The other day we were at the playground and another mom and I stood watching the Girleens run up a grassy incline and start dancing hand-in-hand. The leaves falling around them were such a lovely lick of flame and color — it was one of those idyllic childhood moments (except that when I say “ran” what I really mean is careened; and the fact that there were vodka bottles tossed into the hydrangeas behind them changes the image slightly).
Other Mom turned to me and said “It must be great to have two! They can entertain each other!”
There was a certain tinge of what might’ve been … desperation … in her voice and I realized I hadn’t seen this particular Other Mom at the playground in a while. I also remembered that this is EXACTLY what I told myself when I was pregnant with Younger Girleen and spent a lot of time hugging the toilet while a three-year-old Older Girleen stood outside the bathroom door asking plaintively “What’s Mommy DOING?”
I think I laughed and said something along the lines of “oh, yes, sometimes, it’s great!” I refrained from saying: “Yep, pulling a sibling’s hair, slamming doors to keep hair-pulling sibling out of bedroom, taunting, teasing and SCREAMING LIKE A TEA KETTLE are all fabulous entertainment.”
All this is a roundabout way of saying that Younger Girleen has contracted a particularly virulent case of two-year-old angst. (And now that I think about it, maybe Elder Girleen has contracted the five-year-old version).
Maybe it’s her molars coming in.
Over the past few weeks, we’ve gone from a sudden HATRED of wearing pull-ups (I know, I know, but on school days it’s what the teacher wants) to a sudden conviction that any diapers that don’t have Elmo printed on BOTH SIDES will scald us like boiling water, to an even stronger conviction that ANY diapers at all will scar us for life.
So yesterday, short-sighted Mom threw up her hands and left a buck naked Younger Girleen standing on the hooked rug designed by an illustrious ancestor at the turn of the century and went in the other room to get dressed herself, all while Younger Girleen shrieked like a tea kettle.
I’d gotten one article of clothing on when the shrieks changed. Now, in addition to wordless fury, I could make out the message: “Mommy, mommy, mommy. I peed on the floor!”
This, ladies and gentleman of the jury, is why I had a twitch in my left eye yesterday.