Today could have gone better. Or rather, I should have known better when I romanticized staying at home with my sick-with-strep-and-a-full-body-viral-rash son. The day before, Wednesday, I only took the morning off which was spent running Isaac to my school to drop off lesson plans, to the doctor’s, and to Walgreen’s for his meds before dropping him off to Ryan who took him for the afternoon so I could return to my class of 2nd grade kiddos and head to a 2 hour after school meeting. Needless to say, I was optimistic about a whole day with my baby. Here was my PRE-Thursday image of how today would go: cuddling, and movies, and naps, and read alouds.
That didn’t happen.
It is important to note here, that my child is a few weeks away from turning 5. Since he could speak, he has been lying to people when they ask his age and telling them he is 5. Five is an age when adults like to throw around comments like:
“You’re getting to be such a BIG BOY!”
“FIVE?! Woah! That’s big time!”
“ARE YOU SERIOUS?! FIVE?! HOLY $*^#!” (Well, not really that one… but close. However, I’m pretty sure that this is the level of awesomeness with which my child has been registering these comments.)
So. Today I got up an hour earlier than normal to go into school to prep for a sub so I didn’t have to wake Isaac up and could get back before Ryan had to leave for work. Yesterday, Isaac was horribly uncomfortable: scratchy rash, sore throat, soaring fever. He was doing the cry that immediately produces tears from your own mommy eyes because your kid is so authentically miserable and you are completely incapable of doing a damn thing. My little, feverish, horribly uncomfortable sleeping angel who would benefit from one more day of rest at home. (I didn’t even have guilt this morning about taking a day off: I’m choosing my kid. Family first. My class will not implode with my absence.)
What woke up from that sick bed was a successfully antibiotic’ed, rash reduced, low grade fevered boy for whom Benadryl does not carry any of the side effects which apparently only affect the rest of the world’s children. And he was naughty. You know the kind of naughty? Like since he’s getting sooooo close to 5 he doesn’t actually have to listen to reason or process with logical reasoning skills. At all. But not in REALLY naughty ways. In little, repetitive, naughty ways that chisel away at your parent-patience little by little undercover. Let me replay a few of my day’s comments for you:
“Seriously, bud? Did that seem like a good idea to come up and rub dirt all over my leg?”
“Isaac?! You are supposed to tell me when you want to paint! You have it all over your shirt… and your hands… and the CARPET… and the BATHROOM… AND YOU PUT THE PAINT COVERED BRUSHES BACK INTO THE DRAWERS OF THE FAMILY HEIRLOOM SINGER SEWING CABINET THAT I COMPLETELY REFINISHED WITH MY OWN TWO HANDS!!!” (I said all of that except the last part. I thought it though. Thought it really hard.)
“Yeah, I see that the car trash bag is knocked on the floor, thanks. Is it there because you were crawling around instead of getting into your carseat like you were ASKED? Because that’s really what it looks like…”
“Isaac, turning five does NOT make you grown. You’re not grown.” (Repeat this a few kajillion times. Throw in a couple of time-outs. A period of sitting on the stairs and watching while I steam cleaned the yellow paint drips out of the carpet. Blah, blah, stinker little boy, blah.)
There was also the moment when we ran up to school after the kids were gone and I asked Isaac to stop touching everything on my desk:
“Can I touch ONE more thing?”
“But, can I touch THIS?” (Touches one finger to the edge of my desk…)
So when we met up with Ryan for dinner tonight at a restaurant and Isaac continued to be… how should we say… ornery?… I needed a fitting consequence for one of those days without any MAJOR blowouts, but with a bare minimum amount of moments that did not fall into the MINOR infraction category.
I went for the ice cream.
Our favorite fro-yo place was a few doors down from the restaurant and Ryan and I took our kid in there and got ice cream in front of him. Also, in front of the 10 other people on staff or eating their own fro-yo concoctions. All while our child bawled, “But they have all the GOOD flavors today! Oh man! Those sprinkles would be SO YUMMY!”
Ryan was intensely irritated that we were ruining the pleasant dining experience of the other customers. But I? I had had three nights and two straight days of doctor’s appointments, medicine pick-up runs, substitute lesson plan creating, drawn out meetings, middle of the night medicine giving/temperature taking mom moments. Had one of those patrons DARED give me even the HINT of a stink-eye, their face would have been met with a firm right hook. YOU THINK YOU KNOW ME, YOU 19 YEAR OLD COLLEGE KID?! YOU THINK I’M A MEANIE MOM?!!
(Let me tell you. Becoming a mom has SERIOUSLY reduced the judgey-meanie-parent-eyes I used to give out. Now I lean more toward the, “Catch my eye, Momma. See my sympathy-eyes? Yup. You go ahead and ignore that tantruming little thing on the grocery store floor. Been there friend… Been there.”)
On the way home, my sweet baby sat in the back seat and yelled about the sun being in his eyes. And also yelled some more about yummy ice cream.
I love you so much little (LITTLE) almost 5 year old. I love you so much that I will deny you ice cream in front of complete strangers. I love you so much that I will deny you yummy ice cream and then process with you at home when you are calm and read you a bedtime story and kiss your forehead and tell you how much I love you because I really, really do. Being a mom is hard. (Eating ice cream as a consequence though? Not so hard.
Sorry. Not sorry.)