In the midst of the unmitigated craziness that has been my life lately, I once again find it impossible not to sweep away the dust from my neglected little blog to share a snippet of humor that I found in the eye of the storm this past weekend.
If you don’t already know, I have a 8-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter. My business frequently requires that I leave them in the care of my parents who live nearby and love their role as grandparents with an almost maniacal glee. They willfully spoil my children with ice cream, Popsicles and whatever else their tiny hearts desire and then chastise me for the lack of vegetables in their diet. There has never been a time that I have not reminded myself, upon retrieving my cranky, sugar-crazed, overtired sweetlings that what happens at Mutti’s house, stays at Mutti’s house. This past weekend, however, my lovely daughter managed to transmogrify into Pele, the fiery Hawaiian Goddess of Volcanos, much to my parents’ horror.
I finished up at work and was enroute to the meeting place previously agreed upon with my parents to take possession of my children. Since I was running a little bit early, I called ahead to let them know that they could leave whenever they were ready. The first inkling of trouble was the terse response, “We’re working on it. We’ll be there at 5:30, like we said before.”
Not five minutes following this exchange, I received a 30 second call in which my mother asked for advice on getting my daughter dressed (she had been swimming) while my daughter screamed incoherently in the background. That call inspired me to take pity on my parents and simply drive to their house to pick the children up instead. The relief in my mother’s voice was palpable.
When I arrived, my pants-less, red-faced, tear-streaked 3-year-old screamed, “NO! NO, MOMMY! I DON’T WANT TO GO TO MOMMY’S HOUSE!” I’m quite sure she could have been heard in space. When my mom stood up to greet me, my daughter screeched, “NO MUTTI! YOU SIT HERE!” and my mother promptly sat down like a mistreated animal.
Stifling a giggle, I decided I should visit the restroom before tackling this train wreck. My little half-naked dictatoress followed me into the bathroom and flatly and loudly forbade that use the facilities in any way, shape or form. My obstinate disobedience elicited an immediate escalation of preschool hysterics. Shortly after relieving myself, I tried to calm her by kneeling to converse on her level and in my most soothing voice explaining that I understood that she’s feeling very frustrated right now. Her instantaneous and explosive retort was “I AM NOT FRUSTRATED!”
At this time, I decided that enough was enough. While wiping away tears of mirth, I stuffed my daughter into some pants, manhandled her wiggling, caterwauling, 35 pounds of indignant fury into her car seat and bid my beleaguered parents “adieu.” Her bellows of rage subdued after about 30 minutes into a pleasant conversation I was having with my son, who was also pointedly ignoring her.
My mother couldn’t muster up the courage to call me until the next day, but when she did, she related this little gem: “Now you know what you were like at that age. Except, you used to hold your breath until you passed out. It only scared me until I realized you’d start breathing again once you were unconscious.”
Thanks, mom. I guess your curse worked.