I skim the gossip pages of the newspaper when I buy it and generally keep up with the celebrity news. I have noticed that motherhood is strangely similar to being the manager of a badly behaved celebrity. You are constantly cleaning up messes, keeping them out of scrapes, convincing them to keep their clothes on and apologizing for their behaviour.
Yesterday when we were in a very tiny NYC market, Henry decided he had enough of the stroller. It was 6pm, so the place was packed with people who had just gotten home from polite society where people don't scream and throw things. I had to squeeze his stroller down the tiny aisles, avoiding boxes and people. Henry likes to pull things off the shelf as I push him around. I was holding the groceries in my arms and on the sun canopy of the stroller. A precarious balance in the best of circumstances. I finally reached the checkout line and he started to scream. Big, rain drop tears down his cheeks and wide mouthed wailing. I'm not sure what set him off, I think he saw my wallet and I wouldn't give it to him. The poor man in front of me looked a little alarmed and then tried to distract him. Normally friendly Henry wouldn't give an inch. After about a minute of this, a lady came to the back of the line and gave me the finger wag indicating that I should cut the line. At first I demurred but she insisted. Apparently she and the other people waiting on line would rather have me cut them then listen to Henry wail. As soon as we got to the front he stopped screaming. I gave him some cantelope slices which he ate quietly on the ride home. When he was done he smeared the remainder into his hair and all over his coat and stroller. Very nice.
Earlier in the week we were at Whole Foods. I had him in the backpack because he lasts longer there. I am trying to squeeze the stroller full of bags through a very tiny opening to get to the elevators. I turned briefly to check on Henry and he had one arm sticking out ready to topple an entire soda display. Luckily I foiled him in time.
We stopped by our neighbor's apartment to return a book the other day. In about two seconds, Henry proceeded to throw every book off the bottom of their cabinet. I quickly apologized and replaced the books. He sped to their living room and within seconds was trying to open anothe closet and was banging the knob against their french doors. We beat a hasty retreat from there as well.
At our playgroup I feel like I am constantly trying to avert a brawl that Henry has instigated or protect another child from his bear cub hello. Today he bit my shoulder so hard he broke the skin. He also hugged two female babies this week. I have a feeling that I will be getting a lot of letters home from school in his backpack.
He trashes any room he is in. He cannot be left alone near any paper, paper towels or toilet paper. He will have them unwound down the hall within seconds. I caught him washing his hands in the toilet recently and he loves to empty the trash can on the floor. The second he is done eating he does a big sweep of his arm and pushes the food on the floor. God forbid you put something in front of him that he doesn't like. I had the nerve to try to feed him butternut squash this evening. Not only would he not even open his mouth, he would pick any up in front of him and throw it right on the floor. When I crawl around to pick the food up he drops more food in my hair.
Maybe I should call Russell Crowe's manager and see if she has any tips.