I had been in a bit of a funk. Some of it was just the usual “I’m busy, pregnant, chasing a Tasmanian devil of a toddler” stuff, and some of it was that I had been at home a WHOLE lot more than usual over the past few weeks. Between the usual telecommute and weekend days and the addition of a zillion holidays and a day off to deal with my stupid testing at the doctor’s office, I was not getting my usual recharge/grown-up time1. By the time Saturday rolled around, I was like a fox in a trap: ready to chew my own arm off to escape if I didn’t get some kind of break.
While pinned under Stella during her late morning nap, I got one of those uber-intense pregnancy cravings. I had to have Greek food. Last time I couldn’t bear to think about Greek food as just the word “hummus” was enough to stick me with third degree heartburn. Not so this time ‘round. So, I texted my husband in his man room to prepare him to scoop up his daughter upon awakening so that she and I could both dress at the same time and deploy at the earliest possible moment to acquire gyros and schwarma.
Since becoming parents, I can’t tell you how many meals we’ve had to scarf down or take to go due to an angsty kid, or how often Will and I have eaten in shifts alone while the other chases her around the parking lot to keep her from bellowing inside and bothering others. I’ve about given up on the idea of meeting anyone out for dinner with her, as I feel like I have the universe’s worst case of ADD trying to eat, converse, and keep the crayons on the table no stop eat this fry how about some milk don’t spit no throwing food. I’m sure more than one dining companion has thought me rude or brain damaged – those without kids of their own, that is.
Anyway, as we and all our fellow diners in the periphery settled, ordered, and got food, MY KID WAS THE “GOOD ONE” THIS TIME. The others were wailing and fighting the high chair. Stella sat nicely, played with some apps on our iPhones, ate her food, and just chattered happily in an inside voice. At one point, she looked over at another little boy who was hollering and gave him the stink eye, as if to say “So gauche! Do you reside in a barn with the cows?” I swear I wanted a T-shirt or button to commemorate this experience.
Her amazing and chilled out behavior continued as we went to the bookstore to look around and grab a cup of coffee. I got to do some Xmas window shopping (at last!!) and everything. I finally had a moment where I could see how other parents are able to take their children places without needing a Xanex or shot of vodka – a glimpse of our (hopeful) future. It was a really cool thing.
Yesterday, the good luck continued as we took her downtown to the museum to play. For about an hour and a half, she ceased to be “Rampage” and became a little girl having toy sandwiches and trying to play ninja with her daddy. There was no random running off in all directions for no apparent reason. It’s like we’ve turned some new developmental corner. I don’t know whether to be happy or sad about it.
1 I suffer the crazy dichotomy of the introvert mom. I complain simultaneously about needing to get alone time since I’m constantly with my kid and yet feeling totally alone/lonely since I rarely get to talk to anyone who can put more than 3-4 words together. It’s really a crappy feeling.