When he was a baby, I wasn’t sure I was going to like Robbie much once he turned into a real person. I love babies – the way they smell, the way they cuddle, the way they don’t talk back or hit or kick. The prospect of a three-year-old just didn’t really do much for me. Then I had one and was pretty certain that I was right; I was exhausted all the time and felt like every day was, for the most part, a losing battle. Or, at the very best, just a battle. But, all of a sudden, Rob turned into a real person. And you know what? I really like him. Who wouldn’t like a day like this?
It started this morning with me trying to sneak Robbie into some Spider-Man underpants this morning. It worked – for about ten minutes. As he was walking down the hall, Robbie noticed something was amiss. “Mom, am I wearing Underooses?”
“Yeah,” I replied, trying to be casual and throw him off the scent. We were already late and still had to fix lunch and breakfast.
“I need to see them, then,” he replied, pulling down his pants.
I didn’t have the energy to watch all of this happen while I loaded wet sheets into the washing machine. But I did hear the gasp of horror behind me as Robbie discovered that he was, indeed, not wearing Underoos.
“Mom. These are underpants. You know I don’t wear underpants. I only wear Underooses. Where. Are. They?” he demanded.
I had prepared for this; the Underoos were in my bathroom. Chagrined, I headed back to get them. Robbie followed me, hands on his hips, marching down the hallway. “You know, Mom, this is very frustrating. I’m very frustrated with you, Mom.” No idea where he might have heard that before…
In the car, he informed Justin and his Aunt Hilary that he was angry with me for lying and that I’d been placed in time-out for the offense.
The afternoon was almost as eventful… I picked Robbie up from pre-school. When he saw me coming down the hall, he broke into a sprint headed straight toward me, huge grin plastered across his face. He threw himself into my arms and gave me a big kiss. All day, I’d been faced with angry middle schoolers, most of whom love to hate me. But here was someone truly happy to see me. Apparently, the Underoo issue was forgiven.
However, I was soon thrown back into the dog house when I insisted we go to the gym instead of heading straight home. Robbie didn’t seem to realize that, although he is in excellent shape, I actually needed to work out. Eventually, he acquiesced and went to play in the kids’ room. I ran for an hour and went to collect him. When I got there, the girls in the kids’ center told Robbie it was time to go. Finally, after three minutes, he came to the door. I figured he was finishing a game or something. No. Without prompting, my child was cleaning up the toys he had been playing with.
As we walked out of the gym, I stopped to tell Robbie how proud of him I was. He said, “Thank you. Yes, ma’am. I have manners. I’m trying.” And what more could I ask for?