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Friday, January 16, 2009

In which the Tank battles his most base instinct and wins.

The Tank is a genius. He loves Beyoncé's Single Ladies video, which proves he has excellent taste.

"Mom! Mom! I want Alla Singa' Ladies! Peeeease, Mom? Mom!"

I hear this at least once a day. And I let him sit on my lap and watch it on the laptop, because that song puts me in a damn fine mood. Thank you, Beyoncé and thank you, Bob Fosse. So, the other night, I was watching this episode of Law and Order: Criminal Intent with him*. When he saw the opening scene, a bunch of "ladies" dancing in a "gentlemen's" club, he asked, "Mom? Dat's da singa' ladies? Dat dem, Mom?" Isn't that smart? They weren't even wearing black leotards. Better start saving for that Ivy League education right now. But I digress.

In the most shocking development of all time, the Tank seems to be learning a modicum of self-control. We've taken him in public several times recently without disastrous results. The other day, the Tank became enraged when I politely requested he stop doing something. I can't remember what it was, because I stop him from doing a lot of stuff, like trashing his brothers' room, making his own yogurt and granola and using our toilet brush as a microphone while he sings "Good Morning to You"** using knives. He kicked me. As they say in kindergarten, "That is not okay. Kicking hurts our friends." I put him on the bottom step, right outside my bedroom door and told him to come see me when he was ready to be nice. He flailed around and hollered for a little and calmed down when I closed the door. In my house, you are welcome to pitch as much of a fit as you like, as long as I don't have to hear it or clean it up. Really. I have tantrums, too. Don't you?

I heard him go into the kitchen, where he puttered around for a bit. After a while, I heard silence. Every parent knows silence must be investigated, even when you're really enjoying it. The consequences of ignoring silence are too gruesome to share. I opened my door and peered into the kitchen with some trepidation. The refrigerator door was open, which wasn't in itself too scary. The Tank consumes about eight apples a day (keeps him regular) and gets them from the bottom drawer of the fridge, all by himself. He closes the door one out of three times, pretty good for a two-year-old. My instinct told me to investigate further.

On the other side of the door, the Tank squatted with a look of grim determination, in front of two open cartons of eggs, carefully placed on the floor. The Tank has a history with eggs. He took a deep breath and looked at me.

"I was ruh-lly mad at you, Mom."

Can you imagine the amount of self-control it took to stop himself from cracking those eggs, one-by-one, all over the floor? How satisfying it would have been, knowing how mad it would make me? The temptation is mind-boggling. After I thanked him for his wise decision, I put the eggs back in the fridge and we both apologized and shared a delicious toddler hug or three, squishy cheek kisses included. We traded declarations of love.

"I wub you so much."

"I wub you too much, Mom."

And I told him how proud I was of him for being a good boy. I didn't specify that I was proud of him for not throwing the eggs. I have a theory: Anything spoken aloud to a toddler reinforces it as a possibility. They have very little short-term memory. "Do not touch your poop!" will be remembered as "Touch your poop!" - "It will be really fun!" implied, of course. I can do without egg-chucking.

Namasté, y'all!

* I know. I know. Inappropriate. But it was TF's tennis night and The Tank wouldn't go to sleep and I was so bored!

** Eh. I let him do this because it is really, really cute.


Anonymous said...

Too sweet!

If you haven't seen this, you might like it too...


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