Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Mercurial

Watching Grand Canyon, one of my favorite movies (and a sorely underrated one) as I type this post. I was in love with this movie when it came out in 1991, and I listened to the score for years afterward. The music alone is moving and energizing--I used to listen to it as I ran the track at the college I used to live near.

Anyway, on to the actual post:

AB is testing the very fabric of my being. As pretty much everyone I know in real life would tell you, I am an even-keel kind of gal. A friend of mine in high school once told me I was the "most emotionally well-adjusted" person she'd ever met. People's impressions of me haven't changed much since then, either. And, for the most part, they are correct. I'd say 95% of the time, I am completely balanced, well-adjusted, and relatively calm.* Which is why I think it's so hard on me that my son is so mercurial with his moods. When I picked him up today from day care, he was in a good mood. But then he decided he didn't want to leave the toys he was playing with, or he didn't want to leave with me--I'm not sure which. Whatever the reason, he started to bawl. I had to pick him up and carry him out of there, crying and screaming the whole way to the car. I wanted to shout at everyone looking at us, "I'm a good mother!!!"

He fussed more in the car on the way home. I eventually took charge. "Do you want to sing ABCs or E-I-E-I-O?" The answer came back "Oh," so I sang "Old MacDonald" for the remaining drive home, about 5 minutes, which actually winds up being a lot of animals. Helpfully, AB was chipping in animal names from the backseat, so I didn't run out of verses.

At home he was wonderful. While I fixed him dinner (which wound up being a hot dog, grape tomatoes, strawberries, a little pita bread and watermelon--yeah, he can put it away), he looked at his "ammal books" [animal books] by himself, pointing at the pictures and trying to name every animal he saw. Before bed, we watched some "Sesame Street" together, him sitting sweetly in my lap like we do every night. When it was time to go to sleep, he waved "night night" to the dogs, hugged me, and fell into his daddy's arms to be taken to his own room.

How does he do this? How does he go from hysterical crying to happy and serene so quickly? And why do I feel like I'm aging exponentially during all this?

* It's just that when I'm not, I'm reeeeeally not.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes you are. :)

AH

10:53 PM, April 20, 2005  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

You can't fool me -- that anonymous guy was a real person masquerading as a commenting pixie.

And he's right. You ARE a great mom.

Sigh. Transitions -- like from day care to home -- are particularly tough for these little guys. You have no idea how many of our playdates have ended with that picking-up-while-screaming scenario. I will say, though, that the logistics of carting the kid away while screaming and kicking become much more difficult when you've got two....

11:01 PM, April 20, 2005  
Blogger jo(e) said...

Go from hysterically crying to happy and serene in a minute flat? Hey, I can still do that.

Oh, I well remember carrying a crying child out to the car and trying to strap him in while he is screaming and kicking. Parenting is so humbling, isn't it?

9:26 AM, April 21, 2005  

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