Yesterday I worked from home after a Friday spent in meetings and a quick weekend trip to West Virginia. I felt like I needed that quality day at home with Gabe. It’s good for him and essential for me.
He was my angel, my Agreeable Gabe again; asking for hugs, eating like a champ, listening and not arguing. More than once I thought Hey, there’s my kid! I thought he transformed into a three year-old hellion.
It made me realize that my kid has been sick for weeks. Our house has been struggling with colds and allergies, passing the snot-laden germs around like a hotcake. But I’ve been the worst mother of all time assuming my cranky, stubborn, whiny boy was just being a turd. He wasn’t being a turd, he just felt like a turd and did not know how to express it.
Oh my goodness were we glad to have that happy boy back again.
Last night Gabe was upstairs playing with Ryan. At some point, Ryan came downstairs and Gabe stayed behind. Eventually I heard him talking to himself so I yelled up, “Whatcha doing, Gabe?” Not because I’m a good supervisory parent like that, but because his constant blathering was interrupting my view of Breaking Bad on Netflix. COME ON.
“Just playing Office Jerk, mommy.”
“Okay.” I replied and returned to my program. Office Jerk is an iphone app where you throw various things – stapler, potted plant, pizza, computer screen – at a Dwight Schrute-like character who sits at a desk. Only the MOST educational games for my little genius!
More time passes, still talking to himself upstairs.
“What are you doing now, Gabe?”
“Still playing like the Office Jerk, mommy. Just lining things up.”
At this point, my curiosity was piqued, so I went to find out exactly what mayhem was occurring. He wasn’t in our bedroom, like I had assumed, he was in the … I don’t know what you call that room, the Den? The Library? My Closet?… well, he was in that room, sitting on my chair in front of the mirror I use to put on my makeup, holding a tube of mascara.
“See mommy? I’m lining things up. Like the Office Jerk does.” Various bottles and hair clips and junk from a catch-all basket I keep there were being arranged on the table.
“Oh yeah. Ohh-kay…”
He asked, “What’s this stuff?” messing around with the tube of mascara.
“That’s mascara. But don’t open it. It’s yucky.”
“Okay. What’s it do?”
I replied, “Well, you put it on your eyelashes to make them look longer.”
“Oh. Okay. You go back downstairs now.”
“Oooh! You want me to leave you alone up here?”
“Yes. I’m still playing Office Jerk. Bye.”
So I left. I encourage independence and exploration. And Walt was just about to shoot somebody on Breaking Bad.
A little while later he came downstairs and said, “Look how pretty my eyebrows are mommy!”
“Take a picture! I look Cool!”
All clothes gone, covered in mascara. Legs, arms, stomach, and “eyebrows”. He was so proud. Crazy thing is, he actually managed to get the tips of his eyelashes, and dammit if they weren’t pretty. And 5 times longer than mine already.
Not the easiest bath ever.
You know he picked the waterproof tube, too, don’t you?
I’m going to have so many AWESOME pictures to show his friends in the future.