“You know that blog you wrote on routine?” he asked.
“Yeah,” I said.
“Tiny Man destroys my morning routine. He comes downstairs and tells me, ‘I need. I want. Can I have…?’ and then my eggs are cold and I am late for work.”
Yes, Tiny Man destroys a lot of things, routine being the very least among them, but somehow we continue to love and adore him. This past week, my little son managed to do the following things:
He cut all the wooden beads off his lamp.
He pulled several strings out of his rug, thus losing the privilege of having a rug in his room.
He squeezed out half a bottle of toothpaste to “clean” his gladiator helmet.
He hid the toothpaste.
He ate the toothpaste.
He ate my very nice and pricey anti-aging Mary Kay lotion.
He dumped my jewelry box over, un-pairing earrings and losing earrings in the process.
What he does not destroy, he creates. Some of what he creates is not discovered until the aftermath, such as the liquid soap he painted on the toilet seat. This went unnoticed until my husband planted his rear on said toilet seat. (I am sure that in Tiny’s mind, he was cleaning the seat. So, what do you do?) Out of concern for the dog, he has tried to wash her—with powdered detergent. My understanding is that she actually sat still for this. He has painted abstract pictures with peanut butter on the kitchen window. We have the remains of toothpaste expressionism on the bathroom mirror upstairs.
This was all in the past few days. You may ask, “So, what is Catiche doing when all this is going on?”
Here is my list:
Tutoring my daughterTrying to potty in peace
Trying to cook
Trying to scrape playdoh, pumpkin pulp, or whatever the kids have had off the walls and floor
Washing the afternoon dishes
I wish I could say I was on the phone exchanging juicy gossip, lying on the couch with Belgian chocolates in hand, or even surfing the web. I am not. My childless neighbor tried to give me suggestions one day, bless her heart. She is a woman for whom I have much respect and admiration, but one has to note that she was one of three girls. Girls are different animals. She asserts that her mother only allowed them fifteen minutes of cartoons before pushing her and her siblings outdoors to play. When they were inside, the girls folded laundry, swept the floor, et cetera. This all sounds very lovely. Obviously, her mother was not raising the bear cup that we have here.
Yesterday, my daughter sat down to homework and I began to mix spices for dinner, so I rolled the little man out the backdoor to frolic outside. I have a full view of the yard from two substantial windows in the kitchen. Within moments, my daughter called out that her brother had a hammer. When I looked up, Tiny had his hands full and the dog was running from him. I also noted that he had brought out the broom, a forbidden item because he wields it as a weapon (thereby eliminating sweeping as an entertainment option).
“Son, hand it over! I know what you’ve got!” I stood on the deck with my arms on my hips and watched my son try to hide behind the shed. The dog, poor old girl that she is, slinked in relief toward me, and then bolted to the now-open back door. There was no movement from behind the shed.
“One!” I said. My son stepped out and looked at me.
“Two!” This time, he ran behind the shed, retrieved his booty, and relinquished it.
A hammer, two screwdrivers, and a can of WD-40. Don’t tell me to put this stuff up high. We already do. We have all seen my son scale the kitchen cabinets using drawer pulls for leverage. He has also been caught standing on top of the bathroom sink reaching for the toothpaste that we keep on top of the mirrored cabinet.
I considered my neighbor’s advice, refuted it, and plopped Tiny down in front of PBS for 45 minutes so I could fold three loads of laundry in peace. When it was done, we did an exercise video together (which was hysterically funny to do with my son—and really the best part of my day). In the meantime, my daughter finished her homework, poured herself tea, and drank it without a little certain someone stealing the cup or spilling it for her. We were all happy again.
My son destroys a lot. Genetically, his kinetics and highly mischievous behavior seem to have flowed directly from my own uncles, one of whom was so bad my grandmother tied him to a tree so she could conduct housework without worry. She was happy and the neighborhood was safe. I have assurance from seeing my uncles that Tiny will grow out of his wildness, but a little doubt plagues me. We still have years ahead of us; he is only four. I have already announced that if he does not choose college, that he will be enlisted into the military at my earliest convenience--that’s if they’ll take him of course. I don’t know if they accept weapons of mass destruction as gifts from civilian mothers. We’ll see.