Last night, the toddler and I got home late. I had just hung up the phone, he was sitting at the kitchen table eating yogurt, and I noticed some crushed goldfish on the floor. I grabbed the dust buster and cleaned up the goldfish.
And then I saw it.
A roach. . .
. . . like the size of my freaking face.
We have never had a roach before. Now, I'm not a mommy to shy away from an insect that needs killing. I've got a son who squashes spiders with his bare hands and has on one occasion eaten one afterwards. Do you think he would be like that if I squealed every time I saw a bug? (You're welcome, future daughter-in-law.)
But this was different. I've never seen a roach in my house, and so I did the only practical thing I could think of to do:
Scream. Bloody. Murder.
Thus promptly setting off the glass break alarm in my house.
So now, we have the dust buster going, me screaming, the alarm blaring, the alarm company calling and asking if they need to send out the police (only if they can come take on King Kong Roach for me), and my child totally freaking out.
The roach was too big to squash. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. So I sucked it up in the dust buster, and threw the little handheld vacuum in the sink. I was shaking, freaking out, and the only thing I knew was that I needed a man at my house pronto. And since my husband was in another state, I called my youngest brother.
"Pleeeeeeeease!" I begged. "You do not understand. This is like the biggest roach ever, and I can hear it scuttling in the vacuum, and it's going to crawl out, and fall on my face while I'm sleeping, and I'm going to have a heart attack, and go into labor, and will you just please come over and kill it!?!?!?!?!?"
He laughed, "Sure. I'll be right over."
Thank God for brothers.
So, the toddler and I sat at the kitchen table with our legs up for twenty minutes waiting for my brother to arrive. When he came and disposed of the monstrously huge roach, we all sat in the kitchen, and the toddler (fueled, I'm sure, by his frayed emotions) kept talking about "getting the crunch." I told him over and over again it was a "roach." The boy simply didn't believe me. He's still talking about the "crunch" today.
Moment #2: Wake Up!
No problem! The toddler decided he'd just do it for me.
With his little hands, he grabbed my upper eyelids and lifted them up--literally forcing me to open my eyes. Then, with his morning breath, he got about one inch from my face and shouted, "GOOD MORNING!!"
Morning breath and all, it was completely precious.
"Wake up! It's time to wake up! You wanna' wake up, Mommy? It's sunny outside!" [Side note: my child argues daily that if it's sunny outside, it's time to be playing and not ever ever ever napping.]
"Can we just snuggle for a little bit? Please?" I begged.
And that's when he curled up next to me, got under the covers, and snuggled me for about 11 seconds. It was a wonderful way to start the day. :)
Moment #3: Whose Child is This?
He ran up to the ticket counter. "One adult and one child for Rise of the Guardians, please," I said.
"How old is your son?" the man behind the counter asked me.
"He's two," I replied.
"Oh, then he's free," the man told me. Yes! Our perfect outing was starting off even more perfectly than I could have imagined!
When we entered the lobby of the theater, I swear on my life, you would have thought my child was seeing Disney World for the first time. He was practically squealing with delight.
We entered the theater and we were the only ones there, so I let the toddler run all around the theater, climb on the chairs, run up and down the stairs. Whatever the heck he wanted to do. Because this was our day--and nothing and nobody was going to ruin it. He even played a little game where he said there was a monster down at the bottom of the theater by the screen, and he laughed and ran all around.
And then the previews came on. And what was the very first freaking preview for? Jack and the Beanstalk. Only one of the toddler's FAVORITE stories (he's obsessed with giants right now)! He sat in my lap, at the very edge of my knees, eyes wide open, soaking everything in.
And when the movie started, and he gasped, and looked back at me with the biggest smile imaginable on his face, I teared up.
It was perfect.
Until the movie ended. . .
. . . and I wanted to shoot myself.
Now, I know my child pretty well. He never takes me by surprise with what he does, whether it's good or bad. But this--this was unlike anything he had ever done.
The instant the last line was delivered and the credits began to roll, my son lost it. It was as if his emotions were so amplified and he was on such an emotional high, that the end of the movie was too much to bear.
He began screaming bloody murder (at this point, there were other families in the theater). He began sobbing--huge tears rolling down his cheeks. He ran to the stairs and threw himself prostrate on the floor. "I wanna watch a movie!" he screamed over and over.
I couldn't even console him.
So what did I have to do?
Ruin everything by having to wrangle my child and somehow (purely by the grace of God) make it to the car. (You wanna talk about something that will set off some major contractions? Whoa, Momma.)
By the time I got to the car, I just couldn't take it. I began sobbing right along with my child. I was angry that he was upset. I was upset that he had "ruined" our perfect mother-son day. I was full of pregnancy hormones. I was embarrassed that people could see me crying in my car (the one time I forget my stupid sunglasses, of course!).
We both cried the whole way home. No lunch date. No ice cream. No perfect story of our perfect day.
Well, it wasn't hard to get him to go down for a nap. We both collapsed into his bed, staining his pillow with both of our tears, and we both promptly fell asleep out of sheer emotional exhaustion.
Maybe it's a good thing that he won't get to go to another movie for a couple years. (Oh Lord, then will I be dealing with a new screaming two-year-old? Well, at least I'll have lowered my expectations.)
Life's moments are full of highs and lows, aren't they? They're full of laughter, screaming, snuggling, awe, and tears, aren't they? :)