June 6, 2007
As most of you know, a parent's relationship with their two-year-old child can be tumultuous at times. Mine is certainly no exception...and it gets old. All day long, James pushes the limits and I reign him in. He says yes and I say no--over and over and over again.
Please don't get me wrong...I'm not one of those people who insists upon being their child's best friend. I'm the parent and he's the kid--I get that. But it would be nice, every once in a while, to see some indication that James likes me. I mean, my stomach sticks out further than my boobs on account of this kid...a little appreciation is the least I deserve.
Well, today I had a glimmer of hope. This morning we were playing trucks at our babysitting gig. The little boy who we watch (we'll call him Garfield) came up behind me and gave me an affectionate pat on the back. It was sweet, so of course I couldn't help but smile.
Immediately, James made it quite clear that he did not approve of this type of interaction. He threw his truck down, stood up, and yelled right into Garfield's face, "NO! MY MOMMY!!!"
Bratty? Absolutely...there's no denying it.
Endearing? Most definitely. I felt liked. I felt protected. I felt wanted. It felt good.
About fifteen minutes later I was changing James's diaper when Garfield climbed off of his bike and toddled up next to us. All of the sudden James turned bright red and started to spew that horrible, toxic, two-year-old anger. I thought I knew exactly what was about to happen--he was going to pull the "my mommy" stunt again.
Wow. Was I ever wrong. James roared at his friend. I mean, he screamed like a pack of wild wildebeests were carrying his firstborn son into the wilderness--all shrill and desperate sounding. But instead of yelling on my behalf, he screamed:
"NOOOO!!!! MY BOOPY DYPO!!!" [translation: No! My poopy diaper!]
Based on the volume and intensity of James's screams, it it quite obvious that he is more protective over his soiled diapers than he is over his own mother. Fantastic.
This mothering thing is thankless. I'm thinking about trading it in for a pet bird or an ipod...I haven't decided yet.