I'm mostly kidding, but kind of not.
Today we were indoors for way too long and everyone was feeling the strain of too many hours cooped up together in the same brightly colored space. Every well-meaning decoration in my happy little home was closing in on us menacingly.
Ambrose was getting over some serious nausea from extra asthma treatments he had to have on Monday and it was raining on and off all day so we were trapped. It's not like we're 24/7 beach people anyway, but today indoors was long.
Just when the boys would seem happily occupied with one thing I would hear screaming or scuffling and have to referee. Parents who have two children purposely have one to play with the other so disagreements of any sort really buck against that bullet proof plan. It's so annoying.
Asher is learning to speak. I am elated, but this new-found communicative freedom is also not going according to plan.
3 times today I felt the sting of a child who is learning he has a right to express his opinion.
And it was hilarious.
Example No.1: I hear screams of indignant protest from Ambrose that Asher is ruining his train track and life. I come in and bark, "Asher?! Why? Just stop it." He looks at me and throws a track behind his head sending Ambrose into a shriek that could be heard across America. "ASHER!" I warn him. Asher glares, sticks out his bottom lip and declares, "Baby Mama."
I'm stunned. "Did you just call Mama a baby Asher?"
"Da," he offers defiantly.
Ambrose's fury is immediately replaced by delight as I try and hold back laughter and calmly walk Asher to the time-out chair.
Example No.2: Asher is sitting on his brother's head. Of course.
What started as a hilarious game where they pretend to fall asleep on Asher's bed and wake each other up in wild and raucous ways has now, inevitably, turned violent.
I warn from my room where I am folding clothes, "Ash, get off!" as loud as I can since I need to be heard over Ambrose's dramatic pleas for air. We do not need to spend a whole additional day hanging out at the doctors because Ambrose can't breathe. I'm thinking of us all here, but mostly my sanity.
"ASH!" I give him one more chance.
That's it. I march in his room and pry them apart as Ambrose rolls away like he's just been saved from the jaws of a great white or something.
Asher pouts on his bed in frustration. All he wanted to do was kill his brother and now what?
I poke my head in five minutes later to see him in the same thwarted position.
"Asher, let's go play." I'm a big fan of redirection... in theory.
"Come on Asher boy.... I looooooove you!" This always works. He can never resist saying one of his only two-word phrases in response.
And then, in as low-voice as possible for a very, very tiny human he states, "No, uve-you, Mama."
I'll translate: MY BABY CHILD JUST SAID HE DIDN'T LOVE ME! Not even Ambrose, who has said MANY things has stooped so low.
I just said, "What?!" and he turned the frown upside-down and laughed like he was the funniest person in the world.
Final Example No.3: Asher was being naughty in the tub- splashing and not listening or whatever- so Daddy sent him out in his towel, over to me to help get PJs on.
Immediately I found myself in that scene from Charlottes Web when they gave Wilbur a buttermilk bath and then had to chase him down and wrestle him into the green crate to take to the fair. Asher was some pig alright. He was even squealing while I was struggling to get his diaper on, but then I stopped hearing the blood pumping through my ears long enough to realize that my little piglet was emphatically demanding, "GetOutMama!" over and over and over.
Well I never. I said, "Get out Mama?" and he said, "Da!!" and since we are supposed to give him what he wants in speech therapy if he communicates I finished putting on his diaper and promptly left him to his green crate, or uh, room.
I miss my sweet little mute.