Friday, November 09, 2007

Shiny Loud Tractor With a Squishy Softy Inside

My little boy is a textbook two year old boy. Textbook, almost cliche', even, except for (or especially because of, according to the 67 knowledgable people who 'wouldn't worry') his speech delay. He is full of energy: he is rambunctious... He is curious: he is 'into' everything...He is easily frustrated: has been known to throw things and occasionally hit....He is physically coordinated and quick: he will dart into the street if not prevented....He is newly aware of himself in the world: he likes to say NO....He is very mama-centric and affectionate and still nurses occasionally: he is a 'mama's boy'....I have three brothers, and I have had two sons, I have one husband, and I have just realized that I? Don't know much about The Boys. I thought I did, but it turns out, No. Terribly wrong and much to learn.
Bubbles is my second son, but Elijah never made it to two, and if he had, I seriously doubt there would have been much that was terrible about his behavior!
When Supergirl was this age, she was, well...incredibly well behaved?? The kind of thing you just don't brag about, really. It doesn't help make mommy-friends, but it will get you a table in a restaurant. When she acted naughty or extra-curious in an inappropriate setting, she was almost always responsive to the first course of discipline - remove from situation. And in the case of my brother's wedding, when she kept whining for 'juuuuice, juuuuuuuice, juuuuuuuuuice!' at the most quiet moments during their very long ceremony, I have to say....pretty much the juice solved it. She was 23MONTHS old, people; not even two. And I had her three month old baby brother draped over my shoulder and sopping breastpads. Oh, the memories. Was I going somewhere with this?
Bubs. He is two. Very two. He has been practicing for his role 'in' Two for a few months, so he is really more than ready to take it on, but there are some things I just don't get. They are special little things that make him himself, and I am afraid I am not riding the same train as that boy.

I mentioned that, a few weeks ago, he pushed a little girl in music class (I am the teacher; this is not ideal), and I held him firmly and said in a sing-song voice (am teaching music class, right?) "Hands are not for hurting, you can't push Lilac!", and went back to leading the class. Bubbles stood there crying so hard; I mean really like those cartoon tears you see spraying out of the corners of eyes. And I was slightly annoyed (at his logic? hello?) and slightly interrupted, but the parents handled it with gracious tolerance, but I could tell that his crying was coming from a place I had not heard in this situation before....he sounded wounded, somehow. But I was ticked off at him for hitting Lilac and then being so disruptive, so I ignored it. (****Another Great Mothering Moment****)

Noticing that I had been shaking my head in disbelief and giving the whole 'I don't get him' look, one particularly astute mom asked me if I had read this book. I have not, and perhaps I should have ordered it right away.
Today I had the pleasure of taking a detour from my commute home from teaching, swinging by the spanking new BlogHer office to pick up my dearie Jenijen for a lunch date. Luckily there weren't too many people in there yet because afore-mentioned two year old son of mine tore around on their conveniently laid-out toddler running track (ooh - not the intention of the office planners? bad...sorry) before we could whisk her away without fanfare. With Bubbles? Always the fanfare. He literally ran smack into Elisa, who, on top of being NICE!, tolerated his overt gestures kindly and took her niceness to the next level when she commented that I much thinner than when we had met!!! Of course instead of just thanking her for the compliment (is that? a compliment?), I blurted out something about being all lactating then and hardly that much at all now, it not being anything special I was doing, etc....justshutupalready,self!
Then, we whisked Jen away on a fun-filled Redwood City adventure; one in which neither of us knew exactly where we were going, and I swear we drove around in a spiral before we came to our lunch destination, the diner. Which was perfect for cheeseburgers and that's what I was after. We even swooped right into a free parking spot right across the street!

So, back to Bubbles, and I was going to come full circle with this in case you wondered, he was post-naptime and sleepy, and today it seemed to be working in our favor with his mellowness. He was flirting with Jen, charming the waitress, playing with his basket of toys, happy to take a turn in the highchair, and very happy to have some of Mama's lemon water - with a straw! We were actually getting some quality chatting in. See?? My typical two year old can occasionally be mellow and hang out too! See!!
Jen asked if she could take some pics of him for her photography class, and he was being all hammy with a side of bacon. Everything was fine and agreeable. See??

And then he took a sip of water and knocked the very large glass off of the table. The staff was completely nice about it - no fuss, just smiling as I apologized; Jen and I laughed a little bit about it...and the glass didn't even break.
But my little boy was crushed. He climbed out of the high chair and into my arms faster than I could even catch him (he was airborne for a second) and then buried his head into my shoulder. And there he remained, while he sobbed heavily, deeply embarrassed or something. I know some children are sensitive about these things from the start, but mine? Not. This was new. I looked helplessly at Jen, we shrugged in our unanimous disbelief. After awhile, the deep and painful sobs stopped and he was able to enjoy some cheeseburger and fries. But I have been puzzled all day by that new display of conscience. Anyone?

On another note, that free parking space in downtown Redwood City? Not free at all. Turns out, due to strategically placed signs behind vehicles, the city makes a great deal of revenue by making it appear as though the parking is free, but ohno! It is NOT! It will cost you about $25 in a parking ticket. Which, if you are lucky, your dearie friend will swipe from your dashboard when you are not looking and insist upon paying. Lucky?
Dude, lucky doesn't even cover it.


ElisaC said...

"Toddler Running Track"...that's hilarious. It really must feel fun to a little kid, because they can run and run, and you really can't see them because of all the high cube walls.

Being someone who always wants to be thinner I do automatically think remarking that someone looks thinner is a compliment...however I have at least one not-to-be-named acquaintance who tells me I look thinner every single time we see each other...which by now I interpret as a patronizing attempt to give me positive reinforcement, so some day I actually WILL get thinner...because I really, really need to.

You know what I mean?

gwendomama said...

Hi Elisa - I know YOU meant it as a compliment, it was more of a rhetorical question, coming on the heels of this post of course
and I spent about half of my life battling an eating disorder and horrible body image issues...and now I find I just don't care anymore, which is interesting.
AND, thanks for the running track experience - we will be sure to try it out again soon and see how it holds up.

Aunt Jennie/Dee-Dee said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE the title! You are so clever Gwendomama!

Sweet boy! Just sweetboy! Dh was very sensitive when he was young! I bet it was heart wrenching to hear those heavy sobs...but oh so special to have him so close & cuddly. It sounds to me like he was just deeply embarrassed as you say. He was in public! I think you have many challenges ahead of you with Bubbles!

Sweet boy...sweet boy! xoxo

The Geener said...

I'm surprised 'Anonymous' of Good Gifts! Not Bad, Good! has not commented that you deserved that parking ticket. Be more responsible for your parking actions if you don't want a ticket! (he he he)

Geener messed up said...

Damn, it was the Don't Buy Tremendous Toys... entry. See how irresponsible I was by not doing doing QC prior to posting?