Nico usually wakes up around 7:00, but today he woke up at 6:00 and stood in his doorway calling, "Mama! I'm done! You want to come out now?" This is what he says just about every morning, and it's terribly cute. Today I brought him into my room and showed him the clock and said, "When that six turns into a seven, then we can get up." He fell asleep lying against my side and when I woke up around 8:00 he was still asleep. I lay there for a few minutes watching him sleep, feeling these heart-swelling emotions about him and how much I love him and how much I love being a mom. Then he opened his big dark eyes, regarded me solemnly, reached out his tiny hand, and stuck his finger up my nose. Later, he tried to do it again and when I asked him not to, he said, "Want Mama to laugh!"
I reminded myself of this sweet, funny moment later when we had to leave his swimming lesson in disgrace due to prolonged misbehavior, Nico tucked under my arm like a football and shouting. It was frustrating but not overly so, knowing that he's probably still not 100% after his weekend of sickness, knowing that he's almost three years old and therefore not terribly far from veering into crazyland at any given time. Mimi Smartypants wrote something when her daughter was little about how toddlers basically deserve a medal just for keeping their shit together at any given moment, and it's so true. Even a mostly-sweet, mostly-even-tempered toddler like mine can veer from normal to CODE RED MELTDOWN in a surprisingly short period of time.
Once we got home, he was cranky but not monstrous. After I finished his bedtime songs, he asked me to snuggle with him on his big boy bed. That's actually what he said, "Snuggle wif me on the big boy bed." How could I say no to that? I turned on his musical dog and lay down beside him on the bed, tucked up close with my arm around him. Within ten minutes he was asleep, clutching his blankie in the crook of his elbow and two matchbox cars in one hand, his other hand gently patting my arm until he dropped off to sleep. Almost-three is a tempest, mercurial, hard to predict. But the sweet moments are so, so worth it.