Friday, September 25, 2009
When You Live With A Two Year Old...
This is a door.
This is a locked door.
This is a locked door that has a crack in it because I lost my temper awhile back due to it being locked. I may have tried to do karate moves to bust it open. It did not work because A) I have no karate moves and B) I have no karate moves and only wound up with a sore foot. Oh, and a cracked door.
But that was another story.
This is a completely different one.
Because this time, someone was actually on the other side of the door.
Do you know who that someone was?
That would be my daughter.
She’s two, by the way.
My two year old rushed upstairs, ran into my bedroom, and locked the door on me.
Do you want to know why?
Oh, it was a series of events that led up to the locked door. So it’s best that I start from the beginning.
What happened was, Natalie and I went to Once Upon a Child to drop off some items to sell. Contrary to my husband’s belief, I actually can get rid of things. Fine, so I get attached to some items but I can’t help it. He thinks I need to throw out my high school notebooks but hello, maybe there will be a time when I want to look and see what I had for seventh period when I was in eleventh grade. You just never know. (And by the way, it was journalism.)
So I dropped off the bin of stuff and while the store workers were going through it, Natalie and I looked in the toy section. I love to buy books from Once Upon a Child because they range from fifty cents to a buck fifty. I hate to pay full price for books because my daughter usually ends up either A) coloring in it or B) ripping it up. This hurts my heart because a book should never be defiled in any way. Unless it’s Heart of Darkness which I could not get through no matter how hard I tried. And then I had to write a report on it and I wrote something like, “It’s about some guy on a boat.” I imagine I wrote more because I ended up getting a B but honestly, that book was hard to read. I felt so lost in class as other students yakked on about imperialism and I was all, “All I can remember is some dude shouting ‘The horror, the horror,’ and that’s basically the same thing I say when I’ve discovered I’m out of chocolate.” No one laughed when I said that by the way. They just went on talking about imperialism which made me think of Star Wars.
Anyhow, the store worker let me know that she was done going through my clothes and that they’d give me forty bucks for it. This excited me because forty bucks mean new clothes to buy! I’m kidding. I really am trying to cut back. I told Natalie that it was time to go and she had to say goodbye to the diseased looking bear she was holding.
“No thanks,” Natalie told me primly and stuck the matted bear in a toy stroller. She started walking away in the opposite direction.
I rushed over and stood in front of the stroller. “It’s time to go,” I tried again, attempting to pry the stroller from her grasp. This was not easy. For a two year old, she’s surprisingly strong. Or maybe I’m surprisingly weak. I think I’m going to go with the former.
“No THANKS, MOMMY,” Natalie screamed into my ear. This kid is seriously going to render me deaf one day. It seems my ears ring on a daily basis thanks to her and that can’t be good.
“You may not speak to me like that. I understand that you want to stay and play but we’re going home,” I said firmly. I gave the stroller another tug and Natalie refused to let go. She gave me a defiant look before turning around and walking off in the opposite direction leaving me standing there partially deaf.
“PLOW! PLOW!” some other kid shouted and rolled a toy pony right into my legs.
I was beginning to lose my patience. I wanted to go, my left ear was ringing and now my legs hurt. I limped over to Natalie, who was in the corner talking lovingly to her bear. I was a little insulted. How can she be so nice to a diseased animal but be so mean to me? I mean, I gave her life. The diseased bear will probably give her the flu. I’m not understanding her rationale.
“It’s time to go,” I said and then scooped her up before she could escape again. I had her tucked under my arm and I walked over to the cashier to get my money. Natalie had started to thrash and shout angrily because her freaky looking bear had been left behind.
“How would you like your money today?” the cashier said calmly, seeming oblivious to the fact that my daughter was turning into Linda Blair right in front of our eyes.
“Whatever is easiest,” I replied in a rushed tone. (What I wanted to say was, “In bills, thanks,” but people don’t always comprehend sarcasm.)
The woman slowly pulled out some money. I was starting to lose my grip on Natalie.
“PLAY MOMMY! PLAY!” Natalie was crying. She twisted around in my arm and tried to struggle free. “LET GO! LET GO!”
The cashier gave her a bright smile. “Are you having a bad day, sweetheart?” she inquired. Even when Natalie is blue in the face, people are still nice to her. I believe it’s because of the ultra adorable outfits I put her in and the fact that I put her hair in pigtails. Not many people can resist a kid in pigtails even if they are in the middle of a fit.
But Natalie, who is going through a shy phase and doesn’t like other adults to converse with her, promptly covered her face with her hands.
“Are you shy, honey?” the woman continued as she slid two twenties at me.
“AHHHHHHHHHH! AHHHHHHHH!” Natalie bellowed her hands still over her eyes.
The cashier gave me a baffled look. “Did I frighten her?”
I grabbed the bills and shoved them in my purse. “Well…she believes when she covers her eyes that you don’t exist. So the fact that you still were speaking freaked her out because she assumed you were gone,” I explained gently.
“I’m sorry, sweetheart,” the cashier said to Natalie, who yelped again.
It was definitely time to leave. I said thank you and rushed out of there.
We had to stop off at Wal-Mart next because Tom is obsessed with these mini apple pies that they sell. And they’re Wal-Mart brands so that’s the only place I can get them. All morning he had hounded me to “remember to get those pie things,” and then when I was in Wal-Mart he called and went, “did you get the pie things? Two boxes of them?” After I hung up with him, there was this lady giving cereal samples. My stomach was growling at that point so I said I’d try them. First she gave me a tiny bowl of that Kashi Krap. I decided I’d give it another try even though the last time I tried the stuff it reminded me of flavored bark.
I took a bite and made a face.
It still tastes like flavored bark.
Then she let me try this cereal:
I was a little wary because any cereal that claims that it’s healthy usually tastes funky to me. Hi, I’m Amber and I’m twenty seven and I still prefer Lucky Charms and Cookie Crisp. Oh, and Reeses Puffs.
I was pleasantly surprised. This cereal, the one that claimed that it was vanilla almond, tasted delicious. I just tasted sweet, not nuts. (That’s what she said!) So I decided to buy a box.
When we were done, I stopped at McDonalds and asked Natalie if she wanted the nugget Happy Meal or the cheeseburger one.
“NO EATS!” she screeched.
Seriously, this girl sometimes behaves as though eating is a chore. Eating is one of my favorite parts of the day and here is this kid, MY kid, who seems to hate it.
I got her the nuggets and obviously as soon as they were handed over, she wanted the cheeseburger.
I just cannot win.
She was upset the entire drive home.
“Burger Mommy! BURGER!”
“Sorry. You didn’t tell me so you’ll be eating the nuggets,” I replied.
“BURRRRGERRR!” she yelled as I rolled down my window to give the base policeman my ID card.
“Sounds like a party in there,” the guy quipped as he gazed at my card.
“It’s more like a zoo,” I answered, wincing.
When we got home Natalie abruptly stopped shouting and sniffed, “I’m happy now.” I believed this. I believed it because I wanted to believe it. I believed it because now both of my ears were ringing. I believed it because I wanted a little peace and quiet.
We went inside and I said I’d get her some ketchup for her nuggets. I was off in the kitchen doing this when I heard a bang from upstairs. Oh no. I rushed up the stairs and found the closed door. I put my hand on the knob, turned it and….nothing. It was locked.
“Natalie! Please open this door!” I said in a cheerful voice. I didn’t want her to know that I was both irritated and frightened. Irritated because hello, that’s MY bedroom. You don’t lock someone out of their own bedroom. It’s just poor taste. Frightened because then I start to worry that Natalie would get hurt and I was in no mood to rush to the ER and wait for hours on end while Doogie Howser assured me that everything would be okay.
“NO!” came Natalie’s voice.
“So you lied to me? You said you were happy now. You said you were HAPPY NOW!” I said dramatically as I struggled with the knob.
“GO away!” Natalie yelled.
I knew how to get the knob open from the last time it was locked on me. So I got the wire thing that I knew I could stick in the middle of the knob and started fiddling around.
“I’m coming in!” I said, after hearing the knob click. I went to turn it and only ended up banging my shoulder on the door because it turned out it wasn’t unlocked after all.
So I kept messing with it and finally, mercifully, I did get it open. I swung open the door and went, “AHA!” expecting to find Natalie going through my jewelry or pulling out all my clothes in the dresser. Instead she was sitting on my bed, sucking her thumb. She glared at me as I entered.
“Go away,” she fumed from the side of her mouth.
Of course she got punished for her behavior. Locking a parent out of their own room is bad manners. But after she sat on the naughty step, she did apologize.
“Are you ready for some lunch?” I asked.
“Great. Let’s go have some nuggets,” I said, leading her to the table.
Natalie’s brows furrowed. “Cheeseburger!”