I took Anea to the Health Unit yesterday for her 12 month shots. Yes...a year and a half late...we all have our reasons. And with years of experience, we came prepared with full arsenal of toys and snacks. Four shots later and we were sentenced to the waiting room.
As we were serving our 15 minutes of post-shot time, I watched Anea, who was clearly disturbed by the stress just induced upon her. Bouncing around the room pretending to be Tigger, she was yelling at the children who kept eying up her stuffed animals (what kind of waiting room that provides shots for children has absolutely no toys in it anyway?!), and i could hear her sigh an "Oh MAN!" whenever the other kids tried to rearrange her chairs she had ever so strategically placed.
After the uncomfortable wait time, where other parents have nothing else to do other than observe your wild child and silently judge you, I decided there wasn't going to be an allergic reaction to the shot and did the unthinkable...something only a mother who has done this a billion times would do this. And I swear the other moms were timing me! After attempting to put her jacket on, I apologetically gathered up Anea's toys from all the other children who had stolen them. After appeasing her anxiety that her that we would not be leaving without the stuffies she had just cleaned the well trafficked floor with, we got her jacket on and left the clinic three whole minutes before the designated 15 minute time. *gasp
She bounced her way walking all the way home and on through the rest of the morning, and when asked by her dad how it went, she exclaimed "I ha' fun, Dad!". The rest of her day was full of bouncing, bossing, more bouncing and more exuberance than I would ever have even if you combined my last 10 years into one day.
The shots finally kicked in around 2 a.m., and Matty, making himself indispensable so I will always eke
Him I'll always keep him around, stayed up with her most of the night as they bonded over Advil, cold cloths and Pooh movies, until 6:30, where he plunked her with me and she finally slept. For an hour.
Before leaving for school, Matt, forseeing the inevitably long and trying morning that would be had, suggested I stop at Starbucks and get a drink for her and myself before coming home and snuggling on the couch for a movie morning. Brilliant. See? He's a keeper. So on our way home, we stop at Starbucks for a dose of liquid patience. Anea's first Christmas, as far as she would remember. She was awestruck by the lit trees. Wow'd at the decorations. Awed by the beautiful colours and some random puppy that only she could see. So I bought her a cookie with her drink. With that curly bedhead, those elephant pj's and those adorable pink cowboy boots, how could I refuse her anything! She wanders over to a table and says, "Shit, Mom! Shit down!". We've already established that today, she's the boss. We get our drinks and a cookie and sit.
Four minutes later and I'm bored out of my mind. A two year old is not much for conversation. Then she licks the hat of her snowman cookie. Then she eats the hat. We laugh. She wiggles her shoulders to the music. I wiggle back. She points out the imaginary puppy. I'm in awe of it. I sit there drinking my chai latte and watch as she sits there, massacring her snowman, her blue eyes alit with amazement as she takes in the wonder that is Starbucks. Then it hits me. This is as good as it gets. Life may never be as good as it is at this very moment. I will never have a bed headed, cowboy booted, bright blue eyed feverish 2 year old dancing her way through a snowman cookie and giving me cheers with our coffee cups again. So I chilled out. I boogied my way through my latte, giggled as she ate the eyes out of the poor snowman, fetched her napkins so she could take care of every little crumb that had fallen, pointed out random Christmassy items just to hear her ooh and aww, reassured her that my drink and scone were very good, each of the 50 times she asked, and reciprocated the offered cheers with a little "thunk" of our cups.
And she was not finished after that. She wanted to go shopping. After an hour and a half of following her around stores as she spread her Christmas cheer, I was finally able to bribe her to come home and watch Peter Pan with me.
There's something to be said about slowing down, allowing yourself to not be entertained, and to seeing the world through the eyes of a two year old.