Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Fit, Fit for a King

My folks are in town visiting for about a week. 

We don't get together as often as we'd all like but I suppose that's what happens when you live about 1,000 miles apart. 


So, under the circumstances one wants to make the most of it. 

The house was tidied upon their arrival. The guest room was ready for use. Groceries were bought and some beer too. 

My folks don't require much preparation and they go to great pains to ensure that we don't make a fuss for them. Their idea of a "fuss" includes turning on the heat. For what it's worth, Mrs. Blackwell's folks are the same way when they visit. 

Easy. Peazy. 

The boy's tantrum really bothered my dad too.
And that 's what it should be. But, we've had an exception, a definitive fuss to our muss. One person who is not on board with the plan. That would be the boy.

I will qualify all that follows by saying that 95 percent of the time, he's been great. He's been a smiling, chuckling little gentleman who has my parents convinced Mrs. Blackwell and I are parents of the year — or at least the recipients of an absurd amount of good luck in the form of a well-behaved little boy.

It's that other 5 percent of the time that rankles.

On a recent trip to bed he threw a tantrum like few before it.

There was flailing, flopping, dropping, tripping, twisting, turning and contortions the likes of which I've never seen from him.

And throughout it all there was wailing and tears. The volume was inescapable and there seemed to be no fix.

The boy was in no pain. No discomfort that we could identify. He'd been fed and coddled throughout an evening spent mostly with his mom and grandmother.

It was just time for bed, a circumstance which, apparently, can trigger the delirium described above.

In the midst of this spectacle Mrs. Blackwell sought to stick with the program — that would be a bath, teeth brushing, baby powder, PJs, reading a book and bed.

The first part of this routine went out the window when the boy, immediately attempted to climb out of the bathtub. 


He did, and promptly made a b-line for his room. 
Mom and dad's dog was out of sorts too.

I'll pause here to say that, even in the midst of being at the end of your rope, patience literally frayed to an extent you've never imagined, it's funny to watch your child run down the hallway, angry, naked and yelling.

At this point, I removed myself from the proceedings. Mrs. Blackwell and I were now arguing with each other because, naturally, each of us knew exactly what to do and, just as naturally, the other one did not. 



So I went downstairs and listened as the circus slowly subsided, the boy calmed and eventually, asked for a bath and the rest of his routine.

Throughout this process, my mom stayed busy by working on the boy's Halloween costume while dad got better acquainted with my recliner and television, though I don't know that he could have heard much over the boy's deafening protestations.

The evening that opened with a roar, closed with a whimper as the boy asked to be laid in his crib.

Grandmothers can find the silver lining in just about any of their grandkids' behavior. My mom is no different.

The boy, my mom said, has a strong will and we won't have to worry about him standing up for himself.

True. Very true. But it'll be a relief when he becomes a bit more discriminating about picking his battles.

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