He pushes his plate across the table in his usual 3 year old defiant style. His face crumples and he yells, "Not a bagel! I didn't want a BAAGELLLL!"
"Yes you did! You just said you wanted a bagel!" I was arguing logic with a tired and cranky 3 year old. It was more than ridiculous. I was beyond exasperated after listening to him cry for an hour, going the whole live long day with him clinging to me like a fifth appendage and then finding half a container of baby powder complete with (okay adorable) footprints all over his bedroom after giving him a time out for kicking his older brother in the eye for absolutely no good reason.
"I'm not making you anything else Finley. I'm tired of making you a million meals a day and you not eating any of them..." my voice rose into 'the voice'. The voice that doesn't make it's appearance too often though too often in my opinion when my husband's been away for over a week. It's normal right? It's a deeper, uglier and yellier voice. A voice that takes even me by surprise when I hear it. A voice I hear then quickly realize it's time for me to step away from the situation. "...SO EAT YOUR BAGEL OR YOU CAN GO UP TO BED RIGHT NOW!!!"
Of-course this just made the situation even worse, as it always does. I hated that ugly mean Mummy that I just became. Especially when I heard the following words cried out by my 3 year old, "I don't love you Mummy! I want Daddy! I waaant Daaaddy!!!" Ooof. That stung. Worse than an 'I don't like you'. Even possibly worse than an 'I hate you.' He's three and he already knows how to hit where it hurts. The tail of my baby Scorpion strikes again.
I leave the room picking up toys and random items of clothing that have strewn about throughout the day and wonder with angst if any other Mom's have this ugly mean Mom voice that makes their child not love them.
I return to the kitchen to find him with the bagel half consumed in front of him. He finishes it up like our clash never even happened and walks toward me chewing the remaining mouthful of bagel with this arms raised for me to pick him up (for the 1000th time that day). I scoop him up gratefully this time and he wraps all limbs about me like a baby monkey. I bury my face in the deliciousness of the crook of his neck and speak softly into it, "I'm sorry buddy. I'm sorry I yelled at you."
His arms tighten around my neck and he says nothing.