Last night my two year old tried threatening to run away. I mean, he obviously doesn’t understand what it means to threaten someone, so he had a giant fucking smile on his face and he called it “leaving” – but the principle was the same.
Matty and I were playing in the living room (well, I was “cleaning” and he was running around like a lunatic) and Seth had been watching a baseball game but I decided to turn the TV off. Matty was not into that decision, so he started throwing a tantrum and screaming “my TV! my TV! Miniooonnnnsss on TV!” I, of course, kept saying no and he was not happy about it. Conveniently for him, there was a freshly picked-up and zipped-up bag of building blocks in the middle of the room. He furiously picked himself up off the floor, put his arm through the bag strap and stared at me like we were engaging in a Hollywood Western shootout…
“What are doing?”
“I go outside.”
“You’re going outside? It’s pretty dark out there.”
Matty looks at the window and proceeds to lift the bag onto his shoulder.
“I going walk outside.”
And I was so extremely crabby last night.
“Ok, fine. Byeeeeee!”
A giant shit grin spreads across his face.
“I going walk!”
If he could have, he probably would have added “AND I DARE YOU TO STOP ME YOU WEAK, CRABBY WOMAN!”
At this point, he turns away from me and takes a couple steps toward the door and I start having an internal conversation with myself. It went something like this: “Ugh, I’m such a bitch. I don’t want him to think I want him to leave! Obviously he’s not going to leave. I remember that feeling as a kid like nobody cares about me so I’m going to run away… But he’s mad about the TV… Awe, but I never want him to think I don’t want him to be here…I always want him here” (yes, I typically talk to myself this much). I come back to reality and Matty’s looking at me with the sweetest smile.
“I leaving! Byeeee!”
And with a wave and a smile he inches closer to the door.
“Ok, bye, love you! Miss you!”
“BYE, MAMA! I leaving!”
“Ok, bye, have fun!….Are you coming back?!“
He laughs. Bag still on his shoulder. And Seth comes into the room.
“WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!”
“HI, DADA! I go walk outside”
Matty laughs and starts wrestling with Seth. I fixate on how old he is, how well he’s talking and how sassy he is becoming – how it seems much to early to have child “threaten” to leave (even if it was the cutest thing ever). I begin to remember how hard it is to be a kid and, naturally, start to worry about all of the what ifs and the things I won’t be able to control. I go down that rabbit hole for a minute and have to find my way back.
And as I think about Matty yelling, “BYE, MAMA! I LEAVING” I laugh and my mind returns to the fortunate place it always returns to at the end of the day:
Man, I got lucky – my kids are fucking awesome.