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Posts Tagged ‘ice cream’

Another bright shining mommy moment brought to you by your local mom who makes you feel better about your parenting:

me: (dropping my phone by my feet while driving and talking to L’s pediatrician) Damn!

L: Why you always say ‘damn’?

me: Um, I shouldn’t. It’s not a very nice word. It’s a grown up word and you shouldn’t say it though.

L: Then you should only say it at night when S and I are sleeping so we don’t hear it.

me: (sheepishly) You’re right.

L: You should say ‘fuck’ instead.

me: Er, actually, that’s really not a nice word either and no one should say it.

L: Yes it is a nice word! Fuck! Fucking! Fuck. What does fuck mean anyway?

me: (stammering) I really need to pull over to get my phone. Nothing. It means nothing. Want ice cream when we get home?

When I did finally retrieve the phone no one was on the other end. I have no idea how much was heard. I am an AWESOME mom.

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I’m looking forward to getting old, to a time when my memories of my kids’ younger years are clouded by nostalgia and become sepia toned. At that time, I will look at the pictures I took today and I’ll pull a memory out of thin air. One that feels real, matches the adorable photos, but is totally unrelated to what actually happened today. I will be the person telling others (my own kids perhaps!) to enjoy these years, because they grow up so quick. Snort!

So, back to reality. Let’s start with the photos. Adorable 3-year-old son seated at a sun-swathed picnic table. Green pastures dotted with cows behind him. On his face a huge grin, and a formidable chocolate ice cream goatee. That’s right, I took the kid out for ice cream. Kid heaven, right?

As always, with retrospect I recognize that the disaster that ensued was a result of my own mistakes. Instead of giving L a snack upon waking from his nap, I decided he could make it until we got ice cream. He was so excited! But, by the time we got there, his mood had deteriorated into hungry-3-year-old. If you’re not familiar with this, well, then you’re lucky. But if you are, then you know exactly what I’m talking about. A simple question like, “Do you want a cone or a cup?” sends the kid into a screaming tantrum. Feet stomping, face pouting, shouting demands to everyone (“Stop looking at me!!”).

I am mortified and apologize to everyone I see. I can feel the judgments in their minds. Of course he’s a spoiled brat, his mom is getting him ice cream while he behaves like THAT! and No kid of mine would get away with that kind of behavior! You get the point. One kind gentlemen took pity on me and offered to show L his “cool tractor” outside. Poor guy never saw it coming. L turned the full force of his fury on him screaming, “No! You get away from me! Don’t you talk to me! I don’t like you! I poop on your head!”

I know, I know, I should have taken him by the hand right then and there and left. But, that’s what I did earlier in the day when he behaved this way in gymnastics class. At some point, I actually have to follow through with a planned activity, don’t I? Also, this ice cream was a reward he earned. His jar of pom-poms was filled from his good behaviors all week. And I knew he was just hungry, which was my fault. So I got him the ice cream.

We go to the picnic table and he continues his tirade. He calls me a bad mom. That’s it. I yank the untouched ice cream out of his hand, take a bite, tell him its delicious, and head to the garbage can. This is really what he deserves. This is exactly what I should have done, but when I got to the garbage, I had a change of heart (stupid, stupid heart). I gave him back the ice cream with the threat that if he said one more obnoxious thing, I was going to throw it away. Empty threat. He knew it. I knew it.

His unpleasantness wore off about halfway through the ice cream, when enough food was in his stomach for it to send a signal to his brain to turn off the evil switch. This is when I got my pictures in. He had an enormous chocolate goatee and was so adorable (if you didn’t know him). When he finished eating we head back inside to wash his hands. Everyone inside swoons at his cuteness and he acts the part beautifully. I feel slightly redeemed. The redemption is fleeting.

In the bathroom, he tells me “I don’t have to poop.” This was unprompted, which means that he really has to go. Bad. I urge and plead with him to sit on the potty. No go. Finally I just force him. I pull down his pants and sit him up there. He thrashes, hitting, kicking, screaming. (Keep in mind, this whole time I have 7-month-old S in an ergo on my chest.) He refuses to poop. Defeated, we head out. As I’m paying for the pint of ice cream to take home, my L poops in his pants. This is SECONDS after leaving the bathroom.

Old age, come and get me! Let me pine for these days. Let me cry at L’s wedding and wish for just one second I could have my 3-year-old back. Let me tell my future daughter-in-law that my kids never behaved that way when she comes to visit with my rotten 3-year-old grand kids. I don’t care that I’ll be wrong. I want to love these days. I want to love this child. (Well, OK, I do love him, but I want to like him too! And not just when he’s sleeping.) This is why I take photos. The photos capture a moment that could have been, might have been, should have been, and one day, according to my failing mind, is what happened.
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