Emotional Outbursts are We – A Grammatically Correct Place Where a Kid Can Throw a Fit.
Things have been sort of climactic at our house lately. Everything is high drama. Both kids are going through a bit of a manic depressive stage. Either they’re twirling pirouettes joyfully around the house or they’re bawling their brains out. Magoo is especially bad because we’re trying to wean him off naps.
If he gets a nap, then he stays up all night with eyes as big as saucers. Blink. Blink. Grin. Giggle.
If we skip the nap, then he’s an absolute, fall-on-his-face-with-his-open-mouth-wailing, can’t-see-for-the-river-of-tears-blinding-his-eyes, mess. The slightest thing will make him bawl to an extent no one should ever bawl whose life is as charmed as his or whose cheeks are as luscious. If my cheeks were that rosy and edible, I would probably never cry again.
So a couple of nights ago I asked Laylee to set the table. We keep all our kid dishes in low drawers so they can get food and drinks for themselves while Dan and I sip sodas and watch YouTube videos of dancing cats.
Laylee very obediently and somewhat maliciously went about doing this chore as quickly as humanly possible. You see, she knows that Magoo likes to pick his own dishes at meal time, especially at dinner time, a time when he has been awake well past his ticking-time-bomb-of-a-brain’s point of no return. I watched her at work and thought, “NOT THE BLUE WIRE! CLIP THE RED!” Perhaps she was still disappointed that the police broke up our little fireworks soiree on New Year’s Eve and she wanted to see some toddleric pyrotechnics instead. Sadly I doubt she was moving that fast simply to do a good job. You could tell by the look on her face and the way she glanced over at Little Buddy that she was clipping the blue wire on purpose.
And he ERUPTED! “I wanted to pick my own plate. Don’t EVER EVER EVER pick my plate Laylee. EVER!”
“Sorry bud. You’re too late,” she said matter-of-factly.
“BUT I DON’T W-W-W-WANT THAT PLATE. I WANT TO PICK MY OWN PLATE.”
At this point I had already dished up his food and did not relish the thought of dirtying another dish. Magoo sat in front of the drawer sobbing as if his broken heart had fallen in a Humpty-Dumpty-like tragedy and the pieces would never be put together again.
The sobbing and the pleading, the sorrow and the lack of pity went on for quite some time until Dan stepped in with a brilliant idea.
“Here,” Dan said. “You wanna pick your plate? Fine. Pick your plate.”
He then carried the dish full of food over to the drawer, put it inside and closed it.
“Okay Magoo. Pick your plate.” Magoo opened the drawer, lifted the dish full of food, slid another plate from under it, sniffling all the while, and carried it pathetically to the table. His dinner remained shut in the bottom drawer.
Sometimes my greatest parenting triumphs involve not laughing at my children in their darkest hours. In their moments of greatest heartbreak, I often find my most fulfilling parental hilarity. It may be cruel but it’s the Way of Things.
As Magoo went to sit snifflingly up to the table, Dan reminded him to wash his hands and said he’d dish up for him while he was in the bathroom.
While Magoo’s hands were all a-lather, Dan quietly pulled the loaded plate from the drawer and switched it out with the nearly identical plate Magoo had so pathetilovingly chosen for himself.
And he didn’t notice. And I decided that maybe we could do just one or two more naps. Per week. For the next few years.