This morning started like any other. Scotty had just finished breakfast and we were upstairs getting ready for the day. As I plopped him on the changing table, he gave me a quick swat across the face. He made his "mean face" (nose wrinkled, eyes squinty) and I knew I had done something wrong. What that is, I have no idea. But he's a toddler and prone to mood swings and well, that's my life.
I grabbed his little chubby hand quickly and said, "No hitting! No!" He then grinned and promptly pinched the back of my arm.
Grr...this kid knows how to push my buttons. The back of my arm is like, the most sensitive place on my body. (is that normal?) I can't stand it when anyone touches the back of my arm, let alone pinches me there. I spent most of Sunday afternoon holding Scotty while we were in a lighting store, and he continuously stroked the back of my arm. It was n innocent-enough gesture, but totally made me cringe. Even as I type this, the hairs on the back of my neck are standing up, just thinking about it.
Okay, back to this morning. So the kid pinches me. Hard. And I go into my usual "NO! NO PINCHING!" mode. This time, for good measure, I added, "Next time you pinch, you will go to time-out." I gave him my most stern Mother face.
At the mention of the dreaded t-word, his eyes got big and his little mouth dropped open. Then, to my absolute surprise, he clamored to his knees (we're still on the changing table, remember) and wrapped his arms around my neck. And gave me the sweetest little toddler hug you could imagine.
I instantly melted.
"Aw," I told him, kissing his forehead. "You're a good boy. You are Momma's little boy. Such a good boy."
He sat back down and smiled. And then without warning, pulled himself back on his knees and gave me yet another full-body toddler snuggle.
I held him for a little while and finally laid him back down to change his clothes. The look on his face was priceless.
I can only imagine he was thinking, "Yeah lady, try to put me in time-out after all that great snuggling. I dare you."
Or perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt and say it was a nice apology hug. Times two.
Well, whatever. The bad behavior ended AND I got some quality hug-time in with the Bear. I just hope the boy wasn't playing me. As I told Brian earlier, I feel like we need to have a sign in our house like those construction companies have, but instead of [X NUMBER] of days since an accident, it would say, "IT'S BEEN [X NUMBER] OF DAYS SINCE A TIME-OUT." Maybe we'll even get him a little hard hat.
Last week, Scotty and I were sitting down to breakfast (well, he was sitting; I was skirting about the kitchen as Mothers are prone to do) when all of sudden he looked ready to melt-down. He started crying and wiggling and yelling something that sounded like, "Up! Up! Up!"
I did a quick mental assessment of the situation. His pancakes were perfect; cut into long strips like he wants. The turkey sausage was warm but not hot, and diced. The strawberries were ripe, delicious and not covering Elmo's face on the plate. (he has an Elmo plate that MUST at all times show Elmo's face. I don't know why I just don't slop down a pile of food on the table and leave the plate clean so Scotty can admire Elmo during mealtimes. It would certainly make my life easier.) Scotty was gripping the all-important Elmo fork and his milk was present and within reach. What was the deal? Why the sudden melt-down?
"Up! Up!" Scotty yelled from his booster seat. He was gesturing frantically to the entire kitchen at large. Oh, this was helpful.
"UUUUUUUP!" he wailed.
I looked around. Banana? No, he can say that clearly. Milk? Juice? Did he make a poo-poo?
And then it hit me.
I ran to the fridge, yanked the door open and grabbed a bottle.
"Would you like some sy-RUP?" I shouted. And his little face broke into a giant grin as he clapped merrily. I poured a generous amount on his cakes and seriously felt like I had just cured cancer or something. We even fist-bumped, I was so excited.
The only way I can describe what it's like deciphering toddler-speak is you feel like a code-breaker everyday...except the fate of the world rests on you and you alone, and it's 7am and you haven't had any coffee yet. Think fast, my friend. Think fast.