In the next 3 months, I have vowed to take control over the household by resolving three issues with my stubborn 2-year-old, Nicolas. One (February): I will stop giving him M & Ms and Nutter Butters while the other kids eat fruits and vegetables. Two (March): I will have him sleep in a regular twin bed instead of his crib, and I won’t sing 20 songs at his command each night. Maybe just 5 songs. Three (April): I will potty train him. Yes, a trifecta of terror. Tonight, as a matter of fact, we are having pineapple and pumpkin french toast with fresh fruit and turkey bacon. When he comes to the table, that is what will be on his plate just as it is on everyone else’s plate. I will try to find a welding mask so that when he throws his plate and fork at my face, I won’t lose an eye. Also, though I don’t mind that he sleeps in a crib for as long as he likes, his legs have been getting stuck in the crib slats at night and he can almost jump in there himself from the floor, so it feels like it’s time.
For the past month, I have been taking Nicolas to a music and movement class at the community center. Audrey goes to her dance class there and this gives us something to do while we wait for her. It is like the Germboree version of Gymboree. (Thank you, Katie, for that perfect word). Nicolas pretends he doesn’t like it, but I know he really does. I have to drag him in the room while he screams “NO!” and clings to the door frame for dear life. The other children all stop playing with balls and stare at us. As we join the circle, he begins to hit me and cry and scream some more. They pass out the instruments, and he says he doesn’t want one, but I see him eyeing the other kids’ instruments (probably as a possible weapon if needed). When we are marching around in a cirlce and the instructor sings “Good morning, Nicolas” he tells her to go away. What he doesn’t know is, I have very little pride left. Sofia, Sam, and Audrey all did this to me when I tried to force them to socialize with other children in these little classes, and if they couldn’t stop me, neither will he. I can put on a happy face, blast off like a rocket, do the hokey-pokey, repeatedly pull up my pants, clap my hands, stomp my feet, and pretend the experience is changing my life. He may think his protests will break me down, but really, nothing can hurt me now. Last week, when the instructor got out the parachute and I waited breathlessly to shake it up and down for 10 minutes, I think I saw him smile a tiny bit. Then the instructor said kids wearing blue could run under the parachute, and he screamed, “I hate blue!”, but still, baby steps.
Side note – I think it’s interesting how the first question the other ladies at Germboree ask is what preschool I’ll be sending him to next year. I’m not sure if they are asking because they don’t want their kid near mine, or if they think I will surely need to get him into some kind of school to improve his chances in life, or if they are really just interested. After I conquer the trifecta, I will feel better about his chances at preschool next year.
Dinner update, Day 1: He.ate.it. He ate it! Without even being asked. I was busily cutting up everyone’s french toast and answering questions and wondering if I would eat my dinner over the kitchen sink again tonight, and when I turned around, Nicolas was eating the french toast! I looked at Rudy and with only an eye gesture we both knew we shouldn’t breathe or congratulate him or even look at him until he was finished eating. Sofia and Sam loved it too, and asked for seconds, but it is only fair to admit that Audrey ate hers along with a plate full of tears. I wish I had taken a picture of the plates of food that were emptied. Would you settle for a picture showing Nicolas with his normal dinner face?
This is so exciting. Tomorrow, homemade mac-n-cheese and peas. Dare to dream!!!