Saturday, May 7, 2011

Dinner with Werewolves or The Witching Hour of Tots

We all toy with the idea of pushing our limits and you may do this ordinary act every two weeks or one week, depending on how much protein, zinc, and calcium you take in. Cutting my nails is a delicate exercise of grooming and bedevilment. Cutting corners at strange angles has always been a difficult task for me. Why didn't I have long nail beds like my Sisters? Such short, drangled nails without much direction and inclination to dirt accumulation have passed over to my Bourgie Baby.

The precautions I know I must take when cutting her nails are obvious because lately, I've included a bit of skin on the sides. Cutting her nails is like mine: rugged kertainized slats that bend back into the skin with the pressure of the clippers. Blood and hurt feelings are hushed over as I quickly try to finish. Nothing a Dora the Explorer bandaid can't fix,but I'm sure her day school friends will hear terrible tales of how this bad Mommy caused "the blood"...that's what I gather from the hushed quiet looks I get from them when I pick her up at the end of the day.

Sometimes we cut too far. Maybe we scream too loud. Put them in timeout too long or not long enough. Other times we enjoy ourselves too much on social outings and we try to squeeze in 15 more minutes when we know our tot's witching hour approaches.

Recently, I've been having a more involved social calendar and I always tell folks I always come with kid. Like a woman testing a new lover's resilience by saying they come with baggage. Or an employer telling a desperate new hire that the job comes with a challenging work environment. You just don't know how much deep excrement you're in until a little gets on your face. It's always worse when it splatters just to the side of your mouth. Figuratively speaking, of course...

People assure me it's no problem but there I sit...the Mama with the only child at the table wanting to jump into the grown up conversation but obliging compliments drift into banal discussions on the cuteness of my kid. Lest we forget about the other distractions of IgottagopeepeeImthirstyGimmeSome at my far end corner. At some point, someone should feel sorry for me and find me a babysitter on location and bless me with a complimentary bottle of their best Chardonnay.

But I know my seemingly good times are waning into ascending, thundering clock strokes. Entrees haven't arrived and its 10 minutes till 8...OK, pee break in the middle of dinner...OK, I'm is cold, alright, "What did you say? Oh yes, the island fox is native to the Catalina Islands." The bourgie baby's eyes are getting a bit moony but geez, this conversation on the Catalina Islands flora and fauna is just too much to turn away from. And then the wiggles and clinginess begin. A tot's strength and weariness grows as the moon arches through the night sky. I can only imagine having dinner with a werewolf on the night of the full moon, but pushing the limit of any child's bedtime to soak up some night life with obliging friends is a dangerous undertaking. A scratch from your moony tot could give you the fever.

Just tonight, I celebrated the graduation of a dear friend. After a stimulating tot-to-adult ratio conversation, crayons broken into pieces in the bread dipping saucer, TWO trips to the restroom, and over-turned sprite, I still managed to get legal advice for my mom, a creative writing exercise, and to dole my game-changing, conversation stirring question of how all of us represent part of my dear friend's psyche.  It was good night until my tot complained of hurting began with the extraction of her flip flops...then the sliding out of her booster seat...and then the devouring of her cheeseburger (Wow! Didn't think she'd eat that much...RED MEAT!).  I knew then that the werewolf needed to run free in her dreams. Eventually she wanted to sit in my lap.

Thankfully, God has blessed me with an awesome tot who knows, at times, to tell me when she's tired and ready to go to bed. She whispered it to me. Then after 5 more minutes of pushing my languishing time with adults, the Bourgie Babe stood next to the table pulling my arm and dress. "I'm ready to lay down...I want to put on my jammies, Mommy. Let's go."  I love my friend but I love my sanity better. I must do what I can to avoid the werewolf's wrath.

This post is dedicated to my newly attained babysitter. Just remember to have her in bed no later than 8:30pm.

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