Mateo is going through his version of the "terrible twos," which isn't really all that terrible and more like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde sort of thing (one minute he's delivering hugs like a good little monkey, the next minute he's telling me, "NO, Momma!" and batting me with his little arm). He's becoming more and more independent, so much so, that I was told to get back, in so many words, when I offered assistance after realizing he was trying to launch himself onto the couch but was having a hard time of it. I stood watching him, completely amused with how he was swinging his little leg up on the couch and trying to grasp onto anything so he could get his little butt up on the couch by his brut pulling strength.
I had to slip a pillow near him and gently suggested he use it to stand on.
He managed to get up then.
Anyway. So he's changing from this ball of cuteness who needed me or his daddy to do everything for him, to being able to grasp toys, to crawling, to walking, to pulling toys down off of tables, to talking and gasp - making sense.
One thing he insists on doing every time I pick him up from daycare is taking the long way around, passing through an empty classroom, through the office, and out the front where the car is waiting*. Seems easy enough, doesn't it?
Well, not when there are mini couches, more exciting toys, and omgfishinabowl! At first I was able to shuffle him through fairly quickly and out the office door to the car, but then he started getting more confident in what he was doing and what he wanted. Wait. Let me change "confident" for "demanding." Yeah, that works better.
As soon as I open the door to the classroom, he makes a beeline for anything and everything and then gets madder than a box o' frogs when I try to keep him moving. It's a huge struggle. I decided a few days ago that I wasn't going to let him go that route anymore because it wasn't worth all the tears and frustration (that would be me, ha, ha). So now I either hold him and walk out (and if that boy hasn't gained 10 lbs, then call me silly nancy), or distract him enough that he doesn't realize where he's going until it's too late - which means we're already through the gate and in the front and there are no more quick toddler dashing back opportunities.
Today he was just way too heavy for me, so I had to put him down when we got our car. He immediately got a devilish gleam in his eyes and started walking away. I told him to stop, but realized he was only heading to the other gate (near that one classroom, however).
I put his jacket in the car and then followed him, telling him that he wasn't going to get through the gate and that we had to go home.
BOING! My words bounced off him and hit me in the head.
As I got closer, his muscle strength lessened and as soon as I reached out to grab him, he turned to a ball of goo, almost laying flat on his back on the sidewalk. Did I mention it was really stormy this morning? So make that a wet sidewalk.
"Come on, baby, we need to go," I said.
He started moaning and saying "no" over and over.
I decided not to wait for this to be over since it could be hours, knowing him, and I reached down and grabbed him. Since he was completely boneless and now weighs what seems to be 40 lbs or more (not really), and since I've been rather tired lately and just did a very mini workout at our condo gym, my strength wasn't all that great. And. Well. Something happened and Mateo started crying bloody murder. I think when I picked him up his jaw got knocked.
So of course his crying caused every. single. mom. picking up her kid to turn and give me a look like, "Did you just hit your child, you evil, evil mom????" because Mateo was balling like someone took a belt to his butt and hit him hard**. I made eye contact with a few of them, but I didn't give them any indication that Mateo was crying for a specific reason nor did I seem apologetic about the commotion Mateo was causing.
Instead I just gave him hugs and looked at his mouth to make sure he didn't chomp down on his tongue. I waited until he was done crying and then sat him in his car seat.
But I tell you, of all the things in this world I could eliminate as a parent, it would be the looks other parents give when they don't like what's going on. And yes, I'm guilty of doing it too, but usually it's for things that make no sense, like dragging your kid out in the cold with barely any clothes on. You know, things that could send you to jail eventually, if you keep doing it and someone finally reports you. However, a crying child? Especially one being picked up from daycare? No. No looks will be coming from my eyes, thank you very much.
And just for those of you who are giving me those eyes right now, Mateo was fine.
*You better believe he doesn't do this nonsense when his daddy picks him up, which is only one day a week, fun for me, no?
**I don't believe in hitting kids as a form of punishment.