20 December 2010

Oh, Baby

In swim lessons this week, it all came together: Eamon figured out how to kick with his legs at the same time he was reaching and pulling with his arms. If only he was buoyant, he would have been swimming. He can hold his breath underwater, he jumps while standing on the side when you count to three, and is all around doing great.

Currently, Eamon is officially a Waterskipper, because that’s what kids are from ages 18 months to 3 years. At the age of three, they can enter the Sunfish class, which does all the same skills as Eamon has already mastered, and then after that comes the Tadpoles, where the kids finally get to go into the water without a parent.

So at the end of the lesson his swim instructor, Jennifer, asked, “When does he turn three?”

“Um, December 2012,” we told her. “He’s not even 2 yet.”

“Oh,” was her response.

The problem is, he swims like he’s three, but he still acts like he’s two. He might be almost able to swim, but you can’t always count on him feeling in the mood to follow directions.

See, most of the time Eamon is a wonderful kid. Last Sunday Eamon and I went out while Aaron watched football. We drove to the mall, walked around, had pretzels, and he was the best behaved little man. Everyone smiled at him and you could tell them were all thinking, “Wow, what a great little kid. Wish I had one of those.”

Then this Sunday, he had a case of the Terrible Twos. Instead of walking, he wanted to sit on the floor of the mall (ew). When I made him stand, he threw down his Lion. When I made him pick it up, he threw it at me. Suddenly, people looked at us like, “Wow, glad I don’t have to deal with him.”

Needless to say, we high-tailed it out of the mall, me carrying Eamon as quickly as I could, him crying because…I don’t know. Because I wouldn’t let him lie down in the mall? Because I wouldn’t let him throw his Lion at random people? It’s hard to say. All he would whimper was, "Home...home." So home we went.

When we got home, Aaron had already left to enjoy his monthly “Guy’s Night” at his friend’s apartment. Therefore, it was just Eamon and me. Everything I did seemed to annoy Eamon, and we were both just ready for a break, so I put on some Sesame Street, put him in his playpen with all his toys, and went upstairs to take a nice, hot shower.

As soon as I got out, I heard terrible screaming. I went downstairs, and Eamon was absolutely hysterical. He wasn’t hurt and nothing had happened to scare him…he just wanted to be held and hugged. Usually, he’s happy to spend some time on his own, but whenever I left the room the rest of the evening (to cook dinner, get his bath ready, etc.), he followed me with pathetic cries of, “Mimi? MIMI?”

And that’s when I realized: as hard as his being two is for me, it’s just as hard for him. Maybe harder.

He wants so much to be independent, but he doesn’t know how. Last night, he didn’t get a choice about running errands, or his daddy leaving, and so instead he tried to control the few things that he could: sitting when I wanted him to walk, throwing his Lion, etc..

And normally, Eamon goes down to bed without a hitch. Read him a couple of stories, say goodnight to all the pictures on his walls, put him in bed with his lion and a board book, and he’s quiet and drifts to sleep without fuss. Last night, though? I put him in his crib, told him I loved him, turned out the lights…and within seconds, he was crying again.

I wanted to get things ready for the next day, I wanted to check email, I wanted to read my own non-dinosaur book...but instead I sighed and went into his room. I picked him up and took him to my bed for a snuggle, quietly promising him over and over that tomorrow would be a better day.
I hope it is.

1 comment:

Julie said...

I completely agree. Terrible twos has always seemed to me that kids finally are able to realize the little control they have in their lives and how they want some. The only power they have is veto. That "No" thing gets old really fast, but what else do they get to have a say in really? In other words, he KNOWS he will rule the wold some day, why not start now?