children, life in pictures, mommyhood, self-discovery

The Little T.Puzzle That Could

When we were at the beach and precariously attempting to navigate the two blocks to the restrooms, I had a strange moment of observational clarity. I was feeling frustrated with little T.Puzzle because he was lollygagging behind and then to slow matters even more, one of his crocs slipped from his foot.

nine month old T.Puzzle

“My croc!” he yelled, and then proceeded to take an eternity to retrieve it and place it back on his foot. Once the croc was correctly placed he determinedly rose red-faced from the sand and swiftly marched (and I mean MARCHED) to catch up with me. As I watched his arms and legs pump forward I felt admiration and a pause of understanding. If I were three years old in this big, big world I bet that I would hit a few bumps and meltdowns as I made my way, too.

In this moment I saw little T.Puzzle’s stubborn streak as a gift because I know that once we channel it for good, he will make his own way. Then I will have an even harder parenting task than anything I have faced thus far.

I will have to let him.

me and little T.Puzzle, took this pic myself
bad day, mommyhood, tantrums, terrible threes

Oh Smack!

I had this crazy idea that I would take the boys for haircuts. They have been rocking the mohawk look and it’s amazing how quickly it grew out. My plan was to pick Full Speed up from school and take both boys directly to the children’s salon. It is a pretty fantastic set-up. There’s a foosball table, an indoor climbing structure with a slide and an endless array of cool vehicles to sit in and watch Nickelodeon while getting your hair trimmed. They had a splendid time. I played foosball with Full Speed who insisted he was winning no matter how many times I scored. “That one didn’t count, Mom, only mine did,” (of course). Little T.Puzzle took to the slide like a fish to water (more fish similies later; I know you can’t wait but don’t get your gills in a tangle). They both did great for their trim and I was feeling really glad to have it done. Haircuts usually eat into our precious, weekend family time and I had just saved us the hassle. Win, win for sure.

Until,… it was time to leave. Little T.Puzzle absolutely refuses to leave and makes a scramble for the back of the slide structure. He is just about out of reach when I manage to grab his leg. He immediately starts screaming. Full Speed tries to help and yanks on the other leg. Full Speed accidentally tugs off little T.Puzzle’s croc in this muddled process. I see that this is a hot-button for T.Puzzle because he is really starting to lose it. As I manage to wrestle him into my arms (and by now, a crowd of sorts has gathered to watch the show), little T.Puzzle throws his arm back and smacks me squarely on the face.

I take him outside and all hell breaks loose. He’s screaming so loud I can’t think straight. I try to maneuver him to a time-out spot and quickly realize that he is violently flopping about like a dying fish so I can’t. I scoop him up and head to the truck. I grab his other croc from his foot and say he can’t have them back because he slapped me.

He is inconsolable. He cries and yells the whole way home. He is so upset he almost makes himself vomit. I get him home, send him to his room and try to regroup.

This is all stuff I’ve seen before. This isn’t the first time I’ve been smacked by one of my sons (hopefully it’s the last) and this isn’t the first outrageous tantrum I’ve endured.

But seriously, isn’t it enough already?