrums that included launching plush and paper-based toys into our kitchen sink until I gave him the stink-eye stare down that I can’t believe worked, or him pulling on whatever appendage that was convenient before passionately slamming child proofed cabinets and attempting to dislodge the oven door from its frame. I’m not daft; I understand this behavior was prompted by justifiable grievances…like not allowing him to gnaw on the random cords in our pantry or suckle the assortment of brooms we have hanging in the very same closet. I completely understand that I’m a terrible, terrible Mommy for not permitting him to horde the glass jar of gefilte fish that we have no choice but to house on a refrigerator shelf he can easily reach. Even more evil is that I won’t hold him at that very moment because I’ve learned that his true desire is to scout the top of the island for stuff he can pull down, forcing me to lumber after him pregnant or not.
But, alas, he is a toddler. When I sit down for a moment he’ll cuddle me or try to cover my feet in my favorite soft, fuzzy socks. He loves little more than endless renditions of his current Dr. Seuss favorite or burrowing in the blanket I’m crocheting for his sister. It’s in those moments that I’ll happily oblige him…until I realize he’s soiled his diaper. During those very instances he perceives I’ve come to such a conclusion and dashes off in mischievous giggles, and the chase is on.