Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My little bunnies, or my little bullies?

Today the boys' nursery held an Easter bonnet competition. This time last year, I had somehow thought Easter bonnets were mythological accessories from English antiquity, but I managed to rustle up one at the last minute at a local cheap-o shop on Norwood Road. At the time I must have activated my inner genius and bought two of these bonnets - which was extremely helpful last night when I remembered that I needed not one, but two, of these for this morning. Even more impressive - I knew exactly where they were (gathering dust on the top of Blake's bookshelf!). Equally of note: the decorations I put on last year were partially intact!

I rummaged through a bag of Easter crafts that Mom sent back with us, and wow, was I in luck - foam Easter stickers that we were able to just stick on the bonnets! Saved me from searching for the superglue to try to concoct some sort of Easter scene of fuzzy chicks and green crepe paper for grass as I did last year.

Of course as is typical of every Lyons child of mine aged 6 months-2 years old, Noah definitively did not want the hat on his head, so my attempts at an early morning photo shoot as we rushed out the door were in vain. I had tried to persuade Blake to wear a nice-looking spring shirt but he refused, went upstairs to pick his own shirt, and came back down wearing the enfant terrible t-shirt which is pretty much too small for him, and which I'd bought when he was about 6 months old thinking it was funny. Somehow when he wasn't six months old I definitely wondered about why I'd bought it. He kept saying, "See, it fits!" as he tried to stretch it out to be less skin-tight, so I just had to laugh and let him go with it. He at least put on his hat for a photo.

Some of the hats that people had done were truly amazing, but I concluded I will conserve my creative energies for the Nativity play (I'm of course still hoping I can recycle last year's innkeeper costume for many years to come). When we got home in the afternoon I let the boys play outside in the back while I burned some dinner in the kitchen.

Matt was out after work, so after I'd made food and the boys and I had eaten it in the dining room, we headed to the living room for some coloring. I made the big mistake of thinking that I might just take a short breather on the couch and read a few lines from Saturday's paper. No sooner had I attempted to focus on a headline to decide whether it was an article worth reading, did all hell break loose in front of me: Noah tried to grab some crayons from Blake, Blake rightfully tried to protect his possessions, Noah went to bite Blake's fingers as is his tendency these days when he gets frustrated and isn't getting what he wants, and at that point I tried to intervene. Unfortunately my attempts to separate them were about a second too late, and Blake swumg his arm to hit Noah and managed to land a pretty solid punch to Noah's face. I don't think Blake had any idea where he was aiming for, but something about my trying to pull Noah away seemed to cause Noah to turn his face right where the small fist was flying into. I was so upset I just froze for a few seconds as I contemplated how to react. Blake went slightly ashen and just stared at me with wide eyes, and as it was, I think even Noah was just looking at me wondering what my reaction would be. Finally I did what I tend to do in these situations, which is not what the books that I read two hours after the incident would recommend: I yelled at the top of my voice (as my face likely went tomato-red) for Blake to go to his room. I decided it was Noah's bedtime and went and dealt with his bath, and finally after about 5 minutes the hollering from Blake's room ceased. After another 5 or so I opened the door to find him arranging his wooden pizza toppings on the floor. So he's not bothered...

After I had Noah down in bed, I then went and spoke to Blake. I apologized for yelling and then explained that I didn't want Noah - or Blake - to get hurt, and that's why I get upset when they hit and bite. I had Blake explain to his Winnie the Pooh why hitting wasn't nice --I had refreshed on the section about "Hitting" while Noah was in the bath, so these tips were now fresh in my mind! Of course the most annoying thing about the whole situation was how I knew that it was really my fault: everything will tell you that all kids really want when you're with them is for you to be with them, and not elsewhere (talking on the phone, checking email on your phone, reading, etc). I was frustrated with myself because I normally try to keep that in mind, and the whole thing probably wouldn't have boiled up if I had just sat down and colored too.

My little angelic Easter bunnies seemed to so quickly turn into little bullies - one biting like a piranha, the other throwing Mohammed Ali-like right hooks. Maybe some chocolate in our Easter baskets will calm us all down...


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