Thursday, May 7, 2009

An evening with a cantankerous 3 year old...

So. Yesterday was just one of those evenings. You know, *those* evenings, whereby everything take on an air of pure excruciation, while in the background, your 3 year old is sobbing. Or whining. Perpetually. As I wrapped things up at work, I was tuckered, but excited to watch Lost and read more of my Amish book. I'm hip deep in shunnings and Pennsylvania Dutch, and I'm loving it.

I get home, and Mike is all excited to talk to me. He visited a special Verizon FIOS tent on our street during the day, and signed us up for FIOS tv. We're happy about this because we can bundle our land line with our tv programming, and save a bunch of money each month. So, Mike calls Dish Network to cancel our service, effective next Wednesday, the day after FIOS will be installed. Naturally, they offered to lower the cost of our programming (we should have threatened to do this last year...) but the bundling makes Verizon the way to go for us. As we're talking, Hank rushes in to demand my attention and simultaneously burst into tears. He's *beyond* exhausted from getting up in the night the night before and throwing a temper tantrum at 5 am. I attempt a soothe. He demands food. I haven't even put my work bag down on the counter yet, let alone start dinner. I get him a slice of cheese and escort him into the living room to watch Noggin for a few minutes so that I can prepare dinner.

I grab the remote and attempt to turn on the satellite. Nothin. Apparently, Dish Network cancelled our service henceforth immediately, cutting Hank off from Wow Wow Wubbzy. Hank's eyes grow huge, and he gasps "but Mommy, Wubbzy!" As Mike utters a swear word, and goes off to call Dish Network *again*, Hank stumbles backward, his beloved bear, Teddy, clutched in his arms. Down he and Teddy go, right on top of the log house he and Mike just constructed with Lincoln Logs, crushing the entire structure.

*DRAMATIC BURST INTO TEARS* "My HOUSE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WWWWWAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!" As you can see, this evening was off to a roaring start. I pick Hank and Teddy up and settle them on the couch with the slice of cheese and some juice, finding a Curious George DVD to stop the tears. Sniffling is still ongoing when I head back to the kitchen, but the sobs have subsided. Mike fixes things with Dish Network. I fix a quick dinner of whole grain pasta with olive oil and vegetables. We fill the plates with food, and my backside has barely touched my chair when Hank announces "I have to go potty." *sighs* "Do you want Daddy to take you, honey?" *please God...* "No. Mommy take me. I have to go poo."

At this point, it's only fair to warn that images of human waste elimination will follow. If you want to stop reading at this juncture, I completely understand.

So, I troop with Hank (and Teddy, who is subjected to watch the entire proceedings from a perch on the radiator) back to the bathroom and get him settled. Much procrastination and cajoling commence. I eventually trade places with Mike, and during his turn, success occurs. Much praise follows. Hank waddles back to the dinner table, clearly walking funny. "Honey, do you have to go more potty?" "NO. I already went potty." The child is convinced that the instant one...we'll just delicately say "item," leaves his body, he's done his duty and potty is ALL DONE. He sits and plays with his pasta until I threaten that no dessert will follow unless he eats his dinner. He takes 15 full minutes to force down 4 pieces of penne and declares this a success. After some more negotiation, we leave for a walk, Hank clutching half a cookie.

Following our walk, during which time Hank whined in a high-pitched voice annoying enough to make me daydream of bedtime (and frankly, duct tape. It's only a daydream, not reality...:), we got back home and started a bath for him. We have our roles in this process clearly delineated. Mike starts the water while I handle undressing duty. Then Mike lathers and washes, while I tackle drying and jammie put-on. I'm putting Hank's shirt in the dirty clothes bin as he shimmes out of his pants and Spider Man undershorts. "Mommy, there's poo in there!" I delude myself into hoping that he was kidding, and innocently take the dirty clothes from him. Yep, there *was* poo in there. And putting them into the dirty clothes bin that way would then put poo on all of our clothes. I sigh, grab a wet wipe, and do my duty. Now, *I* stink too. As I'm wallowing in my misery, stinky underpants in one hand, and nasty wet wipe in the other, Mike comes in to check on us. At precisely the same moment, our son, buck naked save for a pair of crew socks, bends over his train track. Before I can react, Mike does. "Oh my GOD!! Get another wipe!!!!" Yep, there was poo in *there* too.

Since I already clearly had my hands full, Mike took on that wiping duty. Hank was quickly ushered off to the bath, where he whined and drove Mike crazy. Due to non-cooperation, he was extracted from the water without being permitted to play with his toy shaving kit, and was deposited in his hooded towel, sobbing, for me to dry and dress. "No Mommy, I NO WANT to put my jammies on!! NO NO NO!!"

After stuffing damp limbs into puppy dog sleeves and pants, I was more then ready for an evening drink. We played Batman and Robinn until it was mercifully time for bed. Settling in with a cup of tea and The Brethren, I breathed a sigh of relief that the relaxing time of day was upon me. Of course, within 60 minutes I was completely exhausted and ready for sleep, about to start the cycle all over again...

But that's not a complaint. I have a GOOD life. A happy one. And tonight Hank and I are slated to cuddle and watch Dora Saves the Mermaids while Mike is in class. It's not easy being a parent, but it's so, so worth it.

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