Friday, December 9, 2011

My Spoon Victory

I should have known our morning was bound to be tragic when I heard Clark waking up and I looked at the clock and it was 5:50 am. Friends and loved ones, this is way too early. I let him stay in his crib for at least 15 minutes thinking he would fall back asleep, but when I looked at the video monitor, he was standing up holding his blanket and crying hysterically. I went into his room holding back tears because I knew at that point he was awake for the day and so was I. My point of telling you this is because 5:50 is really early for Clark and I knew he didn't get his ideal amount of sleep which is approximately 12 hours each night. In other words, in order for him to be a happy kid throughout the day, he would have needed a good two more hours of night night.

And I was right. From the second I went in his room, the floodgates opened and I could not get him to calm down. It got old and really fast, but I was patient with him and just let him work it out until he settled down. At about 7:00, he started whining for oatmeal and I was ecstatic to hear anything other than an all out scream fest, so I fixed him a bowl and watched him scarf it down.

This is where the story actually starts. After he finished his bowl, he asked for more, which actually sounds more like the word mower. So I got some more oatmeal and poured it in his bowl and went to get the milk when I saw him trying to eat the oatmeal dry. I told him to stop eating it because we need to put milk in it and heat it up first. This was the moment that Clark broke down. Freaked out. Melted down. Panicked. Almost died. It was horrible. How dare I ask him not to eat dry oatmeal. He got so mad that he yelled, "No!!" and chunked his spoon across the room as if he was saying, "I curse the ground my mom walks on."

Whoa. He has never done this so I actually had no idea how to appropriately react. Spank? Time out? Demand an apology? I didn't know. So I gave him my mom glare, told him in a relatively calm voice that throwing the spoon was not okay and he needed to pick it up.

He walked to the spoon, picked it up, handed it to me and said "Sorry, Mommy. I love you."

Just kidding. That didn't happen at all. In fact, he screamed louder and continued his temper tantrum until I just walked out of the room and left him by himself. He followed me into the other room, still screaming, and holding his arms up like he wanted to be picked up. I told him I wasn't going to pick him up until he picked up the spoon. That didn't go over well.

For the next couple of hours I walked around cleaning up my house, leaving the spoon exactly where he threw it, and Clark literally spent an hour following me around with his blanket in his hand screaming and crying and saying "up, mama." I constantly repeated that I wasn't going to hold him until he picked up the spoon, and every couple of minutes I would ask him if he was ready to bring me the spoon and he would tell me no. Eventually he dropped the idea of being held and played by himself but I continued to ask him about the spoon. Being the stubborn mess he is, he said no every time.

At 8:50 am (remember, this all started at about 7:00), the heavens opened as I was in Clark's room putting his laundry up. He came in the room with his blanket in one hand and the spoon in the other. He slowly walked over to me, handed me the spoon, gave me a really big hug, and then asked for more oatmeal. That really happened, people. It only took two hours of refusing to hold my son, listening to a very constant, high pitched scream, and not giving him attention to send a message.

We walked into the kitchen and I made him some more oatmeal and put it in front of him. He took one look at it and pushed it away like I had just presented him with a giant bowl of poop. Instead of losing my mind, which would normally have been my first reaction, I told him that made me sad because I worked hard to make him some more oatmeal and he needed to eat it. So he pulled the bowl toward him and proceeded to eat the whole thing. I thanked him for being nice and told him I loved him and lots of other cheesy jargon.

This may not seem like a big deal, but I did a happy dance. It was a victory for me, and I'm not sure Clark learned even one thing from the whole ordeal, but whatever. Although the morning was extremely difficult to make it through, I wouldn't change anything about it because I learned a couple of valuable lessons that I'm going to keep with me for a while.

The most important thing is that I will forever reign over all the spoons in my house.

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