His lower lip started to quiver even before I said: "we have to go home now."
I got his shoes on, but as I tried to thread reluctant arms through his ski jacket sleeves, Hudson swatted at my head and threw himself backward onto the ground.
Every time he leaves his grandparents he melts down.
"My poor Hudson!" one of them inevitably exclaims. They console him, sending me nasty glances as if shielding this defenseless little creature from an unfortunate, obviously awful, tyrannical mother, who will - gasp! - put him to bed or do some other unspeakably horrible things to him, like feed him food that isn't chocolate.
(My parents didn't think I needed a lot of sugar as a kid, but seem to believe Hudson's diet is dangerously low in the Elf food groups: "candy, candy cane, candy corn and syrup.")
I get it re: grandparents. They want our children's love and to be associated with fun! and generosity! And candy, which is emblematic of fun and generosity. But, is it necessary to school them in hedonism and slothfulness as well?
Hudson clung to my mother's legs, tears flooding his cheeks Monday night. I kept him home from nursery school that day because he seemed a teeny bit sick, but mostly because of grandparent-induced guilt that he had a hectic weekend (he'd been in New York with his dad for a family function) and I shouldn't just "shove him off" to school right away.
Instead of frolicking in a positive, civilized space filled with rules and multigrains and nap-times, my son spent the day channeling his inner gluttonous, ancient Grecian monarch.
I let it happen because he looked so cute and happy. Everyone deserves to be pampered sometimes, right?
"What can I get you my sweetheart?" my mother regularly implored of Hudson who was:
- in front of the TV
- sucking on his pacifier (which I don't let him have during daylight hours)
- eating in bed
And, as always,
- lavished with some or all of the following presents:
A new tractor! A tool bench! Another train set! Blinky phone! etcetera etcetera!
And Chanukah and Christmas are still two weeks away!
After a painful separation from his grandparents and a difficult night it was finally time to go back to nursery school (or risk losing what is left of my sanity) the next morning.
My good, sweet little boy seemed back to normal after the great binge. All smiles, he walked into his classroom and straight over to a little girl holding a toy on a string.
He grabbed it.
"Oh god," I said, my heart flooding with guilt. "I'm raising a brat."
"Don't be silly," a nice nursery teacher said. "He's two!"
Right. He's two. There's still time...