Yesterday was rough. My son wasn't particularly cranky, tired, or disagreeable, but rather, acting like a typical twenty-something month-old and testing every limit.
I told him not to hit the wall with his toy golf clubs. He heard me, lightly touched his putter to the wall and gently dragged it down the hall with an innocent look of someone who knows they've discovered the loophole.
Five minutes after naptime began, I heard his little voice screaming for water. The "I'm so dehydrated I'd take my chances with cutting open a cactus" trick is his latest to delay sleep and it's GENIUS because no parent will ignore a cry for water. Begrudgingly I brought it upstairs and was promptly told, "No water. I wanna get out."
He asked to go to the park and wanted to leave three minutes after arriving. I tried to stick it out. He started walking home. We left.
He demanded milk, juice, and ICED TEA at lunch but then decided water would be best. (Sidenote: It was not I who introduced him to iced tea.)
He wanted to go upstairs and then proceeded to throw blocks over the railing and chase them down.
He asked for a wagon ride and decided he'd like to pull the wagon himself and fill it with rocks.
Perhaps this all would have been fine if not for my 15 week-old beer belly which is wreaking havoc on my jacked-up back. I can't pick him up and when he asks and I say no he responds, "Oh. Back hurts." So you see, I have only my brains and no brawn in the fight. I'm losing.
Oddly, I decided cooking dinner would make me feel better. So I did. I made up a recipe for Spinach Stuffed Chicken wrapped in Pancetta, turned on Elmo and went to work. It almost felt like those wonderful days before parenthood when I would come home stressed out after work and cook to calm down. Back then, I was usually in workout gear and a little bit sweaty after an intense workout. Yesterday I was in the same gear and sweaty after a day of thinking about working out but never actually doing it.
My husband was running late so I sat down with the smallest piece of chicken to feed my son. Upon his first bite he said, "I don't like it."
Not believing it wasn't delicious, I took a bite and fell in love with myself. I proposed to myself. It was GOOD.
I watched him push it around his plate for 20 minutes requesting cookies and then gave up. "His loss," I thought, "this is good." I was excited for my husband to sample the day's domestic triumph.
With the boy cleaned up, I went into my room to brush my teeth as I was heading out with some friends as soon as my husband appeared. Mid-stroke, I heard a tiny little voice, "Mommy?" It was high-pitched and uncertain.
"Yah?" I mumbled over my buzzing brush? My response was a more urgent, "Mommy!" I dropped my brush and ran sure the boy had somehow wedged himself between the cupboard and the wall on a quest for a cookie.
What I found was worse.
My 100 pound Golden Retriever was ON THE TABLE and the CHICKEN WAS GONE.
I don't know what happened next because I blacked out. When the dust was settled I saw that I'd somehow hurled the dog off the table and out the door. I'm pretty sure I told the dog I was definitely going to kill him in the near future.
I saw my son searching for "Mommy" where The Hulk now breathlessly loomed and calmed right down.
"Oh sweetie," I said, "it's ok. He's just a very bad dog (emphasis was on bad). He ate daddy's chicken. Now what will daddy have for dinner?"
Without a second of hesitation his little eyes, full of disbelief that I didn't know the answer, found mine and he answered, "hot dog."
I hugged him and glared at the dog through the door.
When my husband arrived my son retold the story which went like this, "[dog's name here] ate daddy's chicken. Bad Dog! Daddy have hot dog."
It ended up making for a very sweet toddler story and making me aim the day's frustration at the dog, but the dog is now dead to me. My only regret about the whole thing is that the chicken was boneless.