Jekyll and Hyde Is My Housemate

Lucas has his moments–moments when he’s not the adorable, charming, polite little train-obsessed cherub who everyone knows and loves.

Living with a two-and-a-half-year-old is probably a lot like living with Jekyll and Hyde (and I am quite certain I am not the first to comment on this phenomenon). One minute he’s laughing and tickling and saying “Mommy, you’re the sweetest girl I’ve ever known.” (I kid you not! He said these exact words to me on Tuesday, November 23, 2004. He was sitting in my lap and Lisa was there to witness it ‘cause it was her birthday. It instantly reduced me to tears of ecstasy.)

Anyway, like I was saying, one minute everything is happy discovery and joyful, secure childhood exuberance. Then the next minute is markedly raging, willful–and equally secure–terrible-twos tantruming. Some days are equal parts Jekyll, equal parts Hyde, flip-flopping back and forth.

Have I mentioned that he’s taken to undressing himself in the early morning? Apparently the Carters sleepers I bought for him recently when the weather turned cold lack the critical snapping flap that keeps the zipper pull hidden from little hands. Lately, Lucas wakes each morning at about 7 or 7:30 a.m. and proceeds to rid himself of unwanted sleepwear. Who knows? Maybe it’s too warm in his room in the morning after the heat has kicked on. Perhaps he’s disgusted with his soggy Pull Up and must get it off.

Today I went to get him after I heard an indistinct “Mommy, I’m murgl murfle-ing!” (I can’t always make out his words when I turn on the baby monitor–but wails come through loud and clear.) He is, as expected, naked, and fortunately this morning there is no puddle in the bed. I sat him on the potty, he peed, and requested a Little Blue Engine story. Shivering and naked, I suggested that we take the storybook into my bedroom for a little morning cuddle in the warm covers.

No. Wailing and whining ensued.

He doesn’t like to see his dad in the morning. And after Lucas has said a few hurtful things to Daddy, Daddy doesn’t much want to see Lucas either.

So picture a naked Lucas, holding his book and looking out the back slider onto the rainy backyard, wailing “I want my Mommy. Mommy, come to me.”

So, that was the day’s start. He was generally pretty unpleasant until I fed him–God forbid–raisin bran instead of Honey Bunches of Oats®, and a waffle, and apple slices, which he ignored.

Later he said for the first time as emerged from the shower, “I’m a little naked monkey! See my tail? See my ears?” and hopped around the bedroom looking adorable. I tied a little tail on him and he looked all the world like the real thing. “I’m a monkey that can talk!” All this before our guests were expected to arrive so that we could go out to breakfast.

When Danny and Kellie arrived, Lucas was peaches and cream. He warmed up to Dan in record time. (Danny reminded Lucas that he had given Lucas a book called Lucas the Lizard.) We went to breakfast and had a nice time bashing conservative republicans.

After our guests had gone home, it was time for nap. But Lucas didn’t want to nap. First he shouted and threw all his bedding and stuffed animals out of his bed and pulled books off the bookshelf and threw them to the ground. When I went in to investigate all the thumping, he told me that he had to use the potty. Which he did, successfully. Then, more shouting. Even more thumping. What was left to throw? When Ian went to check, he found Lucas naked in bed standing in a puddle of pee. Ian cleaned the bed and put him back down for a nap. Lucas continued to shout and holler, “Mommy come to me!” Eventually, we gave up on the napping and Ian went in to get him up. Lucas was naked again, standing in another puddle. Ian made him put the books away, which he cheerfully did while singing his plucky “Clean Up, Clean Up” song.

Near as I can tell, he was mad and peed his bed on purpose. Yikes. How do you combat that tactic?

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  • About Sara

    Thanks for visiting! I’m Sara, editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

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    “Love doesn’t just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new.” —Ursula K. LeGuinn

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