Tales From the Toddler

6:00 PM

Change in routine to a one-year-old is one of the most difficult things in the world. You pick him up from school, sing a few songs on the way home, followed by some Bruno Mars or Motown on the radio. Then you walk in the house and turn on the TV for his one hour of TV time while you prepare something for dinner. The TV must be turned to his favorite channel so that he can watch 3 giant mice dance and sing. That is the afternoon routine.

The TV station decided to change the line-up. His favorite show now comes on at 6:00 pm instead of 5:00 pm. My son’s TV time ends at 6:00 pm.

My son knows that when he gets home, he should take his shoes and socks off and he either go play or watch TV. Usually if it’s an episode that they aired recently, he loses interest and goes to play. But last week the station changed the line-up.

At 5:59 pm when the TV timer turned the off the set he stood there. He looked at the black screen waiting for something to change. Questions rolled across his face, then disbelief. After he realized the set was not going to be turned back on, pure outrage. He lifted his head to the ceiling as if looking to Zeus himself for strength. And in that moment, it was as if an invisible bolt of lightening struck that child and he had the strength of ten men. Enraged and blinded by the clouds of Ares, he only knows his overwhelming lust for destruction.

Towers of folded laundry topple at his feet. Balloons pop in his wake. Remotes are hidden under chairs in his pettiness. Soon the rage of Ares engulfs him and he unleashes the pre-battle howl. A sound that cuts so deep that all movement in the house stops in fear. Then all is still. It is as if Hestia herself lay a cloth of calm upon his brow. A deep breath to be had by all.

Until this child looks at the television set. The black screen. He turns to you and says “Please” as best he knows how, only to be met with the most horrid of answers. No. Then it hits him, there will be no dancing mice today. Ares shroud regains a hold of the him and his sense of righteous indignation returns. All that is in place shall be no more. Picture frames removed from their homes, shoes missing from their cubby, toys fly with ferocity. The once tightened cloth round his waist now in his hand as he stands free in the middle of the room. And here in this moment is when he unleashes the battle cry. Loud and shrill. Piercing the ears of all in the vicinity as a needle would cloth.

Quick acting, you say the three-letter word. The end all. E A T. He walks over to his chair, sits and with serene eyes and says “Eat, please”. Just know, on this day, you have won the battle. A battle that raged all of 7 minutes. Do not celebrate this victory as the enemy regroups and strategizes a new plan of attack. Tomorrow is a new day.

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