Out of nowhere, Scotty had a total and complete meltdown.
He hasn't had a Category 5 tantrum in some time. I was getting used to these calmer waters and quite enjoying them. And then today, with nothing but clear skies and sunshine in the emo-toddler forecast, the kid melted down epically.
We did the usual pantomime "What-do-you-want?-I-still-don't-understand" routine for a solid fifteen minutes. He cried while I gestured. He was standing by the oven, holding his little tractor, just wailing while I frantically searched the counter. "Ba-ba?" I asked, holding up a banana. Emphatic head-shake no. Okay..."Gingerbread cake?" I offered with hesitation. It was only 9:00am. I really didn't want him to eat cake. Vigorous head shaking. Nope, that wasn't it. "Use your words, Scott," I pleaded. "Use your words."
He continued to cry.
Diaper was not wet, no poo-poos had been made. Sippy cup was full, his breakfast had been consumed barely an hour ago...a quick check of the head revealed no impending fever, no runny nose, no cough...so...what was it?
Ah, the madness of Toddlerhood.
So I threw him in the car with his favorite truck book and headed to Starbucks. ("Doppio espresso with a splash of whole milk and one raw sugar" My new favorite order. Thank you, Sandy K.) He was calm for the drive but the minute his little sandal-ed feet hit the concrete in our driveway, he was crying again. He went directly inside, stood by the couch, and pointed to the TV. "Me-moooooo," he moaned.
Oh, I get it. Elmo.
This is one of the toughest parts about Motherhood, in my opinion. Because right now, we were at a stand-off. Me on one side, the boy on the other. And he was holding me hostage with his constant whining and crying. Either I give in to his demands or face the wrath of an angry toddler. There was no end in sight.
In my mind, I imagined him holding his stuffed dog upside down by the paw, and telling me in a gravely Clint Eastwood voice, "Turn the TV to Elmo or the puppy sleeps with the fishes!"
I think I watch too much television.
But honestly, I was starting to feel like the John McClane of Motherhood. I mean, here I was on just a normal Tuesday morning and without warning, suddenly I'm confronted with 33-inch toddler terrorist. "My way or the highway, Lady," Scotty was telling me with his behavior. "I will make your life a living hell if you don't give in to my demands."
So I gently got down to his level and said in my best Reagan voice...
"I don't negotiate with toddlers."
And promptly walked away.
I wish I could tell you the story ends here. But it doesn't. Because despite my best of intentions (ten minutes on Facebook, another ten minutes reading in the closet by myself, a solid fifteen minutes playing with the bop-bops in the living room), I was ready to start pulling my hair out. Stop the screaming! my brain was shouting at me. Because despite my stoic approach to the situation, Scotty held fast to his convictions (stubborn little Bear) and continued whining.
And I gave in.
Not only did I turn on the TV, but I also handed him the iPad, his sippy cup, and a piece of cake.
Ahh, silence. Blissful, lovely, silence.
Argh. I know, I know. Bad move. But tomorrow's another day and maybe I will win this contest of wills. Or maybe I should just watch "Die Hard" tonight and really try to get in the right mindset to handle my 20-month old child.
Yippee Kai Yay, Mother...(bleep!)