Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Sometimes, it takes a three year-old to tell you how it really is

Things have been a little rough lately. Our fabulous au pair, Ruzica, left us on Thanksgiving Day because her mom was ill in Serbia. We hoped in vain for her return, but finally gave up a few weeks ago. We were very lucky to find a spot for Truman at a local home-based daycare, but it's been pretty hectic, and I found myself recently wishing for JUST ONE MORNING when I did not have to clean up a disgusting mess before 8 am (you know, oatmeal on the floor, Cheerios bowl complete with milk overturned on someone's homework, pee on a rug...stuff like that).

It was one of these mornings when I found myself alone with Izzy and Truman after Kate and Carroll had left on the bus. Izzy and I had been having one of our long conversations about the fact that, unfortunately, all of the underwear does not have Cinderella on it, and inevitably, we reach the point in the week where we have run out of Cinderella underwear (I have since procured about 28 more pair of Disney princess underwear, netting me another 4 Cinderellas.)

Anyway, after a great deal of negotiating, I had Isabel mostly dressed and downstairs, ready to eat breakfast. Of course, on this day, she preferred her cereal in a sandwich bag and honestly, I'd just already had enough arguing that day. So I gave it to her.

Well, Truman the Tornado saw his opportunity right away. He snatched the bag from Izzy's hand and proceeded to shake it all over the kitchen as widely as possible, while Izzy wailed as if she had just been mortally wounded. I swooped in and grabbed Truman, plopped him on the naughty seat and, while counting to 10, got down on my hands and knees to clean up his mess. There was still a little cereal left in Isabel's bag, so she went into the hallway to pout and munch while I cleaned.

Now, Truman is not so good with the naughty seat concept yet, but I just didn't have the time or the patience to hold him on the seat and count that day. So, of course, he released himself on his own recognizance. As I was down on the kitchen floor in my suit trying not to lose my mind, I heard another wail from behind me. Truman, of course, had grabbed the bag again and spewed the last of the cereal all over the hardwood floor (just in the spot where there are little gaps between the boards), and was dancing on the cereal to crush it really well, gleefully chanting, "Happy, happy, happy!"

At this point, I think there may have been some profanity, and I definitely took Truman by surprise with the way in which his little legs flew out from under him as I hoisted him up and moved him to the dining room. I guess you could say that I came unglued because it was enough for Izzy to stop mid-wail and tell me, "Mommy, he is my baby brother and he loves me and you need to be nice!" When I tried to explain that I was not being mean, I was just a little angry and frustrated, Izzy replied very pointedly, "Well, you LOOK like you're mean." Hmmmm.

As if this was not enough of a reminder from the universe to get it together, I got another little kick in the head about 15 minutes later. We finally got ourselves together and headed out the door. Truman had decided he was big and thought he'd start down the concrete front stairs himself while I was locking up. Yeah, not such a great idea. He skidded down about 4 stairs on his forehead, leaving a nice scrape that I thought might leave a permanent scar (but looks like it won't now).

So, ok, I got it. Chill 0ut. If you look like you're mean, you probably are. And never forget, if the universe wants to mess you up, it can always do worse than it's doing now. So just watch out.


  1. Ugh - what a day. The scattered Cheerio syndrome is precisely why we should all have dogs! ("happy happy happy" indeed!)

    You hang in there. That's an order. Things will get better.

  2. So "Truman the Tornado" may stick after all!

    Love to you all