The day before our family arrived, Ethan sat up in bed and said, "Mommy, I need a play date." And I came through--with a 10-day play date, thanks to Tia Emi, Tio Pete and Prima Sofia. Yay, mom!!! (True, it had little to do with me, but I am totally taking credit, people! You want a play date?! You got it, kid! Here you go! Ten days of play! Have at it!)
I *thought* that after the whirlwind of a houseful of guests, the child might be keen to spend some one-on-one time with the woman who gave him life and all that. But no. The day after Sofia hopped a plane for home, Ethan said to me, once again, "Mommy, I need a play date," as though the previous ten days were a mere figment of my imagination and he'd been languishing in lonely child angst all the while.
So, using the power of Facebook, I managed to wrangle up a few days worth of fabulous play dates and museum visits. Those hours while we were in the presence of witnesses? Tremendously fun. The second we are alone? Demon-child emerges, head all but spinning, demanding "feeeeeeed the beeeeeeeassssst----mmoooooorrrre plllllllllayddddddddddates!!!!!"
Monday? Playdate. Tuesday? Playdate. Today? Supposed to have a playdate, but I woke up with a scratchy throat and some congestion and didn't want to infect the world with my crud, so I cancelled. That, my friend, was a mistake. Aside from the fact that by noon-ish I was feeling relatively okay, Ethan was out of his freaking gourd by the end of the day. At this point, much as I love my friends, I might have been willing to expose them to ebola to keep Ethan from all the whining and let's-see-how-bad-I-can-be-before-she-runs-screaming-from-the-room-and-threatening-to-sell-me-to-a-roving-band-of-gypsies routine he had going on today.
And you know what he says as we drive away from one play date and I ask him if he had fun? "Yea, that was fun. Now let's go to someone else's house. I need another play date." GAH!
Not even lunch at Husband's Super Cool Tech company was enough to make him happy. I thought surely at one point he was going to end up rolling on the floor of the cafeteria, flailing and screaming. They don't see a lot of that at Super Cool Tech company and it would have been mort.i.fying. Thankfully he held off the full tantrum until we were out the door and on our way home. When he said, "Where are we going now, Mommy?" and I replied, "Home, honey," all hell broke loose. Untold dollars worth of new toys at home and the child wants to be at ANYone else's house. Sigh.
At one point, he locked me out. Of the house. I went outside to get something from the car and as I turned the corner from the drive way, I heard "click". Door. closed. I dropped the faux-leather ottoman with storage compartment (Target, on sale, SQUEEE!!!) and ran to the house thinking "don't be locked. don't be locked. don't be locked." Lo and behold. Locked. Thank goodness my church-going neighbors are still on Christmas vacation on the other side of the country because otherwise, they would definitely have heard me cursing enough to melt the paint of the side of my house. Because I'm a great role model like that.
My purse? Already in the house. My phone? Already in the house. My neighbors, who might let me into the house to call Husband or the fire department? As I previously mentioned, on the other side of the country. So I was left to pull up the aforementioned ottoman, have a seat and try to talk my 3.5 year old through the front door unlocking process. Through the front door.
Thankfully, rather than throwing a juicebox Bacchanal, raiding the pantry for leftover peppermint Jo-Jos, and turning on Phineas and Ferb, Ethan went into full-on "I want my mommy!!!" freak out mode when he realized that I truly couldn't get in the house. So before I could talk him through the door-unlocking process, I had to talk him off of his "OMG, I"m in the house alone!!!!! Help me!!!!" ledge. Don't get me wrong; I didn't enjoy hearing him cry and call for me while being unable to get to him. But I was relieved that he realized he needed me and I wasn't going to be climbing through a bedroom window to find my kid passed out in a pool of apple juice in front of MTV.
When I finally got in the house (miraculously, he is a quick learner and once he stopped wailing, unlocking the door only took about a minute), I gave him a big hug and said, "Ethan, you locked me out of the house!"
To which he responded? "Mommy, you locked me IN the house."
Touche, little man. Touche.
And then there is the potty-training. Is there any way Mother Nature could have rigged these little beings so that they came out equipped to use a toilet? Because, honestly. Potty-training Ethan is sucking my will to live.
Okay, that is a *slight* exaggeration, but holy hell! He pooped on the potty for the first time at 18 months. That's TWO years ago. It was a fluke, fine. We've tried several times in the past two years to make it happen on a permanent basis, but I have hesitated to make it a big deal, realizing that everything Ethan has ever done developmentally, he's done on his own terms, in his own time. I'm fine with that. He's pretty good at knowing what he needs and when. I"m constantly amazed by how I will mash my head into a wall trying to think of ways to get him to eat, sleep, etc, and then one day POOF! He does it all on his own. So I've not been too worried about the WHEN WILL HE GO ON THE POTTY???!!! question.
The problem with this while potty-training? He changes his mind on an almost daily basis. One day, he is ALL about the Buzz Lightyear underwear and has no accidents. The next day, the mere thought of underwear is enough to send him into a hyperventilating train wreck.
I think we were *almost* there before the holidays. Two or three days of only one accident and lots of successes. Then the flurry of activity that is the holiday season ensued and we went through all of our underwear and all our pants in one day. That's a LOT of accidents and no successes. And he was crying. A lot. And feeling horrible and embarrassed by all the accidents. So I conceded and put him back in diapers while family was in town. And he got used to it.
Now we're back in underwear and zOMG, it's like a battle of wills. He does okay for the most part. Except if I'm not giving him what he wants, when he wants. Yesterday, while I took five minutes to myself to talk on the phone to my mom, Ethan stood in front of me, smiled and peed his pants. Give me strength, interwebs. Give. Me. Strength. Or? If we're out in public and he decides every 30 seconds that he NEEEEEEEEDs to go potty, so we rush to the restroom and I hold him up and hover him over the nasty toilet, and wait. And he never pees. And my back is wrenched to the point of needing a chiropractor on call, 24/7.
The other day, at the museum, he did manage to pee in the restroom. Which was AWESOME. But? He peed on the floor. Because I was holding him up over the toilet and he couldn't get his aim right, what looked like a perfect shot was actually, as they say in Major League, "just a bit outside.". To be honest, I"m just relieved he didn't pee all over me. But his "The pee is on the floor!!! The pee is on the floor!!!" wailing while I unrolled entire rolls of toilet paper to mop it up may have raised my blood pressure to unsafe levels. And by "may have" I mean "definitely did."
So the false alarms, the "do what I want or I'll pee right here, right now" shenanigans and the, to no fault of his own, misses because he's just learning how to use the toilet and I've never peed with a penis, are giving me a bit of a tic.
Dear G-d, I love this child more than anything in the world, but I canNOT wait for school to start on January 4th.
I will say this though. While we were driving somewhere today (I can't even remember where because my brain cells are scrambled), he said, "Mommy, someone said that you didn't have me when you were getting married." We look at pictures of the wedding all the time in our hallway, so I wasn't surprised to hear him talk about it, but I was taken aback a little bit by his placement of himself in there and wondered who he'd been talking to about it. So I said, "Yes, honey. That's right. Daddy and I got married and you came along pretty soon after." He was quiet for a minute and then said, "Yeah, I know. I was waiting for you."