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  • It’s A Pretty Day! Now Get Off My Planet.

    July 27, 2006

    If I were crazy enough to go into Sean’s room at 3am and switch on the lights, in the stupor of sleep he would pull himself up by the crib rails like a drunk. Then squinting like Clint Eastwood and teetering in a desperate search for balance, he would rub his eyes and automatically say, “It a prit-ee day Mommy!”

    “It’s a pretty day Sean! It’s great to be alive!” Those are the first words spoken around here of a morning. From the time that we brought him home from the hospital, I would get him out of bed with that simple phrase. And it has stuck. It could be raining rusty nails and he would exclaim, “It a prit-ee day Mommy!” Not a bad attitude if you ask me.

    Up until recently, it has been Sean’s nature to be a happy, friendly, outgoing little guy. He has always been quick to shout “Hu-woe!” to everyone he sees. That was the old Sean. The new Sean doesn’t really like people and is repulsed by the general public.

    Whereas before he would give a big smile to the greeter at Wal-Mart now he sulks and scowls and hides his head under his arm. Whereas before he could not care less who played with his toys, now he acts as though his arm has been severed if someone dare to touch anything of his. Things that come under the heading “His” include but are not limited to the following: everything.

    I remember as recently as this past spring being at the mall playground and watching a mother with a child in this stage of development and thinking smugly to myself, “That poor dear woman. Pity she doesn’t have a delightful child like mine. I wonder what she’s doing wrong.”

    Having a child will make one grow fat eating, gorging, scarfing, slurping, guzzling and chowing down on one’s own words. One’s own words have a surprisingly bitter after taste.

    While at that same mall playground yesterday, I sat watching my formerly delightful precious miracle of life shoot laser beams out of his eyes at the other children. When he wasn’t busy issuing the look of death, he was busy howling and crying and running to me any time someone dared look in his general direction or brush past him. Excuse me (burp) — a little arrogance indigestion.

    As we drove home from the mall, we came to a stoplight. Sean looked across at the car that had pulled up next to us and started wailing and pointing, “Mommy I don’t want those people at my pretty day! Make them go away from my pretty day!” Never before have I appreciated car windows as much. The idealistic-teacher mother that lives in me, but is usually napping, wanted to calmly explain in a soothing sotto voce that what makes a day pretty are people and that without people, it wouldn’t be a pretty day, but a lonely day.

    But then the tired-cynical mother who also lives in me and who is given to biting sarcasm said, “Well, Sean, I’ll see what I can do about getting them off the planet.”

    Sean doesn’t want anyone at his Wal-Mart, his playground, his public thoroughfares or his pretty day which leaves him with two promising career options: monk or recluse.


    1. Rebecca says:

      I wouldn’t sign him up for reclusive monk school quite yet. My oldest child – a delightful, lovely toddler – discovered her certain brand of shy rudeness at 4. (least favorite comment, when an elderly man at church dared to greet her: “Mama, I do not LIKE the elderly.”) And yet she’s 7 now and well on her way to being a civil human. Take heart!

      July 27th, 2006 at 7:38 am

    2. chelle says:

      hehe I think it is just a phase … Your cute, adoring child will return 🙂

      July 27th, 2006 at 9:17 am

    3. M&Co. says:

      You know, there are days that I feel that way. Can I call upon you to make some people leave MY planet?

      July 27th, 2006 at 9:22 am

    4. Roxanne says:

      Well, he is certainly a smart little boy. . .”I don’t want those people at my pretty day.” Very funny. Raining rusty nails, indeed.

      July 27th, 2006 at 9:29 am

    5. Wendy Boucher says:

      Oh how welll I remember the taste of my words. We went through the same stuff. Good luck and patience to you, my friend. This too shall pass.

      July 27th, 2006 at 10:58 am

    6. Susan says:

      He IS 2, right? Welcome to reality. This too shall pass my friend.

      I have to agree though, sometimes I wish I could get people out of my pretty day.

      July 27th, 2006 at 10:58 am

    7. Jeanette says:

      Oh dear. That sounds like me.

      July 27th, 2006 at 11:23 am

    8. Paulette says:

      Yes no monk school yet. It is partly a phase. My daughter would do it so excessively I really had to break down and put her in Our church’s mothers day out program one day a week,so she could get some other interaction and learn more social skills. I was really worried for a while but eventually she came around and wasnt nasty, she was rude and tell pepole DONT LOOK at me, geeze. He sounds perfectly normal to me.

      July 27th, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    9. Paulette says:

      Lol I loved what Sean says I dont want people in my pretty day!!1 Too cute.

      July 27th, 2006 at 12:14 pm

    10. Kailani says:

      My daughter never did go through that stage yet but I’m sure it could come up at any age. Dreading it!

      Good luck!

      July 27th, 2006 at 3:05 pm

    11. elizabeth says:

      I have made it a point to never say bad things about other kids’ bad behavior. Chances are, one of my three will develop the unwanted behavior by the next week!

      July 27th, 2006 at 3:38 pm

    12. Antique Mommy says:

      Elizabeth, just to be clear, I never said anything. I leave that to the TPMO3s of the world.

      July 27th, 2006 at 3:46 pm

    13. elizabeth says:

      I didn’t read that you did! It’s just that this post reminds me of an incident two weeks ago.

      I was telling my sister about our cousins kids who are big criers. I told her how glad I was that my kids weren’t huge criers. As if on cue, my 4 1/2 year old had several days in a row where he cried everytime he didn’t get his way.

      Yes, ma’am I am keeping my mouth shut from now on!

      BTW-I know several TPM03s where I live! 😉

      July 27th, 2006 at 5:47 pm

    14. Amber says:

      Oh dear. My daughter went through a perfect-angel stage for several months (she is also two) until baby brother came on the scene last week. Even though she’s been OK around him, the rest of us are getting bossed around like nobody’s business. Just when you think you have them all figured out….

      July 27th, 2006 at 6:57 pm

    15. Binky says:

      If my daughter goes through a surly stage, I can only hope she’s as astute about it as Sean is…and that I can write about it as well as you!

      July 27th, 2006 at 7:21 pm

    16. Kelley Smith says:

      Hi Antique Mom,
      I read through your bio and realized how much we have in common. I am an artist by trade as well and love to write. I’d like to be able to tell you that behavior problems go away as the child matures, but with sadness I say, that’s not true. My 15 year old has very large pout sessions and has declared (even if not out loud but in attitude) that his mom is as dumb as a sack of hair. Oh well, one day he will realize the facts now won’t he. Your writings made me laugh and feel good! Thanks for sharing.

      July 27th, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    17. Teacher Lady says:

      I dunno, Sean sounds like my kind of person. I think he’s just advanced for his age!

      July 27th, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    18. Mommy off the Record says:

      Cute post! And a good wake-up call for me. I’ve been remarking to my parents how well-behaved my son is for the last few weeks, but I am starting to see little toddler tantrums start to creep into his days. I have a feeling I’ll be chomping on some of my own words very soon.

      July 28th, 2006 at 1:18 am

    19. emi says:

      If eating ones words were fattening, I’d be the Amazing 500 Pound Woman.

      Although, I did tell my spouse just the other day, now that our son is 18 and beginning to figure some stuff out, we the parents should start looking smarter pretty soon. (Not that I’m holding my breath.)

      I have a new quilt on my site, come have a look!

      July 28th, 2006 at 1:24 am

    20. Linda says:

      Oh how I know this phase so well!! At the moment, Holly does not like it when I talk to anyone but her. This includes the person at the register whenever we go to the shop to buy something. “NO PAY FOR IT!!!” is what she angrily screams at the poor sod oohing and aahing at her each and every time. Isn’t 2 the most glorious age??!!!

      July 28th, 2006 at 8:46 am

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