When Leeloo was a baby, any cold meant some crankiness, but mostly lots of rest. A toddler sick day is a completely different ball game. We are on our third day of fever, cough and runny nose and my mantra has been: Patience and love. I have taken lots of moments just repeating those words.
6 am - She came into bed with me to cuddle some more.
6:30 - She wanders out to the living room with her brothers, but doesn't want to be there without me, so she comes back and starts yelling "Wake up mami!".
6:45 She's at the pantry asking for cereal. Her oldest brother pours her a bowl which she's very excited about. Until he adds a dash of milk. Then she doesn't want it.
She then asks for a banana. I slice it so she can share with her other brother. She gets mad and stands in the corner pouting.
I get coffee (because I'm sick too and haven't had much rest). Luckily the boys can make their own simple breakfasts this morning. Patience and love, patience and love.
She decides she wants to eat and pulls me over to the fridge. "Ice cream mami! Ice cream!" When I say no she goes back to pout in her corner. Big brother wants to comfort her but I tell him to let her work it out.
7:05 - She's asks for a granola bar. I say yes. Pure happiness. "Yum yummy mami!"
I get her clothes (while reminding her bothers to brush their teeth and make their beds). She doesn't want to get dressed. She runs into her room to watch herself cry in the mirror. Patience and love.
I get dressed and she runs into my room to find me. I have to remind her not to roll in bed with food (I'm sure I'm sleeping with granola tonight).
I act super excited to change my clothes and then say, "Yay! It's your turn!", thankfully she bounds after me.
Dress on, pants on, socks, shoes, hair brushed, we are ready to go!
I clean up breakfast, and make sure the boys are all ready for school, when I hear "No! Ripley no!" She runs out of her room giggling, big brother in hot pursuit. He looks frustrated and hands me her shoes. "Ugh! She didn't even listen to me! I told her no and she did it anyway!" Little does he realize that I have already played out this scenario with him dozens of times over the years.
7:20 - The first knock on the door. It's Wednesday, our turn to carpool. Leeloo sees her brothers put on their shoes and she's now fully willing to comply. Socks and shoes on.
7:21 - She's at the door jumping. "Let's go, let's go, let's gooooo!"
Instead of explaining that we need to wait for more people, we all go out front, and the boys play catch with her (for some reason a basketball and a kickball are headed to school today - I don't even ask). She giggles and throws and chases. Definitely the highlight of her morning. Finally the last passenger arrives and we all pile in the car.
She climbs into her carseat and we head off to middle school.
We get to the parking lot and the first three kids climb out. When she realizes that she's not going too she bursts into tears. "Noooooooo! Me too! Up! Caillou (what she calls her oldest brother)!!!). I soothe her and tell her that her other brother is staying and she starts to calm down. Between the sniffles and sobs she says "ok. ok" and pats the seat next to her for him to sit down. Patience and love.
Her brother cleans her nose and we head towards the elementary school. When we get there he kisses her goodbye and instead of a full breakdown she quietly whimpers his name. I soothe her again. Patience and love.
8 am - With my fingers crossed I head towards the store. I have a feeling it's gonna be ugly, but I have no choice. We need things like Kleenex and toilet paper.
I never come to Target this early so I'm happy to see the parking lot so empty. Right away she wants to be carried. 35 pounds and a big bag of plenty, combined with being sick - I got this. I grabbed a cart and headed straight towards Starbucks. At this point I am not above bribery. We buy a muffin and a coffee for me She sits in the cart and she has about 2 full minutes of contentment. Until her muffin starts to crumble. I take off the top and hand it to her and she begins to cry. I hand her the wrapper and she screams. I improvise and crumble The muffin into the paper bag it came in and grab a spoon. Spoons are her favorite utensil these days, so once again she calms down.
I tackle my list at full speed, weaving around the obstacle course of staff and restocking carts (a good reason not to come early), and only stop to pick up missed muffin bits. Around 4 items in, Leeloo drops her spoon. I pick it up, but that was enough to remind her that she was in the cart and not walking. "Up mama, up!". Not only can she unclip the seat harness, but she doesn't wait before she stands and tries to step out of the cart. I get there in time but - patience and love, patience and love!
She decides that she's not going into the toothpaste aisle with me and crumbles into child's pose. I grab my item and help her up and shuffle her along. I don't know if she's scared by all the staff and carts about but she refuses to go into the next aisle as well and starts to back away slowly. I debate if I can grab something quickly but she ups her speed and then turns around and breaks into full run. Ugh!
I leave the cart (phone, wallet, keys and all) and run in hot pursuit. It doesn't take me long
to whisk her up, but I have to now wrestle her back into the cart somehow. Full on wails. I get a couple solidarity smiles from women and a man says, "Wow someone's not happy!", I smile and explain that she doesn't feel well.
Smartphone to the rescue! I start a movie and she starts to cam down yet again. Patience and love. Patience and love.
Kleenex is next and it's located int the back corner of the store. No streaming. No movie. "Mommy help!" My plan has backfired. More tears. "Up mami! Uppppppp!". She wraps her arounds around my neck and I hold her in a way that the cart can help support her weight while I push. 2 more things.
I quickly finish up. She rests her head on my shoulder and mumbles "night night, night night". Off to the cashier.
I have to put her down to load the items onto the checkout area. Once again she curls into child's pose. I manage to pay and load the bags back into the cart without incident.
I carry her to the car and decide to load her in first. I get her in the backseat and look up to see that the cart has careened downhill and now is sideways against a bumper and a sign, coffee dripping everywhere. I lift the cart up and load the bags without even addressing the coffee. I put the cart away and climb into the backseat to put the chiquita in her car seat.
She's smiling at something she has in her hand. "Balloon mom! Yay!". Because a deflated balloon is exactly what you want your 2 year old to play with. "Please mommy!" Not thinking I blow the balloon up just a little and hand it back to her. Definitely not what she had in mind. Tears all the way home accompanied by an unintelligible wail.
8:45 am - we get home. I carry in the dripping wet bags and slowly usher her along as she stops to take off her shoes, look at snails and curl into child's pose one more time.
We get in the house. Bags go on the counter. I sit on the couch. She climbs into my lap and falls fast asleep. Patience and love.
I think two things:
1- It's not even 9 am yet.
2- Today is so much better than yesterday.
Patience and love. :-)