A couple of years ago, I was having a nice conversation with one of our neighbors, "Oh, MJ was awful upset the other morning," she said. Mentally, I scanned through the past week, trying to pinpoint just which morning she was talking about. "I think that was actually the first time I had ever heard him cry." First time? She was being very kind, I thought, or possibly needed her hearing checked, as this particular conversation took place during the period of time when we lovingly referred to our oldest son as, "the neighborhood birth control."
"Oh, really?" I replied distracted, still unable to think of any one day that would have stood out from all of the rest.
"I'm sure mornings are tough," she continued. "It looked like he needed to go somewhere and really didn't want to."
And suddenly, very clearly, I knew exactly which day she was referring to. I was half horrified that she had witnessed this particular event, half extremely amused by the fact that it barely stood out in my memory. It had been an early spring morning and we were running late, of course, and our son was insistent about wearing his Halloween costume everywhere he went. His "two sizes too small dragon with a giant stuffed tail that made it almost impossible to fit into a car seat" costume to be more specific. And it involved a lot of screaming of, "Get into the truck!" followed by sobbing of, "I can't! My toes are broke!" Followed by more screaming of "Get into the truck!"
As a parent, there are many moments that you hope your children will never remember, moments when you just completely lose every ounce of patience you had left, moments that we pray, each night, that no one was there to witness. But, in each of these moments is a learning opportunity, and I can now tell you with absolute confidence that the least effective way to get to work on time is to stomp around the drive way throwing a tantrum like a three year old, while your actual three year sits on the steps dressed as an overstuffed mythical creature, throwing a tantrum of his own. Also, it is in everyone's best interest to pack away Halloween costumes on November 1st.