We arrived back in Dallas Sunday evening from a week-long visit with my parents. The flights were what I always hope for – uneventful, no tipping over. Everyone enjoyed a good nights sleep, each in their own beds. The next day was to be one of reckoning, as I knew it would be.
Those of you who have small children can probably attest to what happens to them after being in the company of their grandparents for an extended period of time. The grandparents, anxious to get back at their own children for depriving them of sleep and disposable income for twenty years, feed the child buckets of ice cream and boxes of cookies and anything else the child wants. They coax the child into some sort of sugar-induced trance and then act as a sherpa leading them to places far beyond the parental established boundaries. And that’s when they put the mojo on the kid.
After the mojo is firmly affixed to the kid, the grandparents say sly things to the unsuspecting parents like, “Why don’t you two go out for a nice quiet dinner? We’ll keep Sean (and convince him that the word no doesn’t really apply to him, it’s really just a suggestion!) Take your time (while we help him see you as two crazy people intent on ruining his life). He won’t even know you’re gone (because we’ll be letting him do whatever he wants!)
The rude awaking came early. At the light of dawn on Monday morning Sean stood in his crib, rattling the rails like an agitated ape and screaming “Mahhhhhmmeeee!” Without fully awakening, I managed to get him out of bed, change his diaper and carry him into the kitchen and set him on the island so that I might pour him some milk. But apparently at Grandma’s house, Sean is allowed to climb up into the refrigerator and get the milk himself. So as I reached into the refrigerator to get the milk, he started screaming “I DO IT I DO IT!!! I wanna do it!”
My first mistake which I will chalk up to not having had any coffee yet was to try to reason with him: a) I always get the milk out, b) it’s on a shelf you cannot reach, c) it’s my house and my fridge d) because I SAID SO. Toddlers coming off a week at Grandma’s are not reasonable people. Reasoning only caused him to scream louder and louder until the hunting dogs that live two doors down started barking, perhaps sensing an injured animal or an exhausted 46-year-old woman with an unreasonable toddler – either way, both dead meat.
He would not be consoled until he got the milk out of the refrigerator himself and I was not going to be bullied by a two year old at 6:30 in the morning. We were at a standoff.
Finally he collapsed into a heap and cried “I want to go back to Wivian’s!” Being the mature, responsible adult that I am, I snapped, “I want you to send you back to Wivian’s, so there!”
It’s going to be a reeeeeally long week of undoing all of Wivian’s doing. Or it may just be my undoing. Stand by.