Saturday, December 13, 2008

no casualties

A couple of years ago, after our first trip to the beach with our little darling, I quoted Heather Armstrong of Dooce as saying that traveling with a toddler equals SUFFERING. Oh, I avered, it was rough, but I wouldn't go so far as to characterize it as SUFFERING.

I was wrong.

I just spent the night in a glorious luxury hotel in Winchester, VA, where my husband had a gig. We ate gourmet dinners and breakfasts, stayed in a room with a wonderful bed with fabulous, million-thread-count linens, and a lovely rainfall shower. The pool was the kind of pool I dream about - the basement pool, with soft lighting and pillars coming up out of it and caryatids and a fountain. And a hot tub. And towels that would have been worth stealing.

In a town where the streets are filled with...yarn shops! Bead stores! Wine bars! Places full of handmade toys! Sidewalk cafes. Lovely old-fashioned Christmas decor.

I wanted to throw myself in front of a train.

Which I could have - they came though every couple of hours, past the beautifully restored train stone station. Even my tragic death would have been quaint and stylish.

Here's what the thing is, The books all say that kids love routine. Kids thrive on routine.

My kid HATES routine, all routine, with the burning heat of a thousand suns. He screams, he argues, occasionally he kicks...if he's in an unusually vile mood, he has been known to try to bite the person who is enforcing routine. (That would be me.)

There's just one thing worse. Guess what.

That's right. A disruption of rountine.

When Ian's routine is disrupted, he believes that this means all mores of civilized behavior are suspended. That it's okay to leap up and down on an upholstered banquette, to talk back to your parents, to see how loud you can scream, to never sleep. to stand in your crib and shout at people at 11pm. And again at 4:30. And again at 6:22.

I don't think we'll be allowed to stay there again any time soon.

I am very proud that I was able to administer some discipline (not that it seems to have made an impression) with appropriate self-restraint. I have said before - I don't beat my kid, but I understand why some people do.

Well, I didn't really understand. Until this weekend.

Between the frustration, the exhaustion, and the more-than-two-hour drive on absolutely no one in our family should take our intact bodies for granted this evening.


Rev. April said...

holy crap, you are scaring me. i'm just starting to see the beginnings of that infamous 2-ish stage... and am contemplating going back to work right about now :)

betsy said...

do it. My work seemed INSANELY STRESSFUL (as you, better than anyone, know) until I had an oppostional 2-year-old...and began to appreciate interacting with adults. Even the most troubled, demanding adults are unlikely to kick you when you tell them "no."