Of late, the wee man has really been growing up. He can communicate effectively, sometimes in sentence form. He's started peeing in the toilet (at school anyway). And he can use a fork, spoon and knife (the plastic kind they still let you take on airplanes) getting most of the grub to its intended destination.
Last night Mum-mum had to work late, so it was a mini-boys night in but eveything was going swimmingly. We'd made it home sans tantrum and he was excited for dinner (it helps when you feed him something he likes). So some salmon baked in lemon and voila! gone in 30 seconds. Sure some asparagus got up close and personal with the hardwood, but the boy was eating well without too much collateral damage. So when he presented his demands for more, I settled on the Gnocchi. With tomato sauce. No problem. This was going to be one for the books. We'd show Mum-mum that we can get through a nutritious, well-balanced dinner without having the dining room look like the racoons had gotten into the trash.
A minute later, I stood blinking the burning pasta sauce from my eye, trying to flush the red goo from my nostril, while noticing that my dress shirt and pants would take top prize at a la tomatina after party. The white walls and door behind me looked like Pollock's Seven Red Paintings.
I was furious. We had just finished discussing this very issue. In depth. He had agreed to hand over the bowl cleanly as he declared the gnocchi beneath him. I caught the glint, the flash, the quiver in his eye, but too late.
As I struggled to gain my composure, I promised the little ***(insert expletive here)*** a lengthy timeout. We were going to do a whole two minutes! Oh yes! Not just one minute any more, boyo! And it wasn't just going to be pushed back from the table. It was going to be full two minutes in the corner! Before I could implement this harsh but wholly justified sentence, I had to remove the scarlet sauce that was oozing between his fingers and dripping from his chin (why did we buy a white couch when we knew a child was on the way?).
Washing his hands and face quickly in the bathroom sink I was still promising the mother of all time outs. This was going to be one for the ages. We were going to put the universe back in it's rightful order, an order with Dadda firmly planted on top. Just as the correct, ordained and righteous order of things was about to return and for all time, he contorted slightly in my arms, looked right into my burning eyes, and simply said "potty?"
So as I helped him find his reading material, position the potty just so, and climb aboard there I was smiling, encouraging and celebrating his acheivements.