Lately I have begun to feel a shift in the behavior of my boys. They are less like crazed, wild animals and more like human children. I could attribute this to the passage of time, maturity (on my part and theirs) or my mental state has slowly shifted to delirium-laced denial. Any way you look at it, I am quite simply enjoying their company more and more. I am even doing spontaneous things like taking them to the movies or out to dinner during the week AND actually looking forward to it.
That’s not to say we don’t have our setbacks. For example, when I’m locked in a bathroom stall with a screaming T.Puzzle and Full Speed is on the toilet insisting I face away from him for ‘privacy’. That happened yesterday. We were at the gym and I was giving the boys a snack before I headed to my BOSU (if you don’t know what that is, don’t bother finding out because it is torture) class and Full Speed announces he has ‘to go poopy!’ for the whole gym to hear. We race to the bathroom and I throw him in a stall and put T.Puzzle on the toilet in the stall right next door.
After ten seconds I hear Full Speed say, “Mom, I did it again. I locked myself in.”
I didn’t panic like I did at Tae Kwon Do because I know Full Speed was perfectly capable of unlocking himself once his business was finished (in fact he unlocked it mid-business without disaster). I brought T.Puzzle and myself into Full Speed’s stall to ensure there would be no more accidental locking. That’s when the maelstrom of events took place. T.Puzzle’s yelling, Full Speed’s directing and the familiar slow burn of embarrassment creeping up my stomach and expressing itself as a scarlet hue on my cheeks. Two steps forward, one step back I suppose.
Once that twenty minute bathroom production is over and they are off to the gym daycare (Full Speed loves it because now that he is five he gets to do the climbing wall there), I head to my class. I think that even though I left part of my lung on the floor of the class and my heartbeat has yet to stabilize, I’m glad I did the class (I think). I pick the boys up and as we put on coats they tell me they are hungry.
“Oh, good,” I say. “Mom’s going to make chicken when we get home.”
“I don’t like chicken,” Full Speed says. “I’m not going to eat it.”
“Great. Then you can sit in your room while T.Puzzle and I eat it.”
By now T.Puzzle is also upset because I’m making him wear a sweatshirt and Full Speed has a sour face because he apparently hates chicken (which is lie, he’s just being contrary).
“The next person that gives Mommy attitude will be sitting in time-out. And, Full Speed, if you cannot adjust your attitude about dinner you will be going to bed the same time as your brother (Full Speed sometimes gets to stay up a little later but it is a PRIVILEGE).”
Even though I’m feeling sassy myself I try to shift the negative energy of my clan as we head to the truck.
“Hey guys, check out your shoes in the night. They light up so nice when it’s dark out. I love your shoes, T.Puzzle and I love your shoes, Full Speed.”
“Mom,” Full Speed says, “your shoes are beautiful.”
My shoes are three year old, dingy gym shoes that have certainly seen better days. However, I appreciate Full Speed’s strategy of buttering up old Mom. And just so you know, he finished all the chicken on his plate and asked for seconds.