Wednesday, October 18, 2006


it's getting a little exhausting.

wile and i have had the following philisophical discussions in the last 72 hours:

1) "no, mama, put shoe on dat foot!"

"honey, i can't. that shoe won't fit on that foot. it has to go on the other foot."

"nooooo! dat shoe on dat foot! dat fooooooot!"

"no babe, that's not how shoes work—see, they're shaped different, and the zippers are on different—"

"aaaaiiiiiiiiiiii! [grabs shoe] no! no!"

time needed to get shoes on to proper feet: 20 minutes.

2) we were out on a walk, hauling a few boxes of stuff to the salvation army in our big red wagon. we get to a corner and wile points west and says "go dat way!". my life flashes in front of my eyes. i take a deep breath.

"no, sweetie, the salvation army is this way [pointing south]."


we stood on that corner for 15 minutes debating the merits of going 5 blocks out of our way. and by debating, i mean screaming (well, one of us). and running away. and screaming some more. and finally having to be picked up and carried a half block. after half a block, i decided i couldn't carry him and pull the wagon, so for the rest of the journey i held his hand while he walked and screamed and tried to pry his hand out of mine and people on the street made really helpful comments like "aw, she wants to ride in the wagon! you'll get to ride in the wagon soon, honey!" yes, thank you—give him something else to be upset about. now not only am i questioning his navigational skills, but he's not riding in the f-ing wagon.

all in all though, it could have been worse—at least he walked (protesting all the way, but still). he could have gone limp in the middle of the sidewalk and i would have had to leave him there. (i kid!) when we got to the salvation army the sight of the big trucks unloading furniture made everything alright.

3) every morning we get up and i open the shade in wile's window. every morning. apparently, on monday morning wile had had enough of the shade-opening regime.

"aaaaaiiiiiiiii! no ope shade! no ope shade!"

"wile, it's okay—"


i was too exhausted (having been at the jets game all day and up watching the mets game all night the day before) to do anything but sit back and let him get it all out. stephen tried to mediate and was basically told to stay the hell out of it, this was between him and mama. i managed to get him into our room and away from the sight of the awful, terrible open shade, and he calmed down.

now, this is one i could have negotiated on—if he had taken the volume and the pitch down a bit and asked nicely—if i had gotten more than 4 hours of sleep the night before and less than 3 vodka drinks the day before. but as things stood, i didn't have the strength to make it happen.

4) "mama get that thing for wile"

"that thing right there, 10 inches away from your foot? that thing that's right in front of where you are, sitting on the floor, but pretty far from where i am, standing up on this stool cleaning out your closet?"

"yah. mama get."

"no honey, you can get that yourself."

"no, mama get!"

"just lean forward and get it, wile. it's right there."

"no, mama get! mamaaaa!"


"nice, please, mama get?"

"that was really nice asking, wile, but i still think you should get it."

"noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause, bloodcurdling shreik, pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get! [pause] noooooooo, mama get!"

by the last few reps, he was just going through the motions, and eventually he gave up, went and played with something different, and came back later and got the thing really slyly, hoping that i wouldn't see.

5) the time has come, the walrus said, to stop lugging 25 pounds of toddler up and down 2 steep flights of stairs numerous times a day.

wile thinks the walrus should go suck an egg.

we played three or four rounds of "stair standoff" in the last few days. not a fun game, if you were wondering. the first couple times, it went like this: i agreed to carry him down the first set of stairs (to the living room) if he would walk down the second set (to the office). he agreed. we got to the second set and he had absolutely no memory of saying any such crazy thing! so he stood in the middle of the stairs and screamed. i tried to talk to him, but it was so easy to be heard over the screaming. so i walked to the bottom of the stairs and let him scream and hoped that if he started to pitch forward i could catch him before he split his skull open. eventually, he came down.

then we moved on to him refusing to even make the false agreement in the first place. more standing, more screaming, more eventual walking.

but! now? not a peep. walks down the stairs like he's been doing it for years.

score one for the good guys!

not that i'm keeping score.

or think of wile as "the bad guys".

at least not at this moment.

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