T was a total asshat this morning. There just isn’t another word for it. Getting ready to get out the door for his preschool takes more than twice as long in the winter because of all the gear involved. First the snow pants, then the coat, then the boots, then the hat, then the gloves. And repeat with the second kid. It was uncomfortably cold this morning and our charming little house built in 1930 still has its original windows. In the winter a cold breeze constantly blows through the first floor. I get that little man wanted to hang out curled up in a ball on the heat register. Hell, I’d like to do the same thing. But we. were. late. I calmly explained the situation to him and asked for his cooperation. With his actions he told me to kindly go fuck myself.
I finally got him into the kitchen and managed to wrestle him into his outerwear. I told him to put on his backpack while I located C’s socks and C. Because it doesn’t matter how cold our first floor is C will not keep shoes or socks on. When he loses a toe to frostbite I’m going to be the jerk who tells him, “I’m sorry, but I TOLD YOU!” So as I was scrambling for C’s socks T appeared in the living room. “Mom! Guess what!” he said with a sly look on his face. “You took your hat off.” I said. I mean, he had. I was looking right at him. “No!” he bellowed, “I took my boots off!” And he scampered back to the heat register.
Listen, I know taking the boots off wasn’t a huge deal. But dude had been pushing my buttons all morning and in that moment the fury in me build to epic levels. I couldn’t even look at him because if I did I would have lost it. I have a shitload to do today. Colleagues of Z are coming over for dinner. I need to make pasta sauce, braise chicken thighs, bake a key lime pie, tidy the first floor, do laundry so I have clean underwear tomorrow, complete my homework, take care of C. (So why am I wasting time writing this? Valid question. Did I mention I excel at procrastination? And am a raging hypocrite?) When I have a million things to get done I have very little patience. Which makes me a shitty Stay At Home Mom.
So I showed what I felt at the time was super human strength and I did not search Craig’s List for a traveling circus where I could dump T. And within another 10 minutes we were at the back door ready to get in the car. “Mom!” T cried in a panic, “I don’t have my gloves on!” “Yup, you don’t. They are in your backpack. We can put them on in the car. But you would not work with me this morning. We are very late. We are halfway out the door. I am not putting your brother down right now. Just don’t touch the snow and you will be fine. Come on. Let’s go to the car.” Dude hates it when his hands get cold and wet.
Do you see where we are going with this?
I made it halfway to the car with C in my arms when T’s screams began. I whipped around and god help me I started laughing hysterically. In my defense, his screams were so vigorous that I knew he had plenty of access to air. Our back steps meet up to a couple of tables on one side where we like to eat dinner in the summer. The snow had drifted and even though we regularly talk about the fact that steps are still under the snow T clearly forgot. He’d taken a header and had flipped completely upside down in the drift. Dude looked like a cartoon character. His little legs were all I could see and they were running in the air. I sprinted to him and yanked him upright.
Look straight at the testicle-like formation. He was wedged under the table on the side of the left ball. And yes, I didn’t take the picture until I’d dropped him off at school and come back home. Jeeze, I’m not a monster!
I couldn’t put C down because I’d cheated and didn’t put his snow pants and boots on. I figured I’d be carrying him the whole time we were outside. The house was already locked. The fastest thing I could do was get them both to the unlocked car so I could set C down and comfort T. I am an out of shape middle aged woman. Please feel free to laugh yourself as you imagine me waddling to the car with more than 55lbs of child in my arms, T still screaming and holding his snow covered little hands out in front of him.
There were many cuddles. I unzipped my jacket had had him wedge his hands into my armpits to warm them up. I cranked the heat in the car. We got him strapped into his seat and put the gloves on his hands. By the time we made the 7 minute drive to school he was perfectly fine.
I’m sorry he got stuck in a snow bank. Obviously. I’m sorry I was so frustrated at him this morning. I wish I had the patience of a saint. But it goes both ways. I can do better and I can expect him to do better. If he doesn’t have expectations or boundaries, if he is allowed to behave like a shit because he’s only three I’m doing him a major disservice. I can’t expect him to be perfect. He is three. He is figuring stuff out still. But I can expect him to make an effort.
Yes, I’m sorry it happened. And please, feel free to judge, but holy shit it was one of the best laughs I’ve had in ages. Oh come on, he won’t even remember it in a week and I’ll be able to savor the hilarious image of his little legs waggling in the air forever.
He’s been spending a lot of time on the heat resister. Yesterday morning we read stories there.