This is what I will affectionately refer to as "forced bathing." As it means I will most definitely need to take soap and a vigorous washing to this kid's face. Tomorrow. Because he is asleep right now. Which also means, there is a good chance that the stamp shapes will blur to large, faded green spots come morning. And it *may* be difficult to erase, but I consider that kind of a win-win situation, as St. Patty's Day is almost upon us, and I have plans to dress this little whipper-snapper up as a leprechaun.
Tell me that is not the GREATEST IDEA EVER????? I need to find green sweats, or in a less ideal situation, make a pair of green shorts and find some suspenders to match. And, of course, a toddler-sized black top hat would be amazing.
So this morning, I was a helper in the children's program of the bible study that I go to on Thursdays. I was assigned to the 2-year-old room, mostly because I have kids in the 3 and 4 year old rooms, and they try to have you volunteer separate from your children (trust me, it is MUCH easier this way).
Anyway. As you might imagine, some of the 2-year-olds have a hard time separating from Mom. Goes with the territory. I had a kid that SCREAMED for 2 years straight whenever I would drop him off in a nursery/Sunday school situation. Totally get it. The solution was always for me to detach the claws of the screaming child as quickly as possible, throw a clean diaper at the teacher and run like crazy while yelling, "Later, Sucka!"
Just kidding. But prompt exiting was the key, as my screaming child would not calm down until he was sure that I had officially abandoned him, thereby forcing the said, distraught child to form some sort of emotional attachment to another mother-figure. I was always very appreciative when a teacher/helper would aid me in my escape.
And as I watched this mama this morning, it was clear that she needed an escape, and a willing arm to contain the child. She didn't appear to me to be the kind of mom that needed (or thought it possible) to talk her child out of hysteria. So I stepped up the the plate, and she made a quick exit.
This kid was STRONG for a 2-year-old. I mean, it took every ounce of my strength and concentration, and he still escaped me TWICE! As in, out the door, screaming for mom. To which I responded with lightning speed, chasing him down the hall and scooping him up with a "GOTCHA!", followed by an evil, blood-curdling laugh, that I am sure didn't freak him the hell out, or anything. If you know the secret to restraining a child (that is not your own) and not appearing to be a hairy, terrifying monster with fangs, let me know.
I mean, nursery workers and volunteers in OTHER classrooms came to see the commotion and stared with wide-eyes. There were shoes flying EVERYWHERE. I was sort of awkwardly stomping around and dodging fists, and I think there were like 10 other children crying. And I am totally sure that someone peed in their pants/diaper. And then, the teachers in the 2-year-old classroom sort of gave me a look as if I had a giant chainsaw and a hockey mask on. AND I AM ONLY THE VOLUNTEER in the class. For one day! So. You can imagine I was lacking all kinds of self confidence in dealing with the situation. I'm also fairly certain that if anyone had raw meat or a goat, they would have thrown it at me, because based on all reactions, I was totally the ogre terrorizing a room of small people.
But I didn't really feel that letting him run down the hall and a flight of stairs was in his best interests either. So. I held tight and I dragged him back to my cave (a.k.a. the 2-year-old room). And I shut the door. And I'm pretty sure at least 5 people thought I was going to eat him.
Only, once we returned to the class, I was smart enough not to let go! I was steadfast in my grip, all the while whispering sweet affirmations that his mom would indeed return! And he would live! A full and meaningful life!
I'm pretty sure that this came off as the propaganda of a serial killer.
Then, we noticed the windows overlooking the parking lot. And I asked him to tell he what color car mommy drove. And then we looked (through the window...I am smart enough to know that leaving the room is NOT an option) for a gray car and we found one! And this is how I convinced the 2-year-old that mommy was, in fact, still in the building. And by golly, we sat there for 15 minutes, just to be sure.
And then he found a ladybug on the window! And I brought him in for a closer look, which was a BAD and SCARY idea. Ladybugs are just as scary as giant, wart-y, nursery workers! But we found the gray car again, and all was right in the world.
Story time rolled around, and he was all over it. And then we did a CRAFT, during which he participated 110%. I was so proud. It was like, amidst all the hub-bub, he learned my love language, and he became my buddy. It was totally a Goonies moment, and he was Chunk and I was Sloth and he was sharing his Baby Ruth bar with me.
And I was successfully able to convince a 2-year-old that I would not stuff him in a sandwich bun for lunch.
I love him just a little bit.
And this is my official record of events, should the police or child protective agency come knocking on my door, investigating a plot to devour small children. Totally innocent.