I’m just schlepping him around in it and arranging playdates.
Today, these things happened.
Miraculously, we did not fight or yell or threaten or beg him to put on his clothes this morning. He just did it. He chose that path, saying something like, “Isn’t this nice in the morning how we can all just get along and not yell at each other?”
Oh yes. It is.
He even decided not to yell or throw a tantrum on the way out the door this morning, either.
It’s nice that this can happen, ever. I’m not saying we’re heralding a trend or anything. Just grateful for the one incidence.
After school, we had doctor’s appointments.
First, the pediatrician. But before that, the Middle Eastern market across the street from the pediatrician’s office. It’s becoming an annual well-child-visit tradition that we purchase a spinach-and-feta pocket for him, pre-appointment.
Noticing the palm trees in the shop’s logo, Jonah asked if the picture was Hawaii.
No, I explained. Palm trees also grow in the Middle East. And here, incidentally.
I want to go back to Hawaii, right now, he said.
Me too, kid. Me too.
Spinach-feta pocket secured, we marched back across the street. But not before stopping to pee on a tree. (Him, not me.) Which is only worth mentioning because as soon as we got to the doctor’s office, they asked for a urine sample.
Who knew a well-child visit would take 1.5 hours? You wait long enough, and you get another chance at the sample.
He shoots, he scores!
You also get to have some interesting conversations with your 4-year-old between hearing tests, vision tests, questionnaires, med students’ interviews, and whatnot.
Jonah explained to me the social order at his preschool:
There used to be four clubs, the big kids, the little kids, the boys, and the girls. But then the boys and the girls got together and now there’s only three clubs. Sometimes everybody plays together.
If you want to be in my club, you have to do what I say. So ______ is not in my club because she doesn’t listen to me.
Honey, I try to explain (warning, teachable moment ahead: strap on protective gear and check yourself for any plans of being understood) people aren’t going to want to be friends with you if you are bossy like that. You have to take turns talking and listening to each others’ ideas.
Ummm… yeah. No.
Mommy, there are three clubs…
I write this post not only to share the glory of my daily conversations with this interesting creature, but also as a bookmark. To come back to later on and either say, yeah, he turned out alright after all, or holy mother of g-d, the seeds of his dictatorship were visible, right here, this day.
We were supposed to get four shots. (WHO KNEW? I DID NOT KNOW. After the first three years of navigating my own alternative vax schedule, I thought I was free and clear until kindergarten, which thank-you-jerry-brown, is another 18 months away.)
We considered our options and elected the final DTaP.
Why do I have to get a shot? asked Jonah.
Because, said the doctor, you do a lot of playing in the dirt and there’s Tetanus in dirt and if you get a cut, it will get in you and make you sick. And we don’t want you to have to go to the hospital.
Almost perfect, except I had to explain that Jonah LIKES the hospital because he gets hours of undivided mommy attention and a popsicle at the end. So I promised him that we’d get a popsicle later, as consolation.
Our next stop was the chiropractor. He and I both go to the same one. I like to have him see her right after vaccines (although since I didn’t know about this one, this scheduling was a lucky coincidence). And I’ve been so sick all month, and so sore and tired and worn out today, I decided I wanted an appointment too. She had time for me, but Jonah had to be on board with letting me not pay attention to him for a bit.
To understand how badly I wanted this appointment, rewind to the pediatrician’s office, where the med student checked my throat as well as Jonah’s, and when she expressed compassion about how hard it is to be sick and be a mom, I burst into tears.
I mentioned to Jonah, remember how sad mommy was at the pediatrician’s office? This would really make mommy feel better.
He tried to negotiate. Read me this book first.
No. Come into the room with me and I’ll read to you in a bit.
He was not on board.
So I gave up.
But when I walked him into the hallway to put on our shoes, he stopped us.
I don’t quite understand how it happened. But he decided that we should go back in.
It’s the kind of chiropractic where there’s five tables in a room, and people get worked on all at once.
So picture the next 45 minutes of Jonah playing somewhat quietly in and among the tables, stopping by my table to test and see if he could reach up through the face-cushion and tickle my nostrils, balancing a ball on the back of my head, etc.
And also, giving me “adjustments.” He rocked my legs, pulled on my toes, patted my back, massaged my head.
It was adorable.
And then the chiropractor gave him permission to play with the plastic spine and pelvis, complete with nerves and arteries, hanging from a hook in the corner.
He was fascinated. What’s this? he asked. And this? And she patiently explained to him about the spine, the nervous system, circulatory system, disks, where the leg bones would attach if they were there. She, moving about the room and working on clients, and he, dragging the tall-as-he-is partial-skeleton along the carpet to follow her and ask more questions.
We came home and I gave him mint-chocolate-chip coconut milk agave-sweetened frozen dessert for dinner in front of a Dinosaur Train video, because he’d darn well earned it and that’s how I roll.
And I forced a little sliced turkey on him after, because he was SO WIRED, I figured protein might be useful.
After “dinner,” he suggested that we dance.
Good idea! So we danced. To an endless rock song that was on the radio when we turned it on. With Jonah calling out directions: GRAB A PARTNER! CHANGE PARTNERS! DANCE ALONE! NOW IN A CIRCLE! NOW IN A LINE! PLAY AN INSTRUMENT!
We shouted. We wiggled. We were awesome.
And despite how impossible it seemed that this wild creature would or could ever settle down, he was asleep by 8:00 p.m.
And the people saw that it was good.