things have changed – and not

Once upon a time, my child was so entranced with ants, he would try to catch them. To have them sit in his palm.

This afternoon, he was sitting beside me on my office floor, smacking them DEAD with the palm of his hand, and announcing his victories.

He gingerly tilted one dead ant off his palm and onto my desk for me to admire it.

I was entranced. (Not really).

But it did occur to me that we are definitely not raising him Buddhist.

It should also have occurred to me that he was killing the scouts who were creating a trail to/from my cat’s food bowl, the success of the remaining soldiers I just discovered five minutes ago as I have insomnia that is either a) caused by this sudden and difficult-to-bear (by Bay Area standards) heat wave, or b) caused by my graciously/gratefully (see “a)”) accepting a green-tea/blueberry iced tea from a bottle that probably said “SUPER ENERGY BOOSTER” on the label only I didn’t know because it was in Japanese, and drinking the whole darn thing at 5pm without even pausing to think about how much that was going to duck me fup.

I am ducked.

And ducking fup at midnight when I had turned the lights off at around 11-ish, like a good girl. Mom. Girl. Something.

The other thing that has changed, if I haven’t made it ABUNDANTLY CLEAR here yet is HOW COMPLETELY DINOSAURS HAVE TAKEN OVER OUR LIVES.

I never expected his transition from Thomas to be so abrupt and complete. He doesn’t even sleep with Big Thomas anymore.

We’re thinking of enshrining Big Thomas under glass. Because we think he’s awesome.

Reminder photo:

This is not “Big Thomas” with whom he sleeps slept.

This was Jonah at about 2+, when he would fight other toddlers TO THE DEATH (no relation to ants) to get on and stay on this totally broke-down broke-bass ride-on toy left behind at the park (note how I’m cleverly avoiding cursing tonight) that was actually MISSING WHEELS. Scrape-scrape-scrape, he would push that thing, or rather he would order me to and I would bend over like the hunchback of Notre Mama and push that feshluggeneh thing.

Jonah reminds me whenever possible that he has “moved on from trains to dinosaurs.” I got it kid.

I DO NOT MISS those Thomas books. AT ALL. Or the videos. AT ALL.

But my head is still spinning from the abruptness of the shift. We did manage to backtrack slightly with a transition medium: Dinosaur Train.

The videos are enjoyable and informative – and I’m a media snob so that’s saying a lot (I’m just saying).

I could do without having the theme song stuck in my head, but I’ve had worse.

(Sound of me trying not to think of worse because they will get stuck in my head and then realizing that I can’t remember them anyway even if I want to because motherhood and over-40-ism have turned my brain to Swiss cheese. Until my husband wakes up in 6 hours and whistles the tune to one of them and then I’m ducked for the rest of the fay.)

While the animation value is decent and the educational value included with price of DVD purchase, there is a problem.

More shinola to collect.

Someone sent us a single character from that show, in his single train car. In the original packaging.

I can’t entirely blame the packaging since the show makes it abundantly clear that there are more characters and cars, however…

Within two minutes of opening “Buddy” the joy of receiving had worn off and desire/lack/negotiating had set in.

He shows me the picture on the back of the box.

“There are more of them. Look at all of them.”

I can’t remember verbatim but given his daily chants about consumption it probably went something like, “We should go to the store ayund get more of these guys. Momma take me to the store. I think we have time to go to the store today. There is money in your wallet. Or you could use a credit card.”

Pretty much every morning Jonah informs me that he is “feeling like I would like a video, or to go to the store and buy something today.” Oh how the mighty aspiring-attachment-mommy has fallen. I believe this is the definition of spoiled? Only redeeming part of this story is that we don’t actually GO shopping every day, and videos are limited to one hour per day and not every day and definitely not right when he makes an opening gambit like that.

Anyone else out there notice that 3-1/2 year-olds are all aspiring attorneys. Opening argument, whining and theatrics, negotiations and counter-offers, demands to approach the bench, sometimes put in time out for contempt of court…

One of my best moments recently:

Me (at top volume): “Because I say so. I AM THE MOMMY!”

Him (with equal conviction and volume): “NO! I AM THE MOMMY!”

I think it may just be my local group of 3-1/2-year-olds whom I, and older+utterly inexperienced mothers like me (myself?), have been negotiating with in various ways in order to achieve compliance – for us the tables have now turned and the prisoners/beloved moppets have learned the ways of their mothers/masters and are using our own ploys against us – offering alternate ideas until we get them to buy in and do what we want, refusing to accept no for an answer, throwing tantrums. (If you are a mother who has never thrown a tantrum, I don’t want to know you.)

But for today, there was just one box with one little dinosaur, in one little train car.

And then we went to our friend’s house (the one with the super-charged blueberry tea if you’re still following my caffeine-fueled switchbacked narrative) for a playdate and it turns out THAT FRIEND HAS THE OTHER CARS! And most of the characters, EXCEPT BUDDY.

It was kismet. Sort of. At the end of the playdate, Jonah made his pitch to the other mom (jury). “Ummm,” (he’s big on “ummm” and “like” these days – how did that happen so young?) “Next Fri-dur-day, can I borrow? Can we trade…” (mind spinning furiously through Rolodex of unwanted toys at home) “some CARS and I can have the trains, to borrow?”

Side note: We’ve done borrowing with friends before, and it hasn’t gone well. Kids realize the next day that their thing is gone and freak out.

We get out of the house without borrowing the train. But Jonah proceeds to reiterate and revise his arguments all the way home. “I promise I won’t cry when I have to give it back,” he says. “But we don’t know if your friend wants to loan it to you.” And so on.

Eventually I acquiesce as far as saying I will ask the mom if they can BRING the train when they come to our house next Friday, which he can then enjoy JUST for the duration of the playdate.”

He temporarily assents. Or at least gets interested in something else and stops bugging me about it.

I’m the Model Freaking United Nations of preschooler negotiating.



5 comments for “things have changed – and not

  1. July 3, 2011 at 2:57 am

    This was too good. I think, write all posts while under japanese blueberry insomniac influence, oh hunchback of Notre Mama. Kuss L

  2. PopPop
    July 4, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Loved it. Do you remember our negotiation over emptying the dish washer when you were about 9?

  3. July 5, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    I love those conversations. We need money to buy that. Then go to the bank. There is no money in the bank. Yes there is, you go there, put your card in the machine and it gives you money. Come on mom, lets go!!

  4. July 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm

    @ Lilan: Yes!

    @ Dad: No. But I do remember writing out my argument for a raise in my allowance.

    @ Heather: Exactly!

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