Friday, 25 January 2013

Meet Diablo-the-Squirrel, my son's alter-ego...

Papa and an teeny-tiny full blown meltdown.
I used to be mortified by "the meltdown".  I dreaded it; the stares, the glares, the unwanted advice (maybe he's hungry?... yeah or maybe he only cries when annoying people talk to his mom...).  Causing severe stress, the meltdown for newbie moms is like experiencing some sort of PTSD.   Sweating down your back, your paranoia grows. Surely someone is calling child protective services while you frantically run to your car.  Left, then right, then left again you look while fumbling for your car keys results in fallen lip-glosses that are left behind as casualties of war.  Your child's rage grows exponentially with each jerking-back-arcing manoeuvre as he tries to escape your clutches, all the while wailing like the incredible hulk.  You swear if your babe could, he would rip off his sleeper in complete rage and yell, "Hulk ANNNNNGRRRRRRRRY!".  

But yesterday, I turned a corner and used my sons alter-ego, I've affectionately named Diablo-the-Squirrel, for good and finally figured out another use for a screaming baby in pre-nap meltdown mode other than a form of birth control for myself and anyone within a five-mile radius.

You know when time gets away from you?  Carrying your babe in your snazzy carrier, shopping with your BFF, all is well -- you almost forget that you are a mom.   Boots and even jeans have been tried on, you're a rockstar.  All the while thinking, why did I used to think shopping with a baby is difficult?  You're whisked away to that magical kid-less time because your day has been spectacularly easy.  Then you realize, oh shit it's 3:30pm..we've been shopping for hours and he hasn't napped.  I'm now playing Russian-baby-roulette with every minute that ticks by but I still need to pick up a card, dammit-- I'll just quickly pop into Hallmark.

No sooner do I thoughtlessly pick out a card (it looks very thoughtful, though, with all those italic words scrolled across a sunset coupled with a glistening lake), his eyes widen and glaze over, now enter Diablo-the-Squirrel.  The meltdown has arrived.  

I briskly walk to the cash register with my wailing child and the till-showdown happens.  You've been there, both people walk up at the exact same time and stand side-by-side behind the person paying.  The competition begins when neither person will stand behind the other because each think they should get to go first.  

Now, I've gotten used to people having some sympathy when my child is mid-meltdown, but this 70-something crusty-old-lady we shall call, Nasty Nana, had none.  Now before you get all pissy about me not being nice to an old lady -- this was not the I-make-delicious-chocolate-chip-cookies-just-eat-one-more-because-you're-too-skinny kind of warm and loving Nonna's, it was the cranky-I-hate-the-world-insult-spewing-just-because-I'm-old-and-don't-care old ladies (the ones who will frankly tell you that, "..yes, you could stand to lose 10 more pounds, you do look chunky..).  But I digress...  

This is usually the point in the story when I nervously sweat and just throw my intended purchase to the floor, apologizing to anyone who will listen, and run away as quickly as possible with my tail between my legs.  But not this time, Mama has a list of things to get done today and get done they will.  

A stroke of genius hits me, my eyes narrow in for the kill...bring it on Nasty Nana, Diablo-the-Squirrel is here and he's not going anywhere.  I know he just needs to be jostled a bit into la-la-naptime-land, but really -- whats a few minutes of crying.  He's cried longer while I try to take a shower, so I decide today we will harness Diablo-the-Squirrels powers for good. 

Nasty Nana looks me dead in the eyes, imploring me to make the torture to her old ears stop.  Suuuurrrre, I could bounce him.  My magic-mom-ninja jiggle will easily stop this ear piercing wailing but the interact machine just froze and you have no sympathy beneath your short-Sears-permed-tinted-blue hair in your old-lady eyes, so bounce him I will not.  

Both of us maintain eye contact.  Glaring at me with complete disgust, she anxiously waits for the moment she can bud in front of me and go for the win but there is no way am I going to cave.  I'm tired, ready to get home and quite frankly this cranky old broad, who thinks the world owes her something, will probably be dead-set about fiddling for 803 years trying to find the exact change at the bottom of her embroidered coffee-cup and kittens purse.  So I let him cry.  I use my telepathy to tell him, all is well and to keep up the good show, and what does my superstar son do?  Stops crying for a moment, arcs his back and stares her right in the eye. When that old wench doesn't smile or give a lick of compassion to his glistening tear stained face, he sticks out his tongue, razzes her with frustration, and then turns the scream up to epic proportions.  At this point she rolls her eyes while my heart grows two-sizes too big with motherly-pride as I step in front of her and take the win for the team.  

As soon as I finish paying, I walk out of the store with my mom-ninja-jiggle-bounce and he stops crying instantly.  I don't look back.  I don't need to.  I joined forces with the beast and won.  Diablo-the-Squirrel fades away as my little angel lets out a heavy sigh for all his hard work.  The meltdown has subsided.  His eyelids grow heavy as he rests his head on my chest, and I feel an enormous amount of smugness having reached a mama-milestone of owning the meltdown and not letting the meltdown own me. 
"Take that old-lady!  Don't mess with my Mama!"

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