Too much of a good thing (my column for the Newspaper June 10th)

I can’t help but wonder what the most used word in the English dictionary is. In my house these days it seems like the word “again”. Of course my son only has a limited vocabulary and even though it is growing everyday, that is the word I seem to hear the most. Again. 

If I read Aiden a book, before I even finish reading the last sentence he says “again!” because he knows the end is near. We have a dance party in the kitchen and we are both out of breath from jumping, near collapsing on the floor and what does he say? AGAIN MOMMY! 

There are only so many times you can sing ‘If you’re happy and you know it’ before you start stomping your feet when you are supposed to be clapping your hands. It doesn’t matter to him as long as we sing the song again. 

I love that he has so much fun and I don’t blame him for wanting to do things that he enjoys over and over again, but I can’t always give in. I can’t spend 8 hours at the park so he can go down the slide. I only let him watch 5 minutes of his educational videos on the computer and every single time one video ends, he starts in like a broken record. Again. Again. Again. Again. 

Imagine how fun it is for me when I tell him no, the shows are over. Being two years old, he doesn’t always respond kindly to the word no, so I brace myself for the tantrum that usually follows.

He responds even less kindly when we are outside playing and I tell him it is time to go inside. It doesn’t matter if we were outside for 20 minutes or 3 hours, the smile on his face is quickly replaced by clenched fists and tears. In his mind, mean Mommy is taking him away from all the fun! I don’t blame him, I’d be mad at me too. It’s too bad mean Mommy just wants to feed him supper. 

Recently, we brought Aiden to the annual Police Meet and Greet held here in our town. Aiden loves police cars and trucks. He was in his glee when he got to sit in a police car,  helicopter, on a motorcycle and see the police dogs. We took some pictures, had a hotdog, and then it was time to go. 

I was saying a prayer under my breath that he wouldn’t cause a scene. I knew he could out scream any of those car sirens any day. Surprisingly, as we walked away he wasn’t saying “again” over and over. There were no tears. This time, the smile didn’t get replaced. In fact, it never left his face. I was the one who wanted to turn around and go back, just so he could do it all again. 

It’s not Aiden saying the word ”again” that makes me sing the same song 8 times. We don’t walk around the block an extra time because of it either. It’s because I know in a few short years he won’t get this much joy from such simple things. And I’ll be the one reminiscing about these days, wishing we could relive all these moments…….again and again.