Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Modern-day Motherhood

Oh. My. Word.

The terrible two's are upon me and he's not even two!

This morning I had to go to the Kaiser Permanente clinic for a blood draw. Before I left the house, I called John to ask where he put the stroller. The answer?

In his car trunk.

In Downtown Denver.

Am I gonna drive all the way down there?

Nuh-uh!

Well, Kyle's walking pretty good. Those legs aren't painted on...

At the clinic we get out of the car and head across the parking lot. The little body hit's the asphalt with a thump. I grab a wrist. "Get up. You need to walk."

"No." Kyle says, punctuating his one-word sentence with a thumb plug.

I pull, he pulls back. Tries to lay down. I circle like a vulture over dead meat. We're in a parking lot. Cars drive along this path. I pick up the child. "Mommy's carrying you because you can't sit in a parking lot. It's not safe. When we're in the building, you will walk like a big boy."

The sliding glass door close behind me. I stand Kyle on his feet and take his tiny hand. "No!" he yells.

I notice we are near the waiting area for the pediatrician's office. "We're here for Mommy. Mommy is getting her blood drawn, not Kyle."

He pops the thumb in his mouth, looks up at me and grins.

Grins!

In a second, I'm behind him, lifting him up by both wrists. "Walk. Now." He thrashes, he cries out, "No!" The lab is the next waiting area down. Only about thirty feet away. I let go and walk to the check-in desk. Kyle sits on the floor, sucking his thumb and looking around. Old ladies in walkers shuffle by chatting it up. He blows kisses to them. I check in and sit down, pretending to read. Kyle stands and takes a step forward.

"Looks like he's gonna come, " another vampire victim comments.

Just as I start to think my ploy of ignoring him is working, he toddles to a table and rifles through the magazines. For a moment, he turns his head and shoots me a brilliant smile. My blood starts to bubble. I hope the phlebotomist doesn't get burned.

I'm called in. Kyle is toodleng around the pediatric waiting area. I'm forced to get him. As I approach, he raises his arms. "Up. Up."

A few onces lighter, he and I walk out to the car. He walks like a big boy. But...

I have one more stop to make. I have to go to Ulta and buy some conditioner and make-up. They don't have carts.

I head off the parking lot fight by carrying him into the store. I put him down and he follows me to the Bare Minerals aisle. Lots of eyeshadow choices along with little test containers line the shelves. Little test containers + little hands = disaster.

Kyle grabs three or four eyeshadow powder thingies and shakes them. Drops them on the floor. I grab his hands and squeeze. "Look, don't touch." The power of temptation is too much for the toddler mind. He rakes them off the shelf. I grab a kit of neutral colors and haul baby. Sometimes the best course of action is removal.

Baby doesn't want to be hauled. I still need conditioner. I drag him, kicking and screaming across the store. (I saw a mother doing this at Kaiser when her toddler son was called back to see the pediatrician. It worked. Sort of.)

His screams echoed off the bottles of hair dye. The conditioner was in sight. I let go of him, and scoot down the aisle. Kyle engages in thumb therapy and grins. He totally thinks he won!

Laiden with eyeshadow, hair conditioner and a bottle of glaze, I attempt to travel toward the check-out counter. Kyle wandered near me, running this hands through a box of Burt's Bee's lip glosses. I take his hand. It's full of lip-gloss tubes. "Put that back. Mommy doesn't need lip-gloss." He shakes his head. I set my unpurchased products on the floor. I have to peel Radiant Red and Buff out of his fingers. He sits. He screams. He even swats at me. People stare.

I run my fingers through my hair. What would my mom do? Smack my butt, that's what she did. I look at Kyle. A gray-haired woman stands near-by, hand poised over the cell phone attached to her purse strap. If I tried to discipline Kyle, she'd probably call the police. Social services would come. They'd take Kyle away, and we'd never be able to adopt another child.

Reasoning with a toddler is like asking Osama Bin Lauden to emcee the March of Dimes charity drive.

Getting out of the store and into the car was pretty much the same scenario as above.

I told Kyle I was disappointed in his behavior. I wasn't happy he disobeyed me. He's way too young for the "Wait 'till we get home!" tactic.

What's a mother to do today in a society where a tiny smack could make you do the jail house rock? Kyle knew my hands were tied. He doesn't behave this way at home. For now, I'm not going anywhere w/o the stroller. But I still need a strategy for defiance in public. Stripes make me look fat.

1 comment:

Papa Joe said...

There are some techniques. If you have the What To Expect the Toddler Years it talks about some of the tricks. Mostly... don't let your child get your goat. Allow them their own embarrassment. Most mommies that see you have already been through it and understand your predicament.

That said... boo is also flirting with the terrible two's already, too.

Just remember... he can read your mood and response to his actions, so rise above him pushing your buttons. Recognize that he is trying to push them but make sure he knows you know what he's trying to do and that you won't succumb to it. He can only stay in the two's for so long before he'll realize it's not worth it.