Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Public Enemy #1

I think I am this said enemy. Everyone in my house dislikes me deeply tonight, and they are fairly confident that they could do well just fine without me. (I am hopeful that Robb would still be fond of me if he were in town.)

It's been a day. You know... one of those.

I took the boys to get haircuts today. Tucker was a total pro, as he so often is in that setting. Promise my son candy, and he's golden. With a lollipop in hand, he sat tall in his swivel chair, tilted his head in all the requested directions, and thanked the hair dresser every single time she turned the clippers off long enough for him to get a word in edgewise. Charmer.

Tyler? Not so much. He is still relatively new to this routine, so he's not quite sure he will survive. Based on his squirmy reaction, you would think the woman is trying to cut off his neck, one hair at a time. He fights the whole thing, squirming his little body in every direction. I sat in the chair, he sat in my lap, and I enticed him as well with a promised lollipop, if he would please just sit still long enough for her to cut a straight line along the base of his neck or the tops of his ears.

Tucker had to perform for his lollipop, but Tyler negotiated his before he would sit in the chair. (And so it goes with second born.) He sucked and sucked on the dum-dum, with drool pouring down his face, chin, neck, and lovely little cape from Fantastic Sam's... and thereby onto my arms and lap. Collectively, we were one very sticky mess.

He became so tense in the process that he bit right through the stick. Suddenly, he had a broken stick in his hand and a large piece of candy (with remaining stick) floating around in his mouth. Okay, stop the clippers. I need to perform a search and rescue mission before this choking hazard gets too far out of control.

I gave him a new lollipop, because the haircut was only half finished, and he would have no more of it without the distraction of sugar on a stick. Done.

We finally had to stop the haircut, even though there was more to be done. I'm not sure which concerned the hairdresser more: the risk of cutting his face with scissors as her moving target dodged all about, or the risk to her business with a little boy trotting around town with an incomplete haircut that she gave the stamp of approval.

I promised: I'll fix it. But he's done. And so am I.

I had to confiscate the second lollipop, when he chomped through that stick as well. But Tyler had no intention of relinquishing the prize, and my authority launched him into a full blown temper tantrum. Look out: screaming toddler in the building. Screaming. It was an Oscar winning performance.

But I will not be controlled by such behavior. I kept my cool, gave him a makeshift bath with wet wipes, and traipsed my crew home for lunch.

Honestly, the day continued in this fashion. The list is just one discouraging item after another, in all of which I am the mean mommy.

At naptime, Tucker was angry because I wouldn't let him jump on the bed. Simultaneously, Tyler was irate because he couldn't wear his shoes to bed.

At dinner, Tyler was angry because he didn't want me to cut his spaghetti noodles. But he doesn't know how to eat them otherwise. So he was also angry because he was hungry. During the same meal, Tucker was just angry. I don't really know why; it's hard to keep track.

After dinner, Tucker earned himself great consequences when he stood on the coffee table, ran from one end to the other and took a flying leap into my chair. Nope. Sorry. You'll have to do your Olympic training elsewhere.

I later actually said to Tyler, "You know, I just really don't like you very much right now."

My wise mom coached me through that one. "It's okay," she said. "He doesn't understand yet. You'll want to change that sentence by the time he's five. For now, it bounces right off. My own mother used to say she was going to give me back to the Indians." It's all relative.

They have scowled. They have growled. In every way they know how, they have wagged their fingers, shouted toddler obscenities, and yelled, "No, Mommy!"

It's been a delightful day.

They are in bed now, although I can still hear Tucker making that silly clicking sound in his throat which he has just discovered and is abundantly proud of. They will both fall to sleep soon...

and they will be sadly disappointed when they wake in the morning to learn that I still live here.

(Little do they know that I love nothing more than them. They are as big as I love.)


The Kennedy Krew said...

This too shall pass my friend!

Alli said...

This blog entry, right here, makes me smile. I love that you can put this experience into words. You have such great insight. They love you (even when you're the enemy). They are blessed that you are the person who will teach them life. And all the while, Trish, you are being taught life.

It's beautiful, really.

by Pat Burk said...

You are not the mean mommy -- you are the consistent mommy. It's all in your perspective. And they NEED the consistent mommy -- consistently firm (kind, but firm), not consistently wishy-washy!
And your friend, Alli, is right. They are so blessed to have you to teach them the Lord's life lessons. And you will be amazed, in retrospect, at what they have taught you.