Today, my daughter and I were playing some game on the floor; race cars or choo-choo's, I'm not sure. This little game turned into the Big Hug game and the Big Hug game turned into the Eat The Baby game and a few toddler tenderloin bites later, Eat The Baby turned into Tag You're It and Tag You're It turned into You Can't Get Me and everyone knows that You Can't Get Me leads directly to TickleMania 3000, duh.
Basically, we went from DefCon 1 to DefCon 5 in the course of 30 minutes, and what comes up is going to come down with nauseating consistency.
Halfway through TickleMania 3000, the laughter turned to tears. Big, fat, green crocodile tears. The kind of tears that only come when the kid knows they've had enough, but doesn't really want to have had enough, but honestly just can't take anymore. Inner conflict = Fake Cryfest. Fake Cryfest can go one of two ways around here; I get annoyed as all fuck and huff out of the room or I try to divert from the whining to something totally different. Depends on the day, really. Today was Good Mom Day so I went with the latter.
You know, the thing with having older kids and younger kids is that in between those kids, I've found myself forgetting the really good tricks that I always kept rolled up under my t-shirt sleeve. Like the time I couldn't get 3of3 to open her mouth so I could brush her teeth, and right before my fucking head exploded 1of3 came in, took the toothbrush from me, turned her to him and started to sing, "The roof...the roof...the roof is on fire!" and she opened wide and laughed and I wondered how the hell I'd forgotten that little trick along the way. I also oozed pride from every orifice on my body because I taught my son a parenting skill, and he remembered it. Because, really, I don't get many good mom moments, and I have to hold onto them when they come.
My point is that I've forgotten a lot of things that I know for a fact I've already figured out how to do seamlessly, like deflecting a strung-out kid from a near-meltdown. I held her in my arms, watching her tears quickly turning from fake to oh-so-very-real, knowing I had less than a minute to make this better or reap the thunder, and I did the first thing that popped into my mind.
I started to eat the sad out of her.
Yes, maybe not the brightest idea, since Eating The Baby was the game that got us in this mess in the first place, but I was under pressure. I started to look for her sadness. I checked under her chin, I sniffed in her armpits, I prodded her legs, and I couldn't find it. She told me to stop it. I looked in her eyes, her ears, her nostrils, her mouth, but it wasn't there. She said I wasn't her friend anymore. I pulled up her shirt and peeked into her belly button. Maybe? She did not smile. I sniffed. I wiggled my nose in there. I FOUND IT. She stuck her fingers in my eyeball. And you know what I did? I sucked that sadness right out from her belly button while she tried so hard to whine about it.
When I got all the sadness out, I looked right at her and she got her Very Determined Face on and said, "Stahhhhhhp it, mawwwwm." And then I chewed that sadness up, took a great big fake swing of water, and gulped that sadness right down into my tummy. Yeah, she totally laughed. And then I let her peek in my belly button to make sure the sadness was trapped in there and couldn't bother her anymore today, and then we made more than a few poop jokes and we got on with our day.
And tonight I sit here with a stomach full of sadness and I don't think I've been happier about anything in a really long time.