Seb looked straight at me, a wicked twinkle in his eye. Without breaking the intense eye contact he had started, he slowly put one short leg up on the coffee table.
“Sebastian Thomas.” I said sternly, “I don’t want you to climb on the coffee table.”
With a smile that can only be described as devious (or mischevious if you’re being optimistic, which I am not), he calmly hoisted his whole body onto the table.
My frustration, which kept coming to nearly a boiling point despite my efforts to shove it back down, once again received a sharp reprimand as I gritted my teeth and pulled him off the table for the 5th time with a tense “I can’t let you do that, Sebastian.”
When 7pm finally dragged itself to the clock, Seb practically put himself in bed in his eagerness to put distance between himself and the day.
I stormed into our bedroom, flopped myself face down and began to rant for upwards of 10 minutes to Eric, who probably heard 23% of it because of the whole me- face- down -in -a- pillow situation.
“….and I’m supposed to be staying CALM when I set limits for behavior because he can tell when I’m being fake calm but it’s basically impossible to be ACTUALLY CALM!”
Eric nodded understandingly, and wisely refrained from telling me all that he had heard was “nowmna pooloama GAHHHHHH po ta.”
Feeling heard and utterly free to release all my feelings to such a supportive listener, I continued.
“….and not only is he probably trying to release tension and I’m being totally NOT understanding, but he also can probably feel the stress that we are unknowingly exuding!”
“Yeah,” Eric said, “but I’m going to be honest, I don’t feel sorry for him because we are trying to buy a car and it’s stressful. He’s ok, and you’re putting wayyyyy too much pressure on yourself.”
And maybe I am.
Maybe because, oh, I don’t know, overnight Sebastian has turned into a ball of toddler frustration that melts into puddles on the floor and screams “NOOOOOOOOOOOOO.”
I count the “no” part as my fault. Not because I say no constantly, although believe me, I do, but it’s more than that.
I, intentionally, play a song for him on YouTube called “No, No, No”
I know, the epitome of naivete; the pinnacle of a self-fulfilling prophecy. Even better than the title is the actual message of the video, which is that when Mommy wants you to do something, such as bathe, brush teeth, dress or go to bed, your response as a cute baby should be to yell “NO NO NO” and push her away, and then when cajoled into jealousy by your stuffed animals doing it, find that you actually do want to do it, proclaim an anticlimactic ‘WOW.'”
I know what you’re thinking, you’re wondering what kind of crazy person lets their 1-year-old watch something like that. Well, I’ll tell you who, someone who “for the LOVE of all things good and beautiful just wants you to sit in your high chair for 5 minutes and each 40 goldfish at 7:45 in the morning so that I can shower!!”
I told myself when I had kids, I wouldn’t be that stereotypical mom complaining about them and whining about how hard it was. So instead, I memorialize my lack of experience and parenting disasters with strangers online.
Tonight, after a long such day of biting and kicking and the throwing of one’s body onto the floor in utter displeasure (me), I decided at 6:15pm, post solo dinner and bath, pre-Daddy-getting-home-and-fixing-everything, that I needed to go to the store to get ingredients for Moscow Mules.
Unshowered, in yoga pants that I found on the wrong shelf, again (“Eric, how can you not tell the difference between my fancy-going out yoga pants, my gym yoga pants, and my trying- to- look- casual- but- not- too- casual yoga pants? IS THAT TOO MUCH TO ASK???”), and Seb in footy pajamas, looking dazed to be out in public so late, we made it to the store.
What a sight we must be, I couldn’t help but think. The picture of a struggling new mom, carrying a toddler in arm, brownies and mixed drink ingredients in the other. Am I being too obvious?
It shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone that I am sitting here, drinking my Moscow Mule, with no solutions, answers, energy, or will to clean.
Somehow, the inspiration to write always strikes right when it’s about that time to do the dishes. It’s the damndest thing.