It’s late in the afternoon.

It’s late in the afternoon. My kitchen is a mess, even though I haven’t cooked anything today. The little table and chairs given to my son for Christmas by his loving parents (Husband: “You know he’s just going to knock them over, don’t you?” Peony: “Yes, but when he’s older he can color there or something like that.”) are lying on the floor with their legs sticking up in the air, like cartoon characters do when they faint.
Silly Mommy! Color on paper while seated at the little table? That’s what the refrigerator door is for. And mere crayons will not do for the wee monseiur; monseiur must have pens and pencils from Mommy’s desk.
Baby Hambet is twenty-three months old. Every day of his life has brought some new skill — some tiny, some huge — and yet, somehow, in the last five months or so, it’s as if I can look in his eyes and see his brain laying down more cable. He’s getting to be a little boy, but he is still a baby.
Among the latest development has — unfortunately — been tantrums. This morning, while we were getting dressed, Hambet suddenly decided that his tummy needed to be anointed with “chest lotion” (that vapor rub stuff.) This need, this yearning, this craving, so overwhelmed him that he dissolved in kicking and tears even as I was giving him a dab of “chest lotion.” The demonstration continued all the way through getting dressed, two attempts to distract him with a favorite book, going downstairs. But then when I finally got him distracted, the wailing and gnashing of teeth just…stopped. This baby anguish seems to have no regulation at all. Either things are hunky dory or the world is absurd because the chest lotion is not being applied to the tummy at the moment I first thought of it.
I wish I could get inside his head better. Perhaps that would help me keep my equanimity when he dumps the sugar bowl out onto the table, or rips the lamination off his board books (probably for the same reason adults like to pop bubble wrap.)
Maybe it would even help me figure out where he has hidden my bank card this time.