Toddlers are remarkable creatures for many reasons. Among the many ways they fascinate me is the speed with which their disposition changes, oftentimes based on seemingly innocuous stimuli.
Consider Amelia Ann Chrestman, today’s test subject.
Amelia will turn three in a few weeks. And like many toddlers, she is capable of going from kind, compassionate and loving to insufferable ass hole and right back. All in a remarkably short period of time.
Today was illustrative:
6:30 am: I am getting ready for the day when I hear a feint plea from a sweet, little voice upstairs. That voice belongs to Amelia, and I get excited when I realize she is asking for me (approximately 85% of the time, she wants mommy).
6:32 am: I go upstairs wearing only boxers and begin my morning routine of slowly opening Amelia’s shades and singing her the “Good Morning” song.
6:33 am: As I sing the first lyric, Amelia sees that I am wearing only boxer shorts. Her smile quickly turns to a scowl:
“Put some clothes on you,” she demands.
Or maybe it was
“Put some clothes on, YOU,” kind of like when a Marine Corps drill instructor addresses a recruit as “YOU” or “FRICKIN YOU” in the most masterfully condescending way.
6:34 am: I go back downstairs as ordered and put some clothes on me.
6:40 am: I return to Amelia’s domicile. She smiles at me and politely asks to go downstairs
6:41 am: Arrival downstairs. I ask Amelia if she would like grits. She smiles again with an enthusiastic “yes!”
6:42 am: Amelia says she would like to watch a movie. I explain that it is 6:42 am on a Wesnesday and that she has to go to school, so a movie is simply not in the cards.
6:42:35 am: Crying tantrum ensues. Amelia continues to have difficulty adjusting back from vacation mode where she was free to watch movies, swim like a mermaid, blow bubbles like a mermaid and talk about mermaids.
I cannot quite discern what she is saying but it sounds like she is upset about not being permitted to watch The Little Mermaid.
I attempt to hand her the bowl of grits. She slaps it away; her enthusiasm for the grits having been replaced with a vehement desire not to have the grits.
6:43 – 6:50 am: Tantrum continues. Mommy and I ignore tantrum and continue getting ready. Kohl sits on the couch, laughing at the tantrum.
7:00 am: Amelia scurries up to me having apparently been enoying some grits and gotten dressed in one of her many adorable outfits.
“Daddy, can you take me to school?”
It is mommy’s turn, but I quickly relent, showing a complete inability to resist. I acknowledge to myself that I am, in fact, Amelia’s bitch.
7:50 am: Get in the car to take Amelia to school. Amelia would like to hear the Moana soundtrack. I continue responding to emails and text messages before departing.
7:50:17 am: Amelia repeats her request for the Moana soundtrack. I ask her to wait a second.
7:50:23 am: Amelia thrice requests the Moana soundtrack. I ignore it.
7:50:26 am: Tantrum ensues
7:51 am: I give Amelia the choice of continuing her tantrum or listening to the Moana soundtrack. She mulls it over. Tantrum ceases. Jamming out to Moana commences.
5:45 pm: I pick up Amelia from school. She smiles at me, yells “DADDY,” and runs up to me, pausing only to grab her satchel. This is one of the best parts of my day.
5:48 pm: I put Amelia in her car seat. She requests … you guessed it … the motherfucking Moana soundtrack. I ask which song she would like to hear and suggest the “You’re Welcome” song. She enthusiastically agrees.
5:48:30 pm: I begin to start the car. Amelia decides that hearing the “You’re Welcome” song is a terrible idea. She no longer wants to hear “You’re Welcome.”
5:48:35 pm: Tantrum ensues. Car starts, and I forget that I was listening to “Humble” by Kendrick Lamar:
“Get the fuck off my dick, that ain’t right,” Kendrick says very loudly before I have the opportunity to change it to a song from the Moana soundtrack other than “You’re Welcome.”
5:49 pm: Tantrum concludes
8:05 pm: Amelia spills water on her nightgown. Mommy attempts to replace the wet nightgown with a dry nightgown.
Amelia objects, asserting that she wants to put on clothes. Mommy tries to explain that nightgowns are a type of clothes and, in any event, it’s “night night” time.
Tantrum ensues, and Amelia reacts as if she has just been stabbed by mommy:
“What did I ever do to you,” she asks mommy. Mommy laughs hysterically, exacerbating the tantrum.
9:05 pm: I read a masterpiece entitled “Goodnight Mermaids” to Amelia for the third night in a row. She asks me to lay with her for a few minutes. I agree. This is another one of my favorite parts of the day.
“I love you daddy,” she says.
And the day is complete