April 27, 2010
The Week of The Boy is over and I made it out alive. Tired, sunburned, injured, and slightly PMS-y, but alive. The Boy is now a nine-year-old, which is hard for me to believe, especially when I look at my body. After only 1 kid and nine long years, I should probably look at least 12,237,383 times better than I do. Seriously, have you seen Heidi Klum lately? That freak of nature has three kids, two of whom I’m pretty sure she gave birth to backstage at the “Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show” moments before strutting out in a diamond-studded bikini to thunderous applause. Me, I’m sitting here nine years later wondering if my muffin top should get a cake and presents too. Maybe some low-fat, organic, flourless carrot cake that tastes like cardboard, and a mumu or some elastic waist pants, like Pajama Jeans .
Anyway, The Boy is now nine and I don’t know where the time went. It seems like only yesterday that we brought him home from the hospital. That was when he laid in a bassinet and slept so soundly for two days that I thought this baby thing was gonna be a piece of cake. Somewhat similar to the time I had a pet turtle that I kept in a shoebox. He slept soundly in the car seat. He slept soundly in the car. He slept soundly in the house. At least until about 6 o’clock that night when he began to wail like a howler monkey. Starting at 6 o’clock that night he screamed so loudly and for so long that I have to assume that the neighbors considered calling 911. Starting at 6 o’clock that night he screamed and screamed and screamed until The Hub and I were numb, and I was collapsed on the floor in a heaping pile of bad mommy-ness, snot and tears, and shouting to the Heavens “If there is a God, I will forgive you for the Easy Bake Oven Incident of ’76 if you just tell me why this annoying little person is shrieking like a psychopath!” Well, there was no magical, booming voice from the Heavens, but there was a tired and listless voice from my husband that said “Oh…I think we’re supposed to feed him.” Well, it HAD been approximately 10 hours since someone had fed him, so I was pretty sure that for the first tim ever, the husband was onto something there.
It wasn’t long before I realized that this baby was no turtle. First of all, my turtle never screamed like a banshee. Second of all, my turtle didn’t expect me to carry him everywhere. Thirdly, if my turtle pooped it was such tiny little inconspicuous poop that I never really noticed it. Fourthly, my turtle never peed in my face. And lastly, but certainly not leastly, when I got tired of my turtle after about a week, I just let him go. Although I have to admit that I briefly considered the possibility of setting The Boy free, I soon realized that (a) that may be frowned upon, and (b) he probably wouldn’t get very far since all he did was lay there pooping and screaming.
Obviously I ended up keeping him, and over the years we got a pretty good system down that consisted of him eating, pooping and throwing fits, and me catering to his every whim and entertaining him every hour of the day, while he acted like a total asshole if I didn’t. Thankfully by age 3, he started to like Elmo (Melmo) and I nearly spent our entire life savings purchasing anything and everything that had anything to do with that squeaky, red, fur ball. Some mothers hate Elmo, but I LOVED him and would have married him if I could. Melmo saved my life and allowed me to walk around the house without being followed, and even allowed me the freedom to go to the bathroom alone. Never, ever, underestimate the sheer joy that comes from a solitary poop.
So time went by and things got better. Sure, I once literally dragged him out of McDonalds by his arm while he laid on the ground, stiff as a board, on that disgusting floor. And yes, every time I had to give him medicine it was like a fight between Tyson and Holyfield, but with a tall, exhausted blonde who wished it wasn’t against social mores to drink margaritas during the day, and a very angry toddler who hated anything that involved a prescription. If I hadn’t come up with the trick of fastening him into his high chair first, I’m sure he would have bitten my ear off. And yes, I left more than a few full carts at Target when a psycho-fit ensued for one stupid reason or another. Once, at age 4, he even told a Target check-out lady that he had a three-year-old-sister named Moody that we kept in the attic. I don’t know whether she believed him or not, but Child Services never came, so it’s all good.
As The Boy got older, we definitely came to an understanding. I’m pretty sure that understanding is “You don’t irritate me, and I won’t irritate you,” or “If either one of us is feeling ornery, go bother Dad.” For the most part he acts like an actual human now. He takes his medicine himself. He bathes himself. He potties by himself (and I get to potty by myself). He feeds himself. He doesn’t expect me to be a source of entertainment. He talks to me like a real person, with real words. And although he occasionally burps those words, they’re still words. He’s a big boy now, and instead of spending all of my money on Melmo crap, I spend it on clothes that he either stains, or grows out of too fast. He says that he’s never going to leave me and that when he goes to college I’m going to come with him. I tell him that sounds fine with me, but I will definitely need my own bathroom.
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