10 second rule


Happy Monday!

Picture this: Monday morning, 7:14am, I’ve already been up for over an hour. I am standing in my kitchen silently ignoring A as he has a meltdown because I put him in his highchair and took away the pot he was playing with. Yes, pots, bowls and measuring cups are his new favorite toys. But try feeding a child their breakfast with a stainless steel Paderno handle almost poking them in the eye. I took it from him, distracting him with blueberries but he wasn’t having it. He sits, clutching blueberries in his fists, making a mess all over his clean shirt, and he never once removes his eyes from the pot now sitting on my countertop. So while he’s crying and I’m pretending it isn’t happening, I walk to the fridge and reach for the full watermelon halve. As I pull it out, I drop it. Smashed watermelon everywhere, the juice is all over the floor and pieces of watermelon are stuck to my white cabinets. 7:17am. Great start to the day. I want to cry. They say ‘don’t cry over spilled milk’ but no one said anything about not crying over broken watermelon.

But I don’t cry, instead my thoughts are interrupted by an eruption of silly giggles that I know could only come from one place. A. And right then and there my day turned around.

That’s what it is like these days. In one second, A can be fighting his bum change and I am literally biting my tongue so I don’t curse at him (come on, you try wrestling with a strong 24 pound infant who refuses to lie down and not be tempted to add a few colorful words in there). Then, seconds later we are both rolling around on the floor together, him trying to bite my nose and me tickling his belly. Frustrations of seconds ago forgotten by both of us (for the moment, until he relieves himself again and needs a diaper change). Then, minutes later he is walking on his own for 10 steps and I am cheering him on and clapping so hard I develop welts on my palms.  Shortly afterwards, I am trying to get him to stop throwing his supper on the floor. Trying to teach him right from wrong. I watch him mimic me with toothbrushes, hair brushes and utensils. I hear him call anything with wheels “car car” and wonder how he figured these things out? In between all this I am saying ‘NO’ as he is opening the fridge or trying to take down the baby gate. There are tears that last seconds, because that is how long it takes to get distracted by something else that looks like a challenge.

Life these days is far from boring. A is into everything now. So much so that  I go from feeling like a mean mom for depriving him of things he can’t have for his own good, to feeling frustrated when he is throwing a tantrum over something stupid, then I feel guilty for feeling frustrated, then I am back to where I spend most of my time: happy.

At the end of the day, between the cycle of his smiles and occastional tears, A knows one thing: love. His little arms fit perfectly around my neck and whether it’s early in the morning or early evening, whether I am smiling at him, disciplining him or wiping his tears, that is where those little arms belong.

So what do you do when you break a watermelon on your kitchen floor? You pick up the pieces and carry on. After all, the 10 second rule does apply.

Hugs & Smiles



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