Monday, June 1, 2009

The Smackdown


Violet raised her tiny hand in anger at me this morning for the first time. I say "for the first time" because I realize that we have 2+ years of toddlerhood left to live through and I am not naive enough to think it won't happen again.

She had just woken up and I took her right from her bed to the kitchen where I was busy doctoring up my morning coffee. Violet likes to suck on my empty Splenda packets (the child loooves paper of all sorts) and was reaching out for the box when I went to put it away. I had already thrown out the empty packet before retrieving her from bed so I didn't have any packets for her to gum. Adding insult to injury, I then put the lid back on the gallon of milk without even so much as letting her attempt to close it. Naughty Mommy, right? Well, wee sleepy Violet thought so. She howled a terrible whine and reached for my face to smack and pinch it! What a turd!

I put her on the floor so fast I don't think either she or I realized what I was doing. Part of me was laughing because--how ridiculous that this mini-person clad in bubble gum jammies was throwing an A.M. tantrum directed at me--I just wasn't equipped to handle such a bizarre start to the day before I'd had even a sip of coffee. The other more forward-looking Mommy wasn't laughing at all. She was thinking of all the potential bratty shit I could have staring down the next 10-20 years of my life. I don't care how cute her jammies are, how adorable her little dimply rear is, how sweetly her Johnson & Johnson's washed hair smells...I'm not prepared to deal with a brat. I'm just not. I'm too bratty myself...I'm afraid we'll cancel each other out.

Cringing all the way to work, I thought of the kind of bullshit I used to do to my own Mom, never thinking twice about her feelings. I'd roll my eyes at her music, giggle at her clothes, explain with exasperation for the 10th time why the New Kids on the Block were called the Fab Five. It didn't have anything to do with the Beatles. Sheesh. Danny, Donnie, Joe, Jordan, and John were soo beyond my Mom. She would never, could never, get it.

Mom--did you know that someday I'd get it? You must have hoped that day would come.

I'm not ready to have some tiny girl making fun of my Stevie Wonder songs or my Chaco sandals. I'm not ready to surrender my coolness to someone so much younger than me; someone that I made!

I know this morning's smack wasn't the same as an intentional eye roll and I know we're probably several years off from that kind of shit. Violet's tiny temper was tweaked just enough this morning that she needed to release it on someone, and I was the only one within striking distance. It was just a little glimpse of the big personality she's been working so hard at growing. The little dancing, laughing, penguin-walking, sweet-dolly-talking, doggy-patting, Mommy-snuggling, car-vrooming, swing-squealing, cousin-loving, one-year-old Violet also happens to have a short fuse in the mornings. Duly noted. And, if this is a peephole into the future with Violet, I'll keep the naked pictures handy for blackmail. Just in case.

And, yeah, Sweetie, you are naked in the tub with both of your cousins.