Perception can be a tricky thing. You could take one look at the photos posted below and assume that we had a magical mother/son trip to the market. I could paint the picture of a perfect idiyillc child. But people, that isn't reality. In reality, toddlers are unprediticable little sociopaths. God had to make them cute so you wouldn't kill them. This year, instead of buying into the CSA at the Greenway table, I am doing the work-share program (more on this later). The first week of pick up, I decided that Henry and I would walk down together to get our veggie box. The Greenway Table is only three blocks from my house. I thought this could be our special time together. I don't get a lot of one-on-one time with Henry. We got our wagon and headed off. The walk down was okay (though it did take us awhile, but it was fine). Then we got to the garden. And Henry had a fit. First, there were volunteers picking strawberries. He is no stranger to strawberry picking. Of course, I was wearing a dress and was not really in the mood to pick fruit. When I told him no, the pouting began. And then, then he saw the voltuneers digging holes for watermelon plants. He started running full steam a head yelling "I dig, I dig!" I would have let him play but there were tons of volunteers and they had already started planting. Henry is a force of distruction. When I told him no, there was screaming and gnashing of teeth. It was one of those moments when you want to pretend that you don't know who your kid is. "What? That kid laying on the ground screaming? I have no idea who he is. His mother needs to learn to control her kid." To top it all off, last year at one of the final picks up of the season, I implored the farm manager to never have children. I don't even remember the conversation. He did of course. I assume being accosted by a sleep deprived woman with small children isn't something you easily forget. It would have been right after Alex was born. Those first few weeks were a blurry haze of exhaustion and hormones. Needless to say, I really drove home the point about children, as my toddler stomped his feet and demanded a shovel.
All this to say, I could have just posted a sweet photo of Henry sneaking strawberries from my CSA box. I could let you believe that my child always behaves. But, where is the fun in that? The truth is, living with a toddler is like living with a manic-depressive at times. They are up. They are down. And sweet lord, if they don't get there way . . . I think, for me anyways, that the trick to being a sane parent is just taking a deep breath and just let them have their fit. I don't give into to him. I am stubborn as the day is long and after he went bananas, I'd be damned if I was going to allow him to pick one stinking strawberry. I feel that by not giving into his demands, I am teaching him to be a better person. Hello self control! And, it slowly seems to be working. Slowly. But, more and more he is simply looking at me and asking for milk instead of throwing his empty cup on the floor and sobbing uncontrollably because the milk is gone. I should start volunteering by bringing a grumpy, tired toddler to sex ed classes. One look at a toddler meltdown and forget condom usage, abstinence signup would be unanimous. Of course, being a parent means looking past all the bad behaviors and seeing the cutie pie that your kid is. It is amazing. In a 10 minute span, I can go from raving about his adorableness to wanting to toss him out the window. But mostly, he is adorable.
Disclaimer: I would never throw my child from a window or any elevated surface.