He was just not having any of it. The car seat, the ride home, the getting out of the car, the getting into the crib. None of it.
I was going to win, of course. I’ve got 26 years on him and probably about 100 pounds….I know, you’re totally wondering what he weighs now, huh?
Anyways, it was a battle of the wills, but I knew better. He was just exhausted. Still, he fought long and hard, and while I may be a good 100 pounds heavier, I only have so much energy for a thrashing, kicking, screaming, mouth-foaming toddler.
I grabbed his “baby,” his “pat” (pacifier) and “blankie.” My, this child is high maintenance. I carried him out to the recliner and set about to rocking away his demons.
“shush, shush, shush.”
pat, pat, pat.
rock, rock, rock.
THRASH, SLAP, SPIT.
The faithful whine stopper, the “pat,” was spit out with a fury I could not match.
Why couldn’t he just let go? Suck the stinking pacifier, hold his baby, and snuggle into my bosom like the sweet little one he used to be?
I was about to give up–grab some chocolate chips–anything that would make him stop crying and fighting me. I have this weird thing where if a child whines or screams for too long my eyes pop out like Mr. Potato head. Funny, you’d think my ears would be the ones to go, but nope. My eyes fall out and all I see is red.
With one more attempt, I plopped the pacifier back in his mouth. Of course, he spit it out.
“I all done, Mama!” he wailed.
Just take the freaking pacifier, I muttered under my breath.
“I all done!”
No, you can’t be done with the pacifier. I know you’re almost two, but I need this. We need this.
I tried to shove it in again, for good measure.
“No! No pat! No PAT!!!”
“You’re all done with your pat?” I finally asked.
All of a sudden the fit was over. He relaxed in my arms and wiped his snotty nose on his sleeve.
“No pat. I all done bein’ naughty. I sorry, Mama.”
To say this took me by surprise would be a gross understatement.
A rosy, fuzzy, pink glow replaced the terrible vision of Scorsese red. Angels started singing somewhere behind my recliner. My eyes filled with tears.
He sat up, gave me a big, slobbery kiss and asked if we could watch Barney. I would’ve have lassoed the moon if only he had asked.
“Of course you can watch Barney, my baby! My sweet boy!”
We spent the next 40 minutes sitting together watching that purple dinosaur and those overly eager children sing about numbers and brushing their teeth. It didn’t matter that those kids bug the crap out of me and their songs get stuck in my head like gum in my hair. I didn’t care a whit.
No, he is most certainly not that cherub baby I used to know. The one who adored me, worshipped me with puppy eyes, and made me feel like a big cinnamon roll.
He’s a little boy. A wild, dirty, loud, adventurous little boy who has a will and a way of his own.
But no matter how difficult some days are, and how frazzled I am at the end of them, we’re doing something right.
I have to say, it took me by surprise and it was fabulous.