Two night ago I was getting ready to go see a play. Troy wasn't home from work yet and I was feeding Garrett his dinner. The stir fry that he'd devoured the previous night was now covered with, I don't know, the plague or something and Garrett wouldn't touch it. He'd skipped his nap and, let me tell you, when my son doesn't get a little rest in the middle of the day, he turns into a combination of one part terrible two-year-old and one part Frankenstein's monster with a dash of angry mountain lion. He was flat out refusing to put a bite in his mouth and, when I shoved a spoonful in during one of his open mouth screams, he looked at me as though I had just personally ended the world and then he spat it in my face.
I could feel my blood pressure rising.
I took a deep breath and tried again. He stuck his tongue out and allowed the rice to dribble everywhere before spitting the rest of the bits all over my floor. I grabbed his head between my two hands and stared deep into his eyes. "We do not spit our food out!" He answered my lecture with another round of spitting. I put him in time out.
You can lead a kid to food but you can't make him eat so Troy and I have decided that, when he won't consume what is put in front of him, he will have the option of eating a peanut butter sandwich. If he won't eat that, he goes hungry. While he thought about his actions in his bed I made him a sandwich.
I put him back into his high chair and told him to eat his sandwich. "No!" I personally picked up his sandwich and put it near his lips. "No!" I called Troy.
Me: Where are you?
Him: Two minutes from home.
Me: Good. You might find your son on the porch when you get here. I don't want to see him right now.
Him: I'll talk to him when I get home.
It should be noted that, when relaying this story to my mother she asked me if I would have seriously left him on my porch. I hope she was kidding.
I hung up the phone, turned to my son and said, "Garrett, Daddy is almost home and he is not very happy with how you've been treating me. You better be ready." I've never really done that whole threaten the kid with his father thing because, well, he's two. I hardly knew it would work at this tender age. But his eyes got big. I turned away and, glancing out of the corner of my own eye, I witnessed the following.
Garrett folded his little hands. He closed his eyes tight. He bowed his head and began whispering something to God. Something I couldn't quite hear. Something that probably went a little like this.
Please let me live another day.
I don't know for sure but that's what I used to pray when my mom uttered those dreadful words, "You just wait until your father gets home!"