Oh, sure: summer is nice. Long days, bone-warming sunshine, delicious fruit, swimming, and popsicles. Delightful summer goodness.
But you’ll forgive me, I’m sure, for counting the days until both boys are in school. 29. If I make it through today.
Butter, our two-year-old, can now handle his own bathroom needs, and his running pronouncements that he’s on the way don’t mean I have to drop everything to help him avert disaster. I finish up my task, then join him for the end-of-task cleaning.
Further, Peanut, the six-year-old, is making frequent, concerted efforts not to beat the crap out of his younger sibling for toddler-esque transgressions.
And they have both adopted several new adorable phrases this summer.
In response to my request that they end play to do something dreadful like eat or go on an adventure, the toddler makes intense eye contact, furrows his brow, and shouts, “Mommy, I heeyo zhou! One moe mini!” So charming. He hears, he acknowledges, he wants another minute. Sure. Can’t wait until you try that on a teacher.
Peanut, the six-year-old, just rolls his eyes at anything I say. He sighs, “Oh, come on,” exasperated with my existence. Clearly I should reconsider my position after such a persuasive argument. I generally tickle him into submission and move on with my day.
He has been particularly moody and mercurial, though, acting out in wildly annoying and nasty ways. So I’ve sought help from my favorite internet and offline opediatric resources. Dr. Sears notes that an angry child is often a forlorn creature whose needs aren’t being met. Easy diagnosism, then: the older one is pissed because he gets very little attention. The younger child is still quite dependent.
But I try. I read a book to Peanut, with Butter whining and shrieking for attention. “Excuse me, but I’m reading to Peanut. This is important to him. When I’m done I’ll listen to what’s important to you.” Textbook response that honors both and should buy me a few minutes. Right?
Yes. Four minutes, to be precise, during which Butter went upstairs and ate a quarter of a tube of toothpaste.
Does fluoride poisoning cut down on sassy comments? If so we might come out ahead on that one.
I tried to give the big guy some soul-food attention the next day by planning and working on a science project with him. Butter made lots noise about needing company while he played, but I told him this was Peanut’s time, and that he could watch or wait to do something together with me in just a few minutes.
Mind you, the kid gets 13.75 of 14 hours a day. Peanut wanted fifteen minutes. Needed it.
So Butter got my stash of chocolate out of the freezer and gnawed happily on it. A lot. I found him standing on the stepstool, freezer door open, half a bar of Dagoba lavender chocolate gone. Quite tidy, for what that’s worth: no chocolate on his face at all. Mad skillz. Hard to criticize the waste of electricity, safety issue, and violation of chocolate privacy.
Yesterday, as I stood watching, the little guy figured out how to climb one of our backyard trees into his brother’s treehouse. Not with a ladder, y’all. We pulled that a year ago so the big guy could have some space just to himself and so the little guy wouldn’t be tempted. But yesterday Butter quickly scaled the tree branches into the treehouse. At age Two. In the giant outdoor playpen we call a backyard, into which I shoo both children each evening so I can make a lightning fast homemade meal.
He was very proud of himself. And yelled at me when I offered to help him down. So I watched and waited, and the second I turned my back he climbed back down and stood grinning, proclaiming, “Me need Mommy…no!”
So we’re looking at 29 days of freezer meals. I guess it’s a good thing Butter made room by demolishing my chocolate.