Two-Year Old Protesters

Monday, March 18, 2013

It’s early in the evening and the Tiger is almost in bed. I had a discussion with my mother when she visited this weekend about difficulties with the Tiger. That’s a kind way of describing when the Tiger is willful, such as when she refuses to let us change her diaper or help her dress (“Self. Self! I can do it myself!” “No, cutie. Regrettably you cannot.”)

I claimed that her tantrums were caused by a lack of sleep. On Saturday she did not take a nap as we were in a hurry to go to our Naginata practice tournament, and decided not to drive the Tiger around to put her to sleep. That turned out to be a mistake, as she did not sleep with the babysitter and my mom, and we ended up paying for that transgression with difficulties during the remainder of the weekend.

My mother, however, thought her tantrums were the natural outgrowth of two-year old behavior. Speaking of such behavior, I am amazed at how quickly she learned to be defiant. It’s similar to the videos of non-violent protestors: you know the type, 60s radicals or anarchist, who confront police by completely relaxing all their muscles. The Tiger does this now when I try to pick her up. Her arms go limp and she falls to the floor. It’s surprisingly difficult to pick up a person when they’re limp. Even a very small person.

So early in the evening I pick up the Tiger from her daycare. The children are outside playing in what turned out to be a beautiful, sunny day. The Tiger is pushing herself along on her favorite car: a plastic pink Little Mermaid car that’s seen better days. She pushes it with legs out to the side. The Tiger has grown as the car is now too small for her. Her gangly legs stretch far out in front and behind the as she pushes it across the rubber-matted playground.

After the teacher hands me her progress sheet for the day, the Tiger drives over and says hello, and then drives off to visit her wooden house at the far side of the playground. She spends the next twenty minutes playing while I wait for her. Mothers come and go, and still the Tiger does not want to leave. I provide her long explanations, kneeling down to her eye height, about how we’re going to the grocery store and mommy is waiting at home and I even have her pink dog in the car, and wouldn’t it be great if we went there to play with it. All to no avail. Finally, as I make motions to leave and the teacher points out my dramatic exit, the Tiger finishes playing by handing one of the boys in class her collection of twigs she had stored in the seat of her Little Mermaid car, and joins me at the door.

As I drove to the grocery store to purchase dinner, I thought that my theory had failed, and, worse, my mother had been right. The grocery store was better, and while she threatened a scene when we arrived back at the car, it took a mild distracting whole wheat muffin to get her buckled in.

I came home and started cooking dinner. The Doolies looked over the status report and remarked that under the nap headings, the teacher had written, “none.” That did not bode well for the remainder of the night (and that turned out to be the case), but it did provide support for my sleep theory. Sorry, Mom!

The Doolies and the Dinosaur are in the other room napping. The Dinosaur also did not have a good sleep last night. We thought he might have congestion, but it seems more likely he had gas, as according to the Doolies he had a monstrous poo this morning. Poor the Dinosaur. Hopefully he’ll have a good night tonight.

Work was busy today. I must have slept a bit better than the Dinosaur and Doolies, as I was not much worse for the long night. Or maybe the Monday coffee was stronger. I did upgrade to the paid coffee at work instead of the free cup.

I have a bunch of photographs from my mother’s visit and our trip to the Seattle Art Museum this weekend. I’ll leave this here, and cull them until it’s time to head upstairs.