It seems to me that for the past few days, Kenny has been working hard to stretch his little wings towards supreme rascal-hood. If I say go, he stops. If I say come here, he runs in the other direction. 90% of his antics are accompanied by giggles and mischievous looks, but the other 10% are marred by ear-splitting whining and crocodile tears.
Forget to let him put his own sippy cup lid on? Encounter migraine-inducing shrieks of manufactured agony. Try to change a poopy diaper? Spend twenty minutes trying to tackle him to a flat surface. Speaking of poopy diapers…
I decided to take the advice of so many of you, and I’ve given potty training a 30-day hiatus. This is week 2 of no potty encouragement, or even suggestion, on my part, though he asked asked to use it a few times. But today when I was getting him dressed, he managed to slip out of my hands, completely nude, and charged into my room. Where he promptly pee’d in the corner. Then he ran back into his room, where I still sat unawares, and crowed, “I pee-pee’d on the carpet, Mama!” I was none too happy, but what exactly is the appropriate response? It was obviously deliberate. Should I have punished him in some way? I took him in there to show me and as I cleaned it up, told him that he was never to pee on the carpet on purpose, that that was a mean thing to do and very disobedient. He managed to look marginally chastened, but not too impressed by my rational and calm approach.
Hours later, though, calm and rational I was not, as the pregnancy hormones hit their pre-lunch peak. We had just come in from outside, where workers were finishing up our new sidewalk, and, in the drizzle, churning up mass quantities of mud. As we walked from the garage to the house, Kenny spied one of his footballs in a muddy puddle. He ran over, grabbed it, and asked if I would take it inside and wash it for him. I said, “Sure, we can take it inside. But listen, as soon as we got into the door, we are going to take off our muddy shoes before we walk inside. And hold on tight to your football until we get into the kitchen to wash it, ok?” “Ok, Mama!” he yelled, then bolted into the door like a streak of lightening, muddy shoes tracking grime on the carpet, and hurled the filthy football as hard as he could across the room, where it bounced off the coffee table and rolled under the couch.
Am I really here?
I must confess that my vocal-timbre was less than nurturing, as I yelled, “Kenny! Stop! What are you doing! Get back here right now!” He stopped, turned to face me, then dragged his feet in exaggerated sorrow back to the doorstep. It was at this point that I sincerely wanted nothing more than to make myself a milkshake and plop in front of the TV and ignore the two-year-old dervish I was responsible for.
Ah, but what is a mommy to do when minutes later he wraps his spindly arms around my leg and whispers, “I love you, Mama.”