Rage of angels
Mommy requests the honor of your presence at a debutante bawl honoring Little Guy. Black tie optional; ear plugs mandatory
The calendar says the actual event is weeks off, but the attitude says something entirely different. Just ask anyone who was in SaveMart Saturday morning. Yep, Little Guy has met the Terrible Twos.
Except for a few isolated storms -- the unfortunate airplane incident, for example -- Little Guy’s always been a pretty chilled dude. When he did fuss, it was for one of two reasons: Hungry or sleepy.
His tiny fits were endearing in a way. His chin would drop and his eyes would shoot a wounded look. His mouth would start quivering, and the face would crumble. “Waaaahhhhh!!!!” But not a waahhh without warning. You could always see it build.
Saturday, though, was quite a coming out party for acting out with little notice. I’ll accept half the blame – it was about an hour before his nap time, and we had an errand that couldn’t wait.
Mistake Number 1: Any errand that hits an hour before Little Guy’s nap time can bloody well wait.
So there we were, doodling around while Dad waited in line at the bank in the grocery store. Mild grumbling set in. Little Guy didn’t want to get in the cart, so I let him walk.
Mistake Number 2: Negotiating with Al-Qaeda is more productive than haggling with a toddler. Once you start, it’s not going to be long before they’re watching your decapitation on YouTube.
Then Big Guy spotted his favorite shopping cart, the one with a car attached to the front. Sadly, a car with only one seat.
Mistake Number 3: When there’s just one of something available, shoot it on sight. Call the National Guard, call SWAT. Whatever it takes, get rid of it.
I wrestled 25 pounds of twisting fury into the seat, promising Little Guy his turn at the wheel was coming. The wailing and flailing continued. Eyes shot me child-beater looks. I slunk back to the bank line and whimpered to my husband, “Do you really need me here?” “No!” the teller quickly replied. I couldn’t really hear over the screaming, but I think at least a dozen customers agreed with her.
Mistake Number 4: Letting Baby Jaws smell the blood in the water. The second he heard me whine, he moved in for the kill.
Emboldened by my panic, he writhed out of his seat belt and lunged out of the cart. I caught him before his head cracked the floor, and airplane-carried him while he continued to shriek. I think the teller was ready to offer my husband free checking and unlimited overdraft protection if we would just make the noise stop.
And then he got loose. Spun around for a few seconds then threw himself on the floor, legs pumping, fists banging.
Mistake Number 5: At times, it’s appropriate to looking around innocently and ask, “Who’s kid is that?”
I did the only thing I could do. I let it blow. I’ll probably never be allowed in that SaveMart again. Various strangers stopped by and tried to jolly him out of it, but when meltdown is achieved, there is nothing you can do but let it burn.
A few minutes – or was it a few hours? – later, he sniffed elegantly, righted himself, raised his arms and pleaded “Mommy, up!”
Copyright 2007 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.