For the first time in over a week I slept an entire night without being awakened by kids experiencing and requiring immediate attention for the following: coughing, hunger, nightmares, thirst, loss of covers, anger, loss of Bear, earache, loss of string from blanket, bed-wetting, throwing up, congestion. I embraced it by hitting the snooze so many times that my alarm finally gave up because it had better things to do than waste time on a hopeless cause.
So it was quite late by the time I heard Alex crying from his bed. “I’m hung-ree! I want CHEESE. I want cheese at the table.” At least there was no ambiguity there. I groggily walked him over to the kitchen, sliced some Colby Jack cheese onto a paper plate, put it on the table and was thanked with, “NOT THAT KIND OF PLATE!!!” I thought 6:50 am before I’ve had a shower was not the time to take a stand, so I got him a plate that met his expectations. Looking back, maybe I should have heeded the warning signs and held my ground from the outset. Instead things festered like an open wound and I ended up going down in a blaze of glory like Davy Crockett and Jim Bowie at the Alamo.
An aside, Justin was an absolute prince this morning. He got dressed by himself (after begging for and getting a piece of gum) and had his coat, hat and shoes put on before my hair was even dry. And he ate three helpings of broccoli for dinner last night!
Alex decided he did not want to get dressed. Several half-hearted attempts were made during the course of the morning and I eventually realized that we would need to take him by force. Barry started the van, I got everything ready to go, Justin was ready, I put on my boots and coat and set out to storm the beaches.
I changed his diaper with only minimal kicks to my legs. Pants were another story. As soon as I got one leg in he squirmed out of it as I tried to put in the other leg.
“I don’t wanna get dressed!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
He contorted his body into positions that would cause an Olympic gymnast to marvel. By this time the zipper of my coat had undone itself from the bottom up and I was working up a sweat even though the outside temp could not have been more than 5 degrees. Barry and I joined forces and I held his arms while Barry managed to pull on the pants. Socks and shoes were out of the question. I thought a shirt would be in the realm of possibility, but again, he moved his arms so quickly that there was nothing I could do. Given the fact that two adults, including Barry, who has lifted weights since the age of 15 could not subdue this 2 year-old in the middle of his Tasmanian Devil dervish, I took drastic action.
I decided to haul him out to the van as is. I scooped up his clothes, his coat, and his shoes, and carried him like a football, shirtless, outside. I buckled him in, threw his coat on top of him and off we went.
It took about 10 seconds for him to squirm out of his seatbelt and come stand behind me while I was driving.
“STOP DRIVING TO KAREN’S!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”
He tried to grab at the gearshift, I ignored him while he continued to scream in my ear. I worried that someone was going to see this nonsense and report me to the sheriff. “A crazy woman and a half-naked toddler are wrestling for control of a mini-van on Powers Boulevard!”
Once we got to the house of Karen, my babysitter, Alex, who by this time had copious amounts of snot bubbles dripping from his nose, decided he wanted his shirt on. Karen must have seen this insanity through her window because she came out to assist and swoop in with a tissue.
I’m sure he got a nice long time-out at her house. I didn’t stick around to find out.
Of course the morning wouldn’t be complete without at least one more hitch. In midst of the chaos, I left my laptop at home. Thankfully I remembered that before I got halfway to the office. That was the one thing that went right.
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2010