Monday, November 05, 2007

Big Boy Little Boy

Sometimes you have 48 hours in which you realize that you can no longer take for granted your child’s lack of skills to keep him safe.

Arriving at Grandma’s yesterday, Q leaned forward and chatted at me. Glancing back I realized he had released his own seat belt. I have no idea when. I sternly told him that he was not to do that when the car was moving, etc. etc.

Running errands a few hours later, he popped it open when I stopped. I left the kids in the car for a few minutes and came back. I later discovered that Q then, or at some point in the car ride, had also released the seat belt that holds N’s car seat. Oh Joy.

Q continued to channel Houdini. This morning he finally figured out, through sheer persistence, perhaps, how to open the gate at the top of the stairs. Wonderful. He can’t tie his own shoes, but he can open a gate that I have to wrestle and swear at.

These events have been bracketed by moments which pointedly depict how very little Q still is.

This evening, after many meltdowns, J and I simply had to cut the bedtime routine short and put the boy to bed. He screamed and screamed and then decided to sleep in the other bed and calmed down and fell asleep hard. About an hour later, I heard a loud thud followed by screaming. Panicked that he’d fallen out of the big bed, I raced upstairs. From what I can tell, he simply whacked something (his head?) against the wall. But he was screaming without any real rhyme or reason that I could determine.

I tried shifting him, holding him, rocking him, but the brief calm moments in which he’d settle down were always followed by more wailing. Finally he managed to explain that he had to go potty. I helped him in there, where he sat, eyes glazed and even shutting. Poor little boy.

Saturday night little Q managed to get up to use the potty before he fell asleep. We’d lost electricity, so he had the novel pleasure of his own flashlight, which I’d let him take to bed. He happily called down to me, “I’m going potty, Mommy!” as he scampered into the bathroom, an activity which I suspect is half need, half bedtime delay, but since it’s self initiated potty use, I’m loathe to discourage him.

A few minutes later I heard him crying in distress and rushed up the dark stairs. When you lose electricity this time of year, it’s really dark. “What’s wrong honey?” I asked.

“I dropped my flashlight!” He wailed.

Assuming the round flashlight had rolled under a bed or the sink, I reassured him, “That’s okay. We’ll find it. Where did you drop it?”

Snuffling, “In the potty.”

I looked in the potty, and, sure enough, lighting up the interior of the pot is his little plastic light wand. I sat on the floor of the bathroom and laughed uncontrollably.

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