Leftover taco night at the Pamphlet abode. Little Blue and I head to Hy-Vee to get some more tortillas and cheddar cheese, catching they eye of more than one woman smiling at the cute boy with the big daddy holding hands in the store.
We get home and I immediately get into the kitchen to start getting everything prepped. Just before I mention to Pink that we need to hurry and get dinner on the table before LB's bedtime, they must have had a discussion about him having milk to drink with dinner. More on that later.
I set Pink up with some knives and a cutting board and she hacks up the lettuce and tomatoes (quite well I might add!) and I'm nuking the leftover meat and shredding the cheese.
I fix Little Blue some ice water, fetch Pink's ice water from the living room, grab a diet coke, and dish out the dinner plates.
I turn off the TV (Pink was watching Narnia but muted it when she came to the table to prep the veggies), and LB walks over to the table. I pull his chair out, he climbs up and raises his hands and I push him into the table (pinched his fingers a time or two).
"DADDY! WHERE IS MY MILK?!"
"Well buddy, you didn't tell me you wanted milk, so I just got you some ice water."
"I WANT MILK DADDY!"
Already, I'm considering just pouring out his ice water and getting him milk just so I can eat dinner in peace, but Pink steps up to the plate. "Little Blue, you and I didn't talk to Daddy about having milk, so he didn't know you wanted it."
"But I want milk Mommy."
"I know Little Blue, but you weren't nice when you told Daddy you wanted milk. You just yelled at him. I think you should just enjoy your water."
"I don't want too. I won't want anything!"
"Fine," I interject, and I take his water and set it on the counter, then sit down to eat. Little Blue starts to object, but then thinks he's won the war and sits content.
We all jibber jab about what's going on in our lives, talked about the colors of the food, and the new books Little Blue brought home from preschool (ah, good ol' Scholastic).
Little Blue's about a 2/3rds of the way through a good sized burrito wrapped taco and gets a little sour cream on the outside of it. Now he doesn't want to pick it up and eat it because he'll get messy. Despite Pink showing him how messy dinner can be and cleaning up with a napkin, he only takes a little bite before setting it down. We said he needed to finish his dinner, or sit there until it was time to go to bed.
Ever the sly one, he changes the subject. "No buddy. I fixed you water because I didn't know what you wanted, then you yelled at me instead of asking me nicely if you could have milk."
"And then you told me that you didn't want anything, so I took away the water because you didn't want it."
*Little Blue fumes, but doesn't release any frustration*
"You made me stutter my words." (he means I talked over him)
"Because you interrupted me explaining what happened. Now, you need to finish your taco so we can get up there and read your new story before bed."
Now the fuming is boiling over. "No, my taco is messy and I don't want to get messy."
Inwardly, I sigh. Pink picks up on it and states it flat out, "You either finish your dinner, or your sit there until it's time for bed and you go to bed and wake up hungry.
(in parental defense, I was impressed with how much of a good sized taco he ate, so he wasn't going to stave the least little bit...this bit if information and needed to reinforce that he needs to say what he means and accept the consequences turns the situation into high gear)
"But I'll get messy."
"Eat it," Pink states flatly.
"Daddy," he changes direction, trying to deflect Pink, "Can I have some milk please?"
"No Little Blue, you told me you didn't want anything. You need to learn to accept the decisions you make and not change your mind when it suits you."
Little Blue's had it. No pouty lip, no dirty look, he just mumbles.
"I don't want anything."
"Are you going to finish your taco?"
"I don't want my taco!"
I'm finished at this point, so I get up to pull Little Blue's chair out so he can get down and head right up and prep for bed.
Once he realizes what I'm doing, the waterworks start.
"No DADDY! I'll be a good boy! I don't want milk! I want my taco!" He even ran around to hug my leg.
It sucked, but I had to nudge him away, "Sorry buddy, but you told me you didn't want it, and with your bad attitude, it's time to go to bed."
"NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO I WANT MY TACO!"
All those times I flat out lie to Pink's face to prep her for a surprise weeks later...it's that same skill that keeps me from laughing in my son's tear streaked face. How often do you hear a toddler begging for a taco?
I corral him to the stairs, screaming and whaling about being a good boy and wanting his taco. He even pulled out the "my leg still hurts" bit from his sprained ankle this weekend, which was just fine when he was running up the driveway to come into the house earlier. 100% fuming cuteness was pulling himself up the stairs, one step at a time.
At one point, he looked back at me and it wrenched my gut what I was doing. Hard lessons. About eating tacos and yelling over non existent milk.
I get him into the bathroom, and he's still yelling at me while going to the bathroom. I get him changed into his pull-ups, and he doesn't want to wash his hands. Thankfully he'd gotten up on his stool, so I soaped up my hands and then pulled his away from his chest and washed them. The entire time, screaming his head off.
It's times like this I thank drumline. If I was never 3 feet away from stair drums with bullet proof drum heads, I don't think I could take this noise. As it is, it's tolerable.
I figured I'd have to dry his hands off, but he grabs his dinosaur hand towel and dries his own hands. Not to bad for going through the routine, even with he's stark raving pissed off.
We open the door and I hear Pink holler up the stairs, "This yelling will stop right now."
I get Little Blue into his room, fix his fitted sheet, then lay him down fussing and screaming mad into his bed and cover him up. I swear to god he was going to grow horns at any minute.
I walk out of the room and he's on his knees, yelling at me from his bed. "I want to eat, I want my taco, I WANT TO EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAT!!!!!!!!"
I close the door and walk away, and I can tell he's throwing his stuffed animals all over the room, screaming his head off.
"You know, he's got to stop screaming honey," Pink says from down the stairs.
I place my hand on either side of the stair well and sigh, "I know, I'm just having a hard time keeping a straight face. Give me a minute."
You know that knotted feeling you feel when you get in front of a crowd of 50 people you don't know. Bingo. I choose to play the Boss Dad role and instill the Fear of Dad.
I open his room and nudge his rocking horse out of the way with my foot. It slams into a car garage he plays with and he immediately quiets down once he saw how fast it moved. Intimidation has begun.
"You will stay quiet and go to bed. No screaming, no yelling, no throwing toys. NOTHING." Out comes the finger and I point. "I hear anything...ANYTHING...and I'll run up these stairs so fast and swat your bottom you won't have time to say your sorry and that you'll promise to be good."
I hate it when his lips quiver...I really do. I know then at that moment he's utterly afraid of me. It sucks.
"Got it Daddy."
I go downstairs and get something to drink. Little Blue gets out of his room and gently asks Mom if he can go blow his nose. "yes honey, do you need help?"
I hear the toilet flush and chuckle.
"Where's my taco?"
"Good night Little Blue."
Five minutes later he comes back out, and I'm prepared to unleash hell.
"The lights are on." I forgot to turn the hallway/stairwell lights off. On occasion he catches this because he doesn't like the light sneaking in under his door.
I smile and sigh, "Would you like to turn them off?"
"Yes Daddy." I can tell he smiled when he said it. Small comforts.
He turns the light off. "Daddy, where's my taco?"
"Good night buddy, I love you."
"I love you too, Daddy."
I've got leadership in the morning, so I'll be leaving early, just as he wakes up. I'll be sure to wake him up and talk to him in the morning and have a big hug over the whole thing.