Thursday, January 08, 2009

Waiting Room Farewell

Owlet has reached her terrible two's. Which is not a fairy tale made up by the Population Control Board to scare people; it's very, very real. Now, the Demon of Misbehaviour doesn't rear it's ugly head all the time, but when it does... well. It's unconsolable, loud, angry, sad, with every motion dialed to eleven. There is no way to reason, no way to cajole it. It has come to test your will as a parent. You just have to try everything until something works, as best as I can figure. But then, 'frantically trying everything' pretty much sums up my parenting style.

So a few weeks back we go to the drop-in clinic. For what, I couldn't tell you, but none of us are dead so it probably wasn't that interesting. It was like, an hour wait, so we walked around the mall, unfortunately, got Owlet good and tired. This is fantastic if we're going home and putting her to bed, this is less than optimal if we are going to spend 20 minutes trying to avoid eye contact with: a young couple (the girl of which, nervously rubs her belly every 3 minutes), a large man in overalls with a mangled steel toe work-boot that has tinges of red in disturbing places, and a mother and daughter who look nervously to the door. It's quiet, it's boring, everyone is trying to avoid chit chat and risk someone asking "So what are you here for".

The room is ripe for boredom, which is the breeding ground of the Tantrum. This is really great because there's also some kids. And every parent who's every been in this situation thinks only one thing, "I hope my kid isn't the one that loses it". Because one will. One must, it's an imperative of the universe, like gravity or gay GOP officials or celebrity DUIs. It's an odd situation, because as soon as one of the kids erupts, the parent automatically thinks, "Oh, they must think I'm a horrible parent", while all the other parents are thinking, "Thank god mine didn't go first".

So, Owlet starts to lose it. Just slowly at first. It's like she enjoys my building dread and horror as I realize all supplications and treats and tricks are for naught. A little more uncooperative, a little less placated by books or toys. And then, bang. There it is. Tantrum time. The arching of the back, the crying, the, great Buddha, where did she get such lung-power?

I pull out my last card, "Go for walk?". She refuses in the inartculate way that all toddlers refuse. I start dressing her anyways, getting her ready for a walk about.

Right in the middle, she stops. I then realize that the entire room has been deathly quiet. Perhaps clucking quietly at me, perhaps relieved that Owlet with her lungs are soon to be gone, whatever. The room sucks in, like a vacuum has just opened up.

Owlet turns to the room, waves, and says, clear as a church bell on a spring morning, "Bye 'body!"

We leave to an eruption of applause.

She's such a ham.

1 comment:

The Nighthawk said...

Awesome. You'll be happy to know that you will see such actions time and again. I think every child thinks they are a movie-star at the age of 2. You know I have no kids of my own, but my Godson behaved EXACTLY the same way in his tantrums.

Fully out lung-bursting holler to waving and saying goddnight to everyone, back to howling without a pause.

Impressive. Most impressive. :)