Held Hostage By a Gremlin
I woke up this morning with a sense of dread.
“Wow,” you might say, “what’ve you got going on today? Difficult client meeting? Jury duty? Mammogram? Root canal?” No, people, it’s worse than any of that.
It is another long, hard, back-breaking, brain-draining day with the 19-month old. “What, that sweet baby?” you ask? Sweet baby nothing. We should have named him Osama or Saddam. Because that’s what he is. A terrorist. A super-cute one, but a terrorist, nonetheless.
And I am the hostage.
Here’s how it goes:
The days start off nicely enough, with Baby Boy usually waking looking something like this:
He is happy eating his breakfast, watching Bubble Guppies and riding in the car to take Big Sister to school. After returning home, it all starts to go downhill. And the day has just begun.
Tired of the scenery around here, I decide to pack up and head to the park. We have a fine time at the park, until it’s time to leave. I’ve given him a few warnings, like “ok, sweetie, in 5 minutes, it’ll be time for us to go home and eat lunch, ok?” “ok, it’s almost time to get out of the swing, just a few more minutes.” “allrighty, here we go, time to get out of the swing.”
And then…you know what happens next…well, you do if you were at the park that day. In true Exorcist Baby form, he rears back, kicking and screaming bloody murder, with me trying to haul all 30 pounds of him out of the park to the car.
The drama continues in the car with the back-arching and flailing about, until I finally get him strapped into the carseat, both of us panting and sweating like two boxers called to their corners by the bell.
After his nap (during which I lie with a cold compress on my head), the rest of the afternoon is spent sitting in the carpool line waiting for Big Sister and shuttling back and forth to afterschool activities. All while trying to soothe him with Elmo DVDs and Goldfish crackers.
The crescendo of the day usually occurs around 4:30pm, when for no particular reason, other than he has not been allowed to color on the walls or face-dive in the toilet, he completely loses it.
And now we have this:
Dear Lord, God in Heaven, please save me. Where is the phone? Calling husband. “WHEN ARE YOU COMING HOME?!?!?!?” Don’t even wait for answer before hanging up and lurching toward the refrigerator for the bottle of wine.
Baby Boy-Gremlin is screaming, pushing on me, trying to knock me down. And he can knock me down. “Don’t spill my wine, don’t spill my wine!!!” I cry.
He moves on to opening the cabinets and attempting to fling glass bowls and small appliances across the room, while I move behind him trying to do damage control.
Gremlin continues his path of destruction into the pantry and begins scouring the shelves of canned goods and snacks, pilfering whatever strikes his fancy. Slurping down pouches of applesauce like Conan the Barbarian. Throwing cans of cat food at the poor cat.
The chucking and the throwing and the tipping of the wine bottle continues until the most glorious event of the day occurs.
The sound that is more precious than bells being rung by the angels in heaven.
The sound of the garage door opening.
Hubby is home.
I can retreat to the bathroom with my glass of wine like a survivor of a violent hostage takeover, trembling and glassy-eyed. After a few minutes alone to calm down, I can finally feel my blood pressure returning to normal.
And then I figure, I better get back out there quick! They need me! And I go rushing out for more.
And the whole thing starts over again tomorrow.
Pure motherly devotion?
More like Stockholm Syndrome.
Gotta love the Terrible Twos.