it's been a pretty laid back day today, cleaning and clearing at slow mama pace having to stop every now and then to feed children, clean children, clean messes made by children, make sure children can breathe after swallowing too big a piece of apple the wrong way. i have been taking part in every little bit of joy, soaking in the past, present and future, cleaning my closet and putting some finishing details on home decor i've largely ignored all year.
i'd been in my room since sprout fell asleep and invited pea to hang out with me, surprising him with a wooden marble run - an extra-special-mama's-room-only toy that he can sometimes play with when his little brother is napping.
i was getting into a groove and much like murphy's law, sprout wakes up and nearly instantly begins one of his famous tantrums. that's right, folks, this intuitive, attachment parent has a screamer.
he wakes up and needs to go pee but bean is in the kids' bathroom, getting ready for work. sprout asks for his red potty seat but i kind of ignore him (it's a cars one with absolutely no pee-guard) and bean hands me the pink one anyway. my kid has a pink nuby potty seat
because i was searching amazon for an alternative to the blue baby bjorn and the red cars potty seat. i read the reviews. i knew that "colors may vary" very likely meant "all we have is pink and all we ever had was pink" but for close to $7 shipped, i didn't much care. so bean hands me the pink potty and i take it to my bathroom. i am being followed by a very angry toddler who refuses to go but continues to scream at me, louder and louder still. he manages to let me know that he wants to use his bathroom inbetween screams. i explain to him that his older brother is in there and this is his only option. he continues to scream until bean is done in their bathroom.
i take the pink potty seat to the kids' bathroom, screaming toddler at my feet, screaming for red potty. i show him how it's all wet because his older brother can't seem to shower without getting water everywhere. he then decides he wants to go back into my bathroom to pee. but he doesn't really say this, he screams bloody murder and escalates the shrillness and sharpness in his voice whether i try to address him and resolve his issue or ignore him. finally he stops screaming long enough for me to take a deep breath and quietly tell him that i can't hear or understand him when he's screaming (which is of course, crap, but it's some gentle parenting technique i think helps keep my own anger in check) and that he will need to talk if he wants something so he screams a few more times, goes into his room to throw himself on the floor, kicking and screaming, and then comes in my room and says "want my pink potty in mom's bathroom."
i didn't necessarily want to switch the potty seat around again but he did ask. with words.
we get that all taken care of and as soon as we walk out of bathroom he sees the marble run. sprout immediately wanted to play. i asked pea to give his little brother a marble and then he handed me the marble jar because we both know that sprout has a tendency to put small things in his mouth. this prompted immediate and much worse than before screams to come from the mouth of my the littlest mister. again with the going into his room to throw himself on the floor in a pile of wet tears and loud sobs. again with the screaming in my face and screaming louder if i tried to talk or ignore him. i know these things are short-lived and temporary but they are also intense and occur almost daily and in the middle of one it just seems like a lose-lost situation.
he doesn't want me to talk, he doesn't want me to leave him alone.
he doesn't want to be left alone, he won't leave me alone.
he screams and cries some more.
so i did the only thing i could when repeatedly requesting that he speak instead of scream didn't work.
i sat down and gave up.
i said nothing.
i almost cried.
finally he calmed down enough that my ears stopped ringing and he pointed up at his papa's dresser.
"marbles?" i asked.
immediately his cries stopped, he wiped his eyes. "yes," he said, "mobbal."
just like that, like it was so easy. he'd been screaming what sounded like "pay" for the last five minutes, which i thought meant "play" but apparently meant "marbles."
i took the marbles down, not to reward his shitastic behavior but because i have to give him credit when he communicates verbally. he was fine with the limit of one marble.
he just wanted to pick it out himself.