For little man’s third birthday, a friend gave us pretty much the best children’s book of all time. Llama Llama Red Pajama. I have begun quoting the book to little man which luckily he thinks is hilarious which means he may not be getting my secret coded messages I’m sending him. For those of you who haven’t read Llama Llama, it’s about a baby llama who throws a fit for really no reason and his llama mama who responds in a flurry only to find that baby llama simply wanted a glass of water and a little attention. Here comes my favorite part (and the part that I quote to little man like all the time now). Mama llama says, “baby llama, what a tizzy! Sometimes mama’s very busy. Please stop all this llama drama and be patient for your mama.”
Best line in a children’s book hands down.
Llama drama. I clearly must have a sufficient amount of llama drama in my life in that I am so in love with this book (and with the author for writing it…and dedicating it to her little llamas!). But I guess little man must be getting my innuendos because the smart little stinker has totally started deflecting my humor and now sing songs the same line to his baby sister: “Baby girl, what a tizzy! Sometimes mama’s very busy…”
What is it about little man being 3-years-old that he has to say no to everything and I mean everything (well, I guess he doesn’t say no to ice cream cones or cupcakes…or birthday parties because he’s pretty sure he’s going to get one of the previously mentioned items if he attends). The 2’s were a breeze compared to 3.
Time to put your clothes on for school! NOOOOOOOOOO!
And did I mention that little man LOVES preschool and is always the last kid out the door and I am cajoling with visits to the school library (where there are gold fish and animal cookies—okay, 2 more things he loves) or tossing bread crumbs to the chickens in the school garden and often threatening time outs because school has been OVER for 15 minutes and the teachers really want you gone so it’s time to GO! Yes, same school that when I say it’s time to put clothes on he runs the other way.
Time to go downstairs because it’s swimming time! We need to move a little quickly to be on time!
No mommy, I want to move s-l-o-o-o-w-w-w.
I swear a sloth takes over his body the moment we have to go somewhere. Anywhere. It could be the most fun place imaginable to a kid like Sea World or the Zoo or the beach (all places little man LOVES)! And as previously mentioned, this mommy dearest has too much going on in life to ever get to places on time by moving s-l-o-o-o-w-w-w.
Let’s go for a walk and look at bees! Let’s go ride your bike! Let’s eat breakfast! Let’s eat lunch! Let’s get dressed! Let’s jump up and down on the bed! Let’s go pee pee on the bush! No matter how fun an activity is or how I excited I sound, the answer is one syllable two letters: N-O! And an emphatic I DON’T WANT TO usually follows the N-O.
Now if any of the activities mentioned above are somehow the brainchild of little man, then of course it’s the best thing in the world. Like jumping up and down on the bed is suddenly a great idea when I’m trying to have a zen moment and nurse baby girl on said bed.
Getting little man out the door is the bane of my existence. But little man has to get out because staying in all day would lead to bouncy ball type behavior and this mama can’t handle that drama either. Little man has to run. EVERY DAY. Otherwise llama mama here will turn into psycho mama. And then it will clearly be 5-o’clock somewhere right here right now even if it’s only naptime.
(as an aside, a friend of mine just gave me beverage napkins that read: enough with the damn juice boxes, mommy needs a cocktail)
I’ve had a little more success moving little man lately by having him help me come up with a task list. A bunch of you are probably saying “du-uh” but this was a new thought to me. Scenario: Okay, little man, let’s talk about what we have to do before we leave. I need to go potty and put my shoes on. You need to go pee (notice how I sneak that in there), get dressed, and put on your shoes. I need to change baby girl’s diaper and put her shoes on too. What shall we do first?
Of course I want to just yell “put your shoes on and let’s go” but that will meet with tsunami height waves of resistance. Patience, mama. Argh! I hate patience!
I think being a mom is such an interesting thing because I have moments (sometimes days) where I want to throttle little man but the idea of anything actually happening to him or baby girl sends horrific shivers down my back and I grasp onto my sweet little children wanting to love and shelter them beyond everything. Husband gets the kids up every morning so each of my days starts with the pitter patter of 3-year-old feet and a sing song “hi mama bear!” and when I pry an eye open I see wide-eyed baby girl giggling and salivating. I think I hold my breath every morning until I hear those feet and see that little smile. Then I breathe. They’re okay. They woke up this morning. I get one more day with them. Everything is okay.
Maybe because I had this really awful relationship in my 20’s or because we almost lost baby girl in her early weeks of life, or because I’ve seen enough pain in the lives of my friends and family and just the whole stinkin world out there, that there’s this on-going fear in me that everything can’t stay this good. I can’t be lucky enough to have a beautiful healthy family and live in a wonderful place by extended family and amazing friends with work I really enjoy and have it all just keep going. Can I be this lucky to have this many gifts?
Maybe I’m just a mama drama.
But some days the brevity of life and it’s constant inability to be controlled—by me—gets to me. I pray. I try to trust. I maul little man with hugs and kisses until he wiggles out of my grasp. I plant on-going raspberries on baby girl’s tummy as she squeals with delight.
I love love love my little llamas. No matter the drama.
But most days I still need a cocktail!