Thursday, January 19, 2012

Da Mean In Your Eyes

Over the weekend, Mo skipped a nap. This was a first for him, for the most part. He fell asleep for about 6 minutes in the car, was carried to bed, and woke to use the potty a few minutes later. His little toddler brain decided that constituted a nap, and he couldn't be convinced otherwise.

With Luca and Darrick asleep, Mo and I prepped dinner for the crockpot and settled in to a snack and a movie under the blanket on the couch. It was sweet, for sure, but not nearly as sweet as a nap would have been.

And here's how I know the kids still needs to nap:

A few hours later, we made a Home Depot run, and somewhere between the home appliances and the bath fixtures, my patience ran thin. The entire time we'd been there had been spent with me trying to curb his impulsive two year old behaviors, which include but were not limited to touching everything in sight, running in the store, and intermittent hyper screeches the likes of which only little kids can manage. I must have asked him to 'use walking feet' and 'keep your hands by you' and 'hang in there because we're almost done' a quatrillion times, and here's where I acknowledge that as his parents we should have recognized imminent meltdown and removed him from the situation. But I had Just One More Thing to find, and meanwhile Darrick took a detour to the far other end of the store. Just as we passed the fridges and washing machines, I knew we were in trouble. Despite the fact he knows the rules, he ran over to a front-loader, opened the door, and attempted to fold himself inside.

I intervened before his foot had cleared the opening and, in my best patient-mommy-suffering-the-kid's-madness moment, bent to his level and said in a calm voice, "Sweetie, we need to keep moving and stop touching things. We're almost done."

As I stood and took a step away, he looked up at me and said, "I'm sick of you, Mommy!"

::deep breath::

Let me just say, I've been here before. During one particularly stressful night with Luca nearly a year ago that had me convinced that all other parents are assholes for not telling you that 3 is really worse than 2, Luca said the exact same words to me. Being new to this kind of thing, I had scolded her and put her in time out to cool us both down. A few minutes later, I went over and asked her to explain to me why she said that. It took a while, but eventually it came out that it was a phrase she had heard before. When I dug deeper, I suddenly became aware that she had no idea what she was saying. "What does that mean, Luca? Do you know?" I had asked. "Yes. It means...I'm sick. Like I my nosy is all sneezy for you?"

Right. Toddler = literal. Sick of you = my nose is sneezy for you.

So I didn't flip. Oh, I know that old couple who was lingering near and evesdropping was probably waiting for me to throw him over a knee and give him something to cry about for such blasphemy and talking back. But I knew he didn't know what it meant, so I reattaced my invisible Mother Perfect tiara, and, ignoring the words I knew he didn't really 'get', bent to his level once more. By now he was in a sample kitchen, sort of peering at me with a resolute disapproval that told me he was pissed at life in general.

"Rohan," I said while gently putting a hand on his arm to get him to look at me, "I know you're tired - - -"

And here he cut me off with an "OWWWWWWWWWWWW!" that echoed through the entire store, and a glare at my hand on his arm. Which is where I sort of dropped that Mother Perfect tiara and lost my patience with this whole bit because there was no way I was hurting him. I mean, I couldn't have killed an ant with the amount of pressure I was(n't) applying.

"Look, buddy, I know you're tired but you CANNOT act like this. You need to say sorry for using mean words with mommy." I said more sternly. Because, you know, NOW he was going to know I was serious.

"Sowwy!" he stubbornly mocked my request.

I decided this wasn't the time, nor the place, to work a proper sorry out of him, so I stood and started to walk again.

"Mommy," he said, stopping in his tracks. And for a brief and incredibly naive second I almost thought I was going to get a legitimate apology.

Instead, he raised his hands so they were by his eyes and, with his best jazz hands, informed me bitterly, "When you say dat, you got da mean in your eyes!"


Anonymous said...

I LOVE this story. Not because I'm glad you went through it, but I can relate so much I can't stop laughing. You're such a great Mommy!~Tiffany

Brandi said...

Ahhh, I know too well the "mean in the eyes". Ive actually found myself gritting my teeth lately when I feel the mean welling up. Then my mind takes me back to the hypnobirthing cd's I listened to when I was pregnant w/Tyler and remember to soften my jaw and roll with the emotion rather than trying to suppress it. Motherhood is a long test of mind over body, isn't it?!!


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