At first I thought it was the dishwasher that put me over the edge--the final straw--, or simply the snowball effect of sitters who cancelled and Mitch's migraine that put him completely out of commission for bath/bedtime routine the night before my embarrassing emotional collapse in the middle of the gym (while on a machine, no less. I had to flee to find a more discreet place to disintegrate). But it wasn't the dishwasher. It's Clark. Clark Clark Clark, who used to be my sweet baby, my agreeable one, the easy going, the less intense, the one who could adjust and flex and roll. I somehow thought his personality would allow him to bypass this developmental stage. How silly of me.
Let me be clear. He is no longer a sweet baby. He is two and a half, and he is a monster. MONSTER. Perhaps we are at the height of the thing? The most intense it will get? Perhaps he's not still building to his full monsterdom? Oh please let that be so. For everyone's sake, let that be so, and let this peak not last long, let us soon come down the other side oh so gently.
A MONSTER. It's gotten to where I don't want to go anywhere--the library or the carousel at the play museum or the hardware store--because there is a 100% chance he's going to be incredibly difficult about something. Getting in his carseat. Getting out of his carseat. Which carseat to sit in. Which song is on. The fact his blankie fell on the floor.
He's got a terribly traumatic life.
But the thing that undoes me is the 100% chance that once we get to the bagel shop, farmer's market, grocery store, he's going to throw a fit about something he absolutely cannot touch, climb, hit. Mr. Destructo coming through! I simply cannot take it. So we go nowhere.
He still throws fits at home, of course; about my telling him he can't throw Little People at the dog, or hit the cat with the wiffle bat, or climb daddy's dresser. Today we had a fit with Every Single diaper change.
It exhausts me.
It's not that I'm embarrassed about his displays in public. It's not that I feel like an incompetent parent because he's delivering them. I know it's a stage and it will (eventually...!) pass, but somehow the shrieking or the flinging--or something--has tripped my panic button and I don't know how to turn it off. I feel like a crazy person. (A couple of days ago I seriously wondered if I could come back from it, thought maybe we'd have to hire a full time nanny for a month or so, so I could lie in bed and read The Age of Innocence and the New York Times Magazine. I'm way behind on current events.)
I'm trying. I'm doing all the right things; going to the gym, being social, doing laundry. I have absolutely no motivation to organize and prepare food, and that's a bummer for everyone. But a few dinners of mac and cheese never hurt any kid. And a few dinners of cereal for mom and dad never did either. Hopefully the tide will turn and my energy will come back, my motivation will return. This hideous gray rainy weather isn't helping I'm sure. I'm holding out for the pretty white snow...