I've been quiet. Eerily quite for the five people who read what I write. Did anyone think I'd given up? Gone into a coma? Gone back to work full-time?
While I wish it were due to any of the peaceful sounding explanations above, it's because my life is currently a competition against a precocious three-year-old. For 12+ hours a day we face off in the Mental Olympics and when those hours are through, I have nothing more than a grunt and a shameful shuffle-to-bed left to give. Any former wit or spark of creativity is suffocated by the enervating task of making it through the day with a child who wants to do nothing I suggest.
Workday, work-at-home day, or weekend, it starts like this:
Me: "That [effing] owl isn't green yet, sweetie pea."
T: "I KNOW [it isn't green and I don't give a shit, Mom] and I still want to get up. Can I just play on the floor?"
Me: Dreaming, not daydreaming, but truly dreaming because I am asleep standing up in his room, "Sure."
T [30 minutes later]: "It's green! Get up! Can we play?"
Me: From the fetal position and barely audible under the pile of stuffed animals, "You get up, I'll rest."
T: "No Mommy, the owl is green and when the owl is green you have to get up. Can we wrestle now?"
Me: "You have to wear clothes downstairs. You'll get cold without them."
Me: Conceding battle 1, "Fine, but I'm bringing some downstairs."
T: "I'm cold."
On the glorious days that I work, I exit stage left around 8. On the other days, we proceed as follows:
Me: "Time to get dressed!"
Me: "But you can't go out naked in your PJs."
T: "When are we going out? Now? Is it now? [It can't be now, the baby's still asleep, MOM. How stupid do you think I am?]"
Me: Deafening silence. He's called my bluff.
T: "Now? Is it now?"
Me: Thinking about the alligator wrestling ahead. Down go the Superman shirt and Batman undies. "Nope."
He marches off, triumphant in his nakedness.
The next few hours drudge by punctuated with 387 nos, 7 attempts at getting dressed (3 are my attempts), 11 time-out threats, 2 time-outs, and before either of us is ready Battle Royale is upon us: Lunch.
Like any competitor trying to convince the crowd she has a chance, my voice is sugared with faux cheer, "Time for lunch! How about a turkey sandwich?"
I brace for the loud "Noooooooo," strongly wailing from his tiny mouth and wait for the calamitous cries for a snack, some goldfish or fruit snacks would be preferable, if we have any. Once complete I curtly respond, "Fine. But I'm having lunch."
Within ten minutes he has eaten all "my" lunch and I've eaten another string cheese. Onto naptime.
It used to be that when the remains of feeding time had been erased from him and still lay slaughtered on the table and floor, I'd move in for the nap. Alas, here too, I've been defeated. Many three-year-olds don't nap and many happily substitute in quiet time. Not time. He senses my euphoric freedom while he's shuttered away in his room and instead chooses to scream, "I AWAAAAAAAAKE!"
Worried I cannot hear his 100 decibel roars through the thin door, he then lowers his body to the ground and yells under the gap between floor and door so it is as if he is next to me. Persistency always pays off. I can take this for less than seven minutes before releasing the beast.
"Oh?" he'll say, a slight question in his voice that is usually reserved for surprises like running into an old friend at an airport, "Hi Mommy. Can I watch Frozen?"
T: "Can I have a snack?"
And for the rest of the day, Elsa and Anna mind my child.
These kids (plural because I have two and I manage to care for a baby while being bludgeoned on the battlefield by a three-year-old) are lucky they're cute.