I have learned a lot from my 4 year old lately. I now know that you can ask for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but if you put anything but butter on it, you’ve made it wrong. You may say you are done with your supper, but the second it is thrown in the garbage you will scream and cry that you want it back because although you made it perfectly clear that you were done, you weren’t.
I have also learned that broom colors matter. Apparently they do to my child. Six weeks ago, maybe more, I bought a new broom. It’s blue. Its bristles are not dirty and misshaped. Its brand spanking new, straight from the store that steals our paycheques, Wal-Mart. Anyways, for some reason Aiden didn’t notice my new broom until a month after I bought it. It happened to be the same day his younger brother was very sick, fighting a fever of 104 degrees and refusing to eat or drink. Aiden noticed the blue broom and asked where the old red one was. My response? “In the garbage”. If I had known what his response was going to be I would have painted the damn broom red to avoid the hurricane that was about to hit. He freaked. He had a full on tantrum. One of the dramatic, fall to the floors, limbs flailing about tantrums. Snots and drool everywhere. Are you kidding me? Are you KIDDING ME? How do you even respond to such foolishness? I had one sick child and one child having a meltdown over a new broom? I proceeded to remind him that he was being silly. Then I lost my patience and asked him if he planned on crying over the fact that I bought new dish cloths. New towels. New socks. He didn’t see the humor in it and proceeded to spit fire.
20 minutes later he was on the couch with a fever. AH! That explained it. It wasn’t about the broom. It was never about the broom. And thank god for that. I actually felt a bit better that a new broom didn’t freak him out that much. It was him not feeling well and the broom pushed him over the edge. In a weird way I was relieved. I was afraid that from now on I would have to sneak my Wal-Mart purchases into the house while he was sleeping and gradually ease him into things, like new soap and toothbrushes. Phewf, dodged a bullet with that one.
What I didn’t dodge a bullet on was the mess that melting ice cream makes. We went for a family drive, thought it’d be nice to get an ice cream! Aiden picked out some sort of multi-colored popsicle. He didn’t like it. I could tell because after 60 seconds, it still existed. He said to me “Here Mommy, I am done”. So I tossed it. It was a melting mess that needed to go in the garbage. I saw his eyes. I saw that he knew what I had done. It was too late to turn back now. Bring. It. On. Tears (and drool), and kicking. “I wanted my ice cream!!!”. He cried and cried. We promised him a new one. I even apologized for throwing it away. 2 minutes later he stops and says “It’s okay, Mommy, I didn’t like it anyways!”. Just like the broom, it wasn’t about the Popsicle. I am not sure what it was about, but it wasn’t that rainbow stick of ice. It was probably because I threw it out and he didn’t want me to. I suspect he wanted me to hold onto it indefinitely in case he decided he wanted another lick.
I am learning that 4 is a difficult, interesting and patience testing age. I am also discovering that attitude, like the words ‘seriously’, ‘whatever’, and ‘like’ (which can all be used in the same sentence believe it or not) isn’t reserved for teenagers. Some days, I can’t keep up.
Last weekend, I didn’t have to. I was asked if I wanted a kid free weekend. I haven’t had one in over a year, so I went for it. After a week of sleep deprivation (that’s another post!), I jumped at the chance. If I told you I didn’t enjoy my weekend alone, I’d be lying. I slept like I haven’t slept in years. I cleaned my house (and it stayed that way for longer than 3 minutes), I ran errands, I did my workout videos without worrying someone would get a 10lb dumbbell to the head, I watched one too many episodes of TV shows I am embarrassed to admit I watch and I went out for drinks with my hubby and some friends. It was awesome! Yet, I feel like I should be writing how I enjoyed my weekend, but that I couldn’t wait to get my boys back home. That I missed them so much I felt sick. That’s what Facebook expected of me I am sure. But I couldn’t post that. I couldn’t write that. The truth is, and judge me if you like, but I needed the break and I enjoyed it. Of course I missed not having them around. The silence was weird. But I felt spoiled and I liked it.
When I was driving to pick them up, I couldn’t get there fast enough (proof that I missed them), and I must say, it was a good day. I believe we made it a full 6 hours (until bed time) without attitude. I didn’t even have to threaten to send them back to Nana. That’s a successful day in my books.
But tomorrow is a new day. And just like my 4 year olds mood, it can change in a heartbeat. I just keep reminding myself that I am simply preparing for the teenage years. It can’t be much worse, right? Don’t answer that.
Hugs & Smiles,