“HANDS OFF! LEAVE EACH OTHER ALONE! YOU GUYS, YOU HAVE TO RESPECT EACH OTHER’S PERSONAL SPACE!” I bellowed with my pinky finger a good 1/4 inch up your nose, Baby Boy. In the same breath I muttered, “stop squirming” as I continued to fish around in there for a booger with you pinned between my knees, determined to get this thing that was a doozy, I was sure. Big and green and would be oh so gratifying if I could only pull it out. Now this would be satisfaction!
Now, this would also be hypocrisy. Here I am preaching about personal space with my finger well up your nose. Sometimes I think it is wrong that we, as humans, aren’t able to recall back to these early toddler days, a time when the sight of the simplest things makes us happy. A Fed Ex truck. WHOA! BIG! (Complete with wide eyes and big sweeping arm motions, think “jazz hands”.) But then I think, maybe it’s better that you won’t remember me jamming my knuckle into the corner of your eye to swipe out a crust seconds before you walk into school so the teachers don’t think it is Pink Eye and turn us back around so I can still go to the gym. (Pilates starts at 9:30, no time to waste when I’m dropping you off.) (Priorities in order? Check!) I tell ya, nothing gets cream cheese off a cheek like a lick of a finger and good hard rub…
You can’t eat applesauce, yogurt and butter on a bagel, that’s gross, I say, as I take a bite into my sandwich of scrambled eggs, avocado and french dijon mustard. Because that’s not gross.
Up to the bath. Stinky tushies up to the bath, let’s go, march, march…as I’m going on my second day of no shower —maybe people will think I just went running, I am in gym clothes…
“She doesn’t want to wear the hat, Baby, you can’t get upset. That’s very nice that you brought your sister this too small Mets hat with pizza stains on it but it’s her choice if she doesn’t want to wear it. You can ask her, do you want to wear this hat?”–“This hat?”–“NO!”–“Say no thank you (because I am Emily Post)!”–“No thank you.”–“Okay, so you nicely asked her, and she politely said no, and that’s her right to do so. She has a choice. Everybody has a choice.”
“WE’RE NOT GOINT OUTSIDE RIGHT NOW, ARE YOU CRAZY? IT’S 8:30 IN THE MORNING! IT’S TOO EARLY AND TOO COLD. NO. NO! MOMMY SAID NO, AND YOU HAVE TO LISTEN TO MOMMMY!”
So much for choice, huh?
I’d say I’m like a dictator, but don’t people actually fear and listen to their dictator? I can’t see someone running up to Kim Jong-un from behind and, just for fun, punching him as hard as they can in his rear end before running away cackling to hide behind a curtain.
A-HAHAHA-HA-HA-HA! Man, that never gets old!
I do offer false promises like a dictator. We’ve been growing these sponge dinosaurs in cups for three weeks now. When we started soaking the eggs you were so excited, checking the back of the box, thinking we were actually going to grow dinosaurs and that they were going to get really big, as big as the ones we saw at the museum. BIIIGG! (Cue wide eyes and jazz hands.) When they were done “growing” I took one out and showed you, Baby Boy, thinking I was doing the right thing, holding it out in the palm of my hand. “Look, our dinosaur!” Well you went all Rainman on me. “NO! NO! BACK! NO TOUCH! MOMMY BACK! DINOSAUR GROW BIIIIGGGG!” So, these things will be on our kitchen island forever now. The water is a little funky and they are covered with bubbles (is this bad?). You check them every morning. You ask to see the back of the box…I just don’t have the heart to tell you this is it, buddy. My bad for promising you Jurassic Park.
The park got ridiculously cold last night. What the hell, Spring? I said aloud amongst a sea of children, then quickly edited, “what the heck?” “Come on, you guys,” I said taking your hands, “time to go, the park is closed.”
“NOOOOO!!!” came the wails.
“Yes, the park is closed.”
(It was 5:00 p.m.. The park was not closed.)
“Yes, the park is closed.”
(Does the park ever close?)
“Yes, I’m sorry. It’s closed. The man said it’s closed. We have to leave. The man said we have to leave because the park is closed.”
(Who is this man and why are we listening to him?)
As I dragged you off flailing and screaming, I tried another approach.
“Come on, you guys, let’s go get some warm drinks! Let’s go get some hot chocolates! Even better, let’s get hot toddies!”
“Hot toddy!” you cheered, Baby Girl, in this new floozy, Betty Boop-type voice you’ve adopted. (“Oooh, hi, boys! Nice caw!“)
“Hot toddy!” your brother cheered louder.
And we walked away from the playground, hand in hand, a mother not caring at all her two year old children were cheering for alcoholic beverages. Because sometimes you make well-thought-out decisions. Sometimes you don’t. Sometimes, it gets so damn cold in the park at 5:30 that you’re freezing your ass off, and you just want to go home.