Drive, Laugh, Love

As I make the drive from my house to my son’s school, I listen to the radio, or drive in silence, and savor those last moments of Woman before turning back into Mommy.

I anticipate what he did during his three hours away from me and hope that he had a wonderful time and has stories to share. But since he is, indeed, two, I never know if I will encounter a happy toddler or a defiant one. It is always a surprise.

Yesterday, when I picked him up, I was pleased to find that he was in good spirits. I was so elated to be in the presence of this sweet and happy boy, that my heart nearly burst with my love for him.

After strapping him into his car seat, pulling out of the parking lot, and asking about his day, I could no longer contain my emotion and I exclaimed, “I love you so much. I love you more than ice cream!”

With a smile, he replied, ” I love you more than coke!”

We both laughed. “Coke” is his joke word. He has never been allowed to have Coke, but we do have it at home very occasionally. He thinks it’s a funny word and knows it is a forbidden treat and a “grown up drink” and so he throws that word out at random.

I decided to counter with, “I love you more than birthday cupcake!”

He responded with a laugh, “I love you more than a hippopotamus!”

We were both hysterically laughing now. I was filled to the brim with joy at this simple game of love with my two-year old.

I decided to keep going with a silly, “I love you more than……potatoes!”

The car filled with the melody of hysterical laughter from a mommy and a little boy, and then lulled as we caught our breaths.

I heard my little boy’s enthusiastic pitch die down to a summarizing tone as he replied, ” I love you more than coke or coffee…or something,” he added as I saw him shrug his shoulders in my rearview mirror.

I knew that the game was over, but I was so thrilled at its existence and felt like I was walking on clouds after our game of love and laughter.

I was still so in awe of how much I love that little boy in my back seat, that I said, “Awww, I love you so much sweet boy,” in a soothing mommy voice and with a big smile.

After a brief pause, I heard the reply, “I love you Mommy. Now be quiet.”

I quietly shook my head, refocused my hands on the steering wheel, and suppressed my smile. I just never know what version of this child I will get. Even in the wake of his constant personality shifting two-ness, he continues to surprise me with his displays of love.

And that’s what makes this Mommy thing so great isn’t it? That even though there are days when you want to give up, there are also days when you play love games and make music with your laughter and I am just all together overwhelmed at the love I feel for that little person who calls me “Mommy.”

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Don’t Eat the Ice Cream

It was late at night (read: 7:30 pm) and everyone was exhausted from the day’s events. The husband had chosen to unwind by watching some show on TV that the toddler that I would never watch, so he sat alone in the living room. I decided that I would catch up on a little blogging and twitter before our impending 8:00 pm bedtime deadline. The toddler was content beside me in the computer room, playing with his train table. Thomas was just descending down the bridge section of the track for the 897,039th time when the toddler decided that he needed ice cream.

“I can have ice cream Mommy?” he asked earnestly on his way to the kitchen. Unfortunately, I had told him he could have ice cream earlier in the day, but the day became busy and the ice cream was never eaten. While I was debating on whether to agree to the ice cream because I want to keep my promises to him, or to say no to the ice cream because it was right before bed time, my son took matters into his own hands. Before I realized the events that were unfolding, my son showed right back up in the computer room with the entire container of ice cream straight from the freezer and two spoons. “Here’s ice cream Mommy!” he exclaimed as he opened the lid, and then stood up. As I was getting out of my chair and trying to compose a thought similar to “thank you”, HE PEED IN THE ICE CREAM.

We consider him fully potty trained, he has free access to the potty, and usually doesn’t need prompting to go. He had not mentioned anything to the effect of “I need to go to the bathroom,” so who knew that a freshly opened ice cream container would make a toddler’s mind think, “I need to pee in that.”

My reaction must have been memorable, because I have never seen my husband jump off the couch faster, coming to save me from the pee-soaked ice cream.

“What happened?” he asked.

“He peed in the ice cream!!!” I exclaimed, still in a bit of shock from what I just witnessed.

“Why did I pee in the ice cream, Daddy?’ asked our son, watching as I gathered the pee filled ice cream container, the two spoons, and used a towel to wipe the excess that got on the floor.

Leaving the husband to deal with the age-old question “Why did I pee in the ice cream,” I went to the kitchen to wash the spoons and the towels and dispose of the ice-cream-container-turned-toilet.

Which led to a melt down. “Why did Mommy throw away my ice cream???? I want eat ice cream!!!”

Doing our best to calm our child and explain the values of eating food not covered in pee, the hubs and I finally managed to get him upstairs, just in time for that 8:00 bedtime. After brushed teeth, pajamas and stories our little guy finally drifted off to sleep and all was well in our world.

The first thing my toddler said to me when he woke up this morning? “Mommy, ‘member when I peed in the ice cream? That’s funny.”

Yes, dear. It’s pretty funny.