Toddlers can run away, giggle, look back and take off. Just because they can. You can run fast now. You are so capable and so is your sister. She runs past the car as I open the door and heads for the steep downhill driveway. She’s fallen several times, skinned knees, hands, bumped head. OUCH. I remind her. Stop. What am I thinking …Toddlers cannot stop. They only “go”. My arms are full of diaper bags, lunch box and the car seat isn’t in the car Gina forgot it. There you go. What is it about this behavior that shoves me to the edge, pushes me toward frustration, anger and a little mean wish that you’ll trip and fall before you get to the steep part? I toss everything on the gravel, don’t want to chase, so I keep my face calm, take three huge steps and grab your hooded sweatshirt. It yanks you to a stop. No skinned knees today. Strangulation instead. “Stop. Ouch, you stopped. Grandma held your shirt so you wouldn’t go kaboom. Ouchie. You stopped.” I peek at her neck to assure myself that she’s not harmed. Just shocked and frightened. Stop, Ellie, I repeat. Stop it grandma, my inside voice says.
This morning I found myself trapped in a mommy conundrum, a “Get-ready-to-go!” bad cycle that I can change, but tired, rushed and pissed off I peck at it, a cranky old hen. I tell you at least fifteen times to get dressed. The right sock, the heel down, stretch the neck of the sock. Left sock now, please. Skivies, please. I walk in and out of the room. “Please” sounds threatening, so I drop it. You lay on the couch your legs sailing around in the air, feet pointy and singing. Skivies, right now! Who is this screeching old bat? I wonder. You look confused and a little worried.
The other day we went see about getting you a toy that you wanted for Christmas. It was from a movie that you and mom and dad watch over and over, Toy Story. The robot space guy, I forget his name, was your favorite and you open your leather turtle that you keep your change in and cry that Santa needs this money for a present for you. So we take your turtle money and go to the store and as I locate the toy on the shelf, realize that it costs about 50 dollars more than I want to spend (way more that your turtle change) and also is not a fantasy, soft, open-ended toy that I can imagine you using for long. It is hard plastic, buttons, programmable and…. then you come round the corner, see it and back away. You stop frozen to the spot.
Is this the one? I ask. No, this isn’t it. I wonder. Okay. We walk along the aisle, you return twice to face the toy we’d planned on getting. And finally you say, I see Jesse. She’s happy. Can I have her instead? Of course. I got to the car and heard you talking to Jesse as you untwisted each of the twenty or more wires twists holding her to her display box. You said, Grandma he was a mean guy. We don’t like that mean kind of toy. Grandpa told me he saw the character and thought the same thing, that the eyebrows slanted downward and the expression did look a little mean. In all of that you still have your money turtle. We forgot to spend it. Something else will come up. And you are a very wise shopper. ha.
I am learning so much about all of us. Some are things I don’t want to know or think about. But they dribble out all over me anyway, like your pee soaked night-night diaper, like Liza’s morning change. I don’t want to think about how mad I am at the end of the day, impatient, rude to Metro, even Grandpa, you and sissy. I am mostly furious at Metro and tired, so tired. In his old age, he is a real pain in the butt. He still awakens throughout the night needing to pee, thinks he wants to eat and often demands with a yip, howl or bark. Ellie awakens. I do. Grandpa does. UGH. His stupid fricken toenails tapping on the bamboo flooring, and back across, and overlap and around and the sniffing nose, and he tries to jump onto the couch(?), but misses, slips and crashes then has a sneezing fit.
I listen before I can fall into sleep to not miss a leg lift and catch him in the act. He just went out. He wanders around. Dizzy and confused. 12 am, 2 am, 3 then 4 and 5 am. In and out. The Ellie awakens for real at 5:12 or 5:24am. The endless night travels and in and out of this dog is making me nuts! He barks for food. I can’t bend this early; back still tight, so I lift him with my foot in the direction of his dog bed. A foot lift is actually a kind of kick. The kids mustn’t see me do this to our dog. I am a little mean when tired. A little mean when pushed. I am a little mean. Sorry buddy. I didn’t tell you, because I never knew. Or maybe I did and forgot. I’ll work on finding my nice grandma self. Maybe Metro needs to go and live with someone else, or maybe not. I need a little nap and then some food and I’ll be just fine. Like a baby, like you and Liza. Simple as that. Read and snooze,
love you, gma