You want him to wear a bib?
Sit in his highchair?
Take his medicine?
You’re a crack head, and everybody knows it.
Unless, of course … he just feels like being pleasant.
And this has been known to happen. Of course there’s absolutely no telling WHY it happens. Or WHEN it’s going to happen. Or HOW you can make it happen again. It’s the $5 bill you find on the street: a lucky get, and way more exciting than it should be.
And did I mention he throws things? Like forks. And ukuleles.
But then he’s cute. Like a monkey throwing fistfuls of poop at zoo visitors, he’s so joyous in his badness sometimes that I have to hide behind the furniture and laugh. He eats at least half of his spinach salad before feeding the rest to the dog. He says please and thank you at all the appropriate moments. And if you say, “Who loves Mommy?” he hoists his little fist in the air and says, “I DO!”
Larry, who studied these sorts of things in school, has instructed me to ignore the bad behavior and reinforce the good. “Remember, you’re the boss,” he tells me. But there are times when my child’s shrill defiance is too bloodcurdling to bear, and I find myself covering my ears and chanting “I CAN’T HEAR YOU!”
In the back of my mind, I watch the instant replay. “Ooh, right there! There’s where I lost it. And did I really stick my tongue out at him? Is that it? Am I disqualified?”
If only it were that easy.
For some reason, despite my bumbling performance and utter lack of finesse, my team keeps welcoming me back into these treacherous winter games.
And with no other moms in the race, I suppose victory is the only option.