Sunday, March 18, 2018

Woe is Three!

Guys. Lincoln. 

Lincoln. Lincoln. Lincoln.

He is of the age of utmost frustration. His life is an infinite oxymoron with constant requests that go something like this:
"Mom. I want cereal."
I pour the cereal. Get out the milk.
"I don't want milk in it."
Grab the milk to put it away.
I assure, "Lincoln. I'm just putting the milk back."
Hand Lincoln the bowl of dry cereal.
"I want milk."

That sums up Lincoln's entire existence in a nutshell right now. He is in a constant state of aggressively wanting and then not wanting everything all at once. There is no satisfying him. There is no negotiating. There is no logic. His opinion is final until he convinces himself otherwise. 

He's at the age where the minute he falls asleep I collapse into a ball of emotionally drained lunacy and spend the evening debating if he's the crazy one or if I am. I savor his sleeping hours as a time to regain my cool and rev up for the next day...which has been starting earlier and earlier for no other reason than to further his tormentation of my exhausted soul. 

He recently discovered he can outsmart naptime by refusing to stay in his bed, so one would think this would result in lazy, relaxed mornings of sleeping in. No. It has translated into 6:00 AM wake up calls from a wide-eyed boy heavily breathing next to our bed every morning, ready to start his conflicting demands of the day. 
After we get him his dry cereal with milk...he has to have a cereal box to look at and then he has to wait for the older boys to come down and join him at the table. Because without the older boys, he's unable to scream at them for looking at him while he eats. And whether or not the older boys are actually looking at him, he will become agitated as he peeks around the cereal box to insist they stop looking at him. Which will make them look at him. Which will quickly send Lincoln spiraling out of control.

But don't worry. Some mornings the school provides an over-hyped Dads and Donuts day on the one week of the year Jeff is out of town, but I convinced myself, "Hey. I could pretend to be a dad if it means I don't have to listen to Lincoln scream about how he does and doesn't at the same time want milk with his cereal."

So I go to Dads and Donuts. Like a man. And I eat a donut. And I sit with my legs unnaturally far apart. And just as I start talking sports with my boys, I feel a splash of milk. Ironically. Only to discover the enemy of my morning (milk) was now splattered all down my leg. Dripping. Pooling. Freezing. Taunting. And Lincoln threw his head back in frustration because his entirely full cup of milk that he never had a single sip out of had decided to seek its final revenge on my leg. Proving to all of us that moms just can't do Dads and Donuts the way a dad can and Lincoln will find a way to take issue with milk no matter how drastically we try to switch up our morning routine.
So Jeff was gone on a work trip to Florida where I was planning to join him at the end of the week. But I had to survive a few days with the Lincolnator all by myself first. So not only was I single-parenting it for the week, I was also trying to prepare to send the older boys off to my sister-in-law's house, Jonah to my sister's house, pack my stuff, and clean the whole house to prepare for my trip.

As I was getting things ready, I walked by Lincoln's room and noticed Jonah had just gone in and had started looking at books with Lincoln. Cool. I thought to myself. They will be busy for at least 5 minutes so I can hurry and put new sheets on the older boys' beds. I heard giggling. I heard getting alongness. I gave a nod towards heaven for the gift of a peaceful moment to get a few quick things crossed off the to-do list.

In the 5-10 minutes I was making the beds, the laughter in the other room became increasingly wild, and I began to tune in to Lincoln chanting something. I stepped out into the hall to try to decipher the noises when I noticed they had closed the door. I grew suspicious as I stepped closer, starting to more clearly hear through the door that Lincoln was periodically bursting squeals of "FIREBALL!"

Fearing they had found a way to get in trouble, I took in a deep breath as I opened the door and caught Lincoln mid "fireball" throw. The fireballs were the clothes and the mom was not impressed. Every item of clothing Lincoln owns was thrown in every corner of his room. How he pulled off such a feat in such a short amount of time goes against all rational explanation.
Lincoln has refined his ability to reliably detect any unsupervised writing utensil and, with inhuman speed similar to his fireballing techniques, relentlessly scribble on as many out-of-mom's-eyesight walls as possible before being caught. It's like the toddler version of streaking. He does it just for the thrill and he knows he'll be caught, but the rush is worth it.
All of the above training prepared him for his master plan to break into the refrigerator. I should have noticed as I made a double batch of salad dressing in the afternoon that Lincoln was eyeing my lunch enhancer for his next masterpiece. Little did I know he was devising a plan to attack, and siezed the opportunity when I went in the office to finish up my last 10 minutes of work for the day.

I noticed the rest of the house hushed to a suspicious level of quiet, but I convinced myself I was being paranoid. (This was before I learned you can never be too paranoid in a house with a 3-year-old Lincoln.) I finished up work as I started tuning in to bursts of giggles coming from the kitchen. With Lincoln and Jonah in eyesight, I walked towards them, noticing a giant pile of Cheerios dumped in the middle of the floor.

"What is this?!?" I tried to keep cool as I walked closer. "Why is the fridge open?...What the..." I secured an egg carton that was dangling off the edge of the fridge when the baking soda sprinkled all over the fridge shelves and kitchen floor caught my attention.

As I further surveyed the damage, Lincoln began working on his escape plan. Then, in a moment of pure horror, I saw it. The container I had just hours before put my double batch of salad dressing into. Laying on the floor. Empty.

"DON'T MOVE!" I yelled at Lincoln as though any step he took could set off a bomb...because basically it could. Our house had turned into a poppyseed explosion and we needed to minimize the casualties. Lincoln responded with a convincingly innocent and drawn out, "Why?" As he always does to any request I make of him these days. Even Jonah had his first ever look of guilt and started making a b-line for the carpet. One crawl away from reaching the carpet, I scooped Jonah up and saw his whole belly was covered in a sticky, mustardy, poppyseeded mess.

The evidence seemed to suggest that Lincoln, aka The Mastermind, had dumped the salad dressing all over him and the floor. Meanwhile, smear duty was left to Jonah who made sure the whole corner of the kitchen had a nice, even layer of the food version of glitter -- poppyseeds.

So to sum it up, this is why I can no longer eat salads. Or vegetables. Basically, this is why I eat cake every day for lunch.

I've decided the only way to keep Lincoln out of trouble is to strap him to his car seat. 
Okay, okay. I don't really strap him to his car seat in the house. His seat was brought in so I could clean it before he left for his trip down to Panguitch. He buckled himself in there...but I definitely wasn't arguing with his insistence to be momentarily confined. 

I think Lincoln was just trying to make it easier for me to say goodbye as he knew it would be hard for me to leave my kids for the first time EVER for an overnight trip with Jeff! Maybe he's just kind and thoughtful and sweet and considerate and helpful after all. Thanks for all your hard work preparing me for my trip, Lincoln! I spent the whole week leading up to my departure screaming, "I NEED A VACATION!" And then a smile would creep onto my face every time as I remembered there was one just around the corner! 


Rebecca said...

Lincoln's hijinks sure lead to entertaining blog fodder! I see you strategically wrote this post AFTER you conned your sweet, unsuspecting sister-in-law to watch the little Tasmanian devil.

Kim said...

Laurie was laughing gleefully as she read this blog post and was reading me snippets here and there. Finally, she just decided to read the whole thing to me because it was all so funny.

This part had me laughing out loud: "So I go to Dads and Donuts. Like a man. And I eat a donut. And I sit with my legs unnaturally far apart." Hilarious!! Then add the milk onto it and what a funny experience. You and the Dads and the spilled milk. Haha!!

Oh, Lincoln. How much more I could enjoy his shenanigans if it wasn't all happening IN MY HOUSE!! UGH!! The kitchen floor!! What a mess!! At least the fireballs were a clean, ungreasy mess.

You've definitely got your hands full. Of boys! Good luck with that!

Rebecca said...

I was just reading Mom's blog and saw this title on her sidebar and had to come back here and say how clever it is! I must have missed it on my first reading and didn't properly praise you for your titling efforts. Love it!