I've learned a hard lesson this month. Never, ever, ever (even inadvertently) brag about your kid on the internet. A I wrote about how Henry is a great sleeper. Ever since then, he has either refused to go to bed without a fight, or has woken up 17 times every night. And each time he chants, "MOM, MOM, MOM, MOM...." until I want to go sleep outside by the inflatable turkey (because, yeah, he's still afraid of it so I know he'd leave me alone). It's like he sensed that I was talking him up online and decided there was no room for THAT in our lives.
In fact, whenever I get to thinking about how I've got a spectacular kid, he does something like...oh, I don't know...screams bloody murder at the top of the stairs until he bursts a bunch of vessels on his face all because I walked down on the left instead of the right side of the staircase (true story). Or, if I think to myself about how I'm doing pretty well at keeping the house clean and my family well fed, I end up buying McDonald's for dinner and finding some cake on the wall from Hank's first birthday party....nine months ago. The universe has a way putting you in your place when you start getting a little ahead of yourself. The worst are the times when I think maybe I've finally gotten the hang of this whole mom thing, and then I get a huge, kick-in-the-ass reality check.
Costco has some seriously delicious pizza...
Like yesterday at Costco. Henry and I went to get dog food for Jordy-Monster and a slice of pizza for our lunch. Everything was going great. He actually followed my "hand-on-the-cart" rule on our way in from the parking lot. He kept "sitting on his pockets" while we worked our way through the lunch-hour crowd. He even said please to the lady handing out cookie samples and gave some guy "knunks" who liked his Superman hat. When we sat down to eat our pizza I was feeling pretty good about the outing (which, if you have/had a toddler, you know successful outings are like hundred dollar bills :: you know they exist, you just never get to see them). I had remembered to ask the lady to cut our jumbo slice of pizza in half and to request an extra plate. I had grabbed a pile of napkins BEFORE the pizza had a chance to get all over everything. I even brought him a sippy cup of milk from home. As we munched on our lunch, some man stopped to tell me how well behaved my son was, and the woman next to us told me how much he looked like me, and that he was adorable. "I've got this totally under control," I thought to myself. Henry was even holding my hand.
Just after I had told Henry some jokes that made him do the little kid giggle where it comes deep from their gut and their whole body laughs, I turned to take a bite of stray pepperoni and I felt his hand slip out of mine. As I quickly turned back towards him, he started screaming from the ground. The hard laughing must've made him fall off our bench. I quickly scooped him up, but the damage was done. He'd split his lip...or something. I couldn't tell for sure because there was blood everywhere. I set him back on the bench, knelt in front of him, and tried to get a better look by swiping the blood soaked, half chewed bite of pizza out of his mouth. He was SCREAMING.
Meanwhile, all the eyes in the lunch crowd were on us, and (even though I know it didn't) it felt like the whole place went silent except for the noise coming from my child. I reached for my stack of napkins, but they were all (predictably) covered in pizza sauce so I had to ask the man next to us to please get us some more. He quickly went to get some while the young guy across from us passed me a glass of water for Henry. But no amount of napkins or water was going to help :: he was inconsolable and getting more and more worked up. There was blood all over my hands, shirt and jeans, and worse, all over his Thomas the Tank sweatshirt and cute little chin. While I scrambled to find his pacifier, I heard some woman ask her friend what happened, and her friend responded, "I don't know...Mom must've been on her phone," and the woman tsk-ed her tongue as they walked by. I wanted to yell at her that my phone was actually in the abyss that is my diaper bag and to either lend a helping hand or mind her own effing business, but I just desperately wanted to get the hell out of there as quickly as possible and hopefully not leave any baby teeth behind.
As soon as I got our stuff together I still had to make the long walk out to car (which, because it was lunch time, was parked practically across the city). I hated seeing the startled looks on strangers faces when they saw all the blood on the pair of us. I hated feeling like if I just paid closer attention to him we'd still be telling jokes and eating our slice at our perfect outing.
We both cried the whole way home from Costco :: I cupped my hand next to my face so that other drives wouldn't see my tears. Once home, I wiped all the blood off his face and my hands and changed our clothes. Luckily he still had all his teeth, but his fat-lip was pitiful and it made me feel like the worst mom. It just reminded me that, yet again, whenever I get to thinking how great things are (or God forbid put it in writing) I get put in my place. Sometimes that kind of sucks. But you know what? He didn't think it was my fault. All he wanted was a hug and to snuggle Jordan.
Henry - I know you can't read, however since you seem to sense when I write about you, you should know that you're pretty awesome and brave. But to be clear, I'm NOT bragging about that, and definitely not about what happened yesterday. Now let's go ice that lip again.