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Monday, January 3, 2011

Typical Start to the New Year

Days off for the holidays are work filled days full of catch up cleaning, laundry and organizing. I also use this time to go through and get rid of things we don’t use or need anymore. This weekend I was definitely on a seek and destroy mission. I am determined to get rid of even more clutter and enjoy more by having less, if you know what I mean. Having a 2 ½ year old “helping” me though makes this mission all the more challenging and takes so much longer.

As most moms know, little interruptions are just part of life with kids and are to be expected. This day however, and to be getting more than the normal set of interruptions and I seemed to be getting nothing done. In the midst of taking down all the Christmas decorations, scrubbing floors and cleaning out closets I was being summoned constantly.

Sometimes it was a request to observe my son playing with a new toy or to read a thousand books. Other times it was to fix something to eat for the hundredth time. How can one little body eat so much? I really do not know where he puts it! And of course, my personal favorite interruption is the “Uh oh! Mama!” The Uh oh, Mama’s make me cringe as they usually mean something has fallen, spilled or broke.

This particular one was, “Uh Oh! Mama! Cup fall!” Upon entering the kitchen, I was met with a beautiful cascading waterfall of juice pouring majestically from an overturned cup. It was falling down onto the chair then pouring over onto the floor.

To add to this lovely scene, was my son, in an effort to help, was standing in the middle of the juice puddle in his socks with a dish towel trying to clean it up. Not wanting to squelch his desire to help, but cringing at the scene that lay before me, I rushed towards him and smiled through gritted teeth pretending to be so happy for his help.

As I saw his white socks turning pink and sticky little footprints being made all over my freshly mopped floor, my husband came in and asked his little buddy if he wanted to go out and help him work in the garage. Before my son could even answer I was putting his coat and a clean pair of socks on. After all, boys should get to spend some special one-on-one time with their dads, right? And now seemed to me to be the perfect time.

My friendly warning to my husband about watching his little helper closely was met with an edgy and irritated, “I know!” Oh well, he can’t say I didn’t try to warn him about a toddler’s natural curiosity. I shrugged and went back to my red Niagara Falls as they happily skipped out the door.

It wasn’t more than 10-15 minutes later, I hear the back door slam open and screams coming from both my son and my husband. My terrified dash up the stairs from the basement I’m sure broke some land speed record.

Expecting to see some horrific scene, I was met with tears and curse words. As I am frantically checking over my precious little boy looking for the mortal wound, I keep repeating the mantra, “What happened?!” It took me asking 3 times before my husband learned to wait between gasps of air my son took between wails to tell me.

“He’s covered in transmission fluid!” Then he proceeded to yell at our son more. This causes the wailing to go to the next level. I then start feeling for lumps on the head as I ask if he slipped and fell in it or get it in his eyes or even swallow any of it. I was thinking the worst.

I was met with a disgusted, “NO!” and an answer that made me turn my head so as to not show my “told you so” chuckle.

“He dipped his hands into the transmission pan full of fluid. I went from the frantic to the “Oh” state in a second and proceeded to do the, “Calm down honey. It’s alright.” routine with my son. Apparently my son had decided to dip his hands into the pretty red oil like a lady would dip her hands in a paraffin wax beauty treatment.

My husband continues his rant, “He then lifts his hands up and it runs down his sleeves.” “Then when I started to yell at him he wipes his hands on his pants!” “Why would he do that?!” he continues breathlessly. I answer, “He’s two Harry. You have to watch him constantly.” My husband then answers, “But he did it right in front of me!” He was so upset that it happened and my son was upset for being yelled at and abruptly taken away from the playland known as “The Garage.” And I imagine both were scared at what my reaction might be. I couldn’t help but be amused. I love it when others find out the hard way sometimes how hard caring for a young child can be. That may sound a little mean, but I think it’s a lesson that needs to be learned at times.

I mumbled, “You can’t leave fluids exposed” was met with an answer of, “I’m going back out to clean up the mess on the floor.” But I know better. There probably isn’t more than a few drops on the garage floor. He just doesn’t want to hear the “I told you so” he thought was coming. But I wasn’t going to say it. Honest, I wasn’t. I was just going to send it to him telepathically with “the look.” You know, the one all wives and mothers have.

Now, I can peel clothes off my son faster than you can peel a banana. In no time my son’s tears were replaced with laughter at the bubbles tickling his nose in the bathtub. All was quickly forgotten by the time he emerged from his bath. My son’s cheerful greeting of “Hi Daddy!” was met equally as cheerful by my husband with a “Hi Buddy!”

Now don’t think bad of my husband for being hard on our son. He is a good father and yelling isn’t the norm. This scene was an upsetting one to him and a potentially dangerous one. So I understand how it can go sometimes. I’m just grateful that calling 911 wasn’t involved. Experience has taught me that if Mom stays calm, then everyone else calms down faster.

What a start to the New Year. Hope this isn’t a sign of how the rest of the year is going to go.


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