February 21, 2008

A lunar eclipse and a stellar meltdown

So last night, instead of doing the packing I'd been planning all day, my husband decided we all needed to be outside in the chilly night, watching the lunar eclipse. I was a little miffed but went along...after all, we won't see another one out here until 2010.

So we shuffle outside around 7:30 p.m., figuring we'd catch the last half of it (and in my opinion, the cooler half) and get back in around 8:00 p.m. The thirty minutes that followed were trying, to say the least. First I decided that the children were underdressed, so I ran back inside to grab hoodies and shoes. Then I decided I needed the camera to take pictures of the kids watching their first lunar eclipse, as well as attempting to photograph the eclipse itself.

Then the meltdown began.

We wanted Thing 1 to stay near the over-cluttered, white trash-looking slab of concrete front step because it was dark out and the grass was getting damp. It was close to her bedtime; we didn't want her getting dirty or wet. At three years old, after a few scoldings, you'd think she'd catch on. But all be damned if that girl doesn't push the envelope every. single. chance. she. gets. Every two minutes, she was inching her way away from us, peeking back at us, waiting for us to yell. So we would. And she'd do a little puppet-like tap dance, complete with flapping hands, dropping a few crocodile tears. If she wasn't doing this, she was emulating Dora in her own, megaphonic way, "STA-ARS! STA-ARS!"

[For those of you who aren't privy to the wonder that is Dora the Explorer, "Stars" are the Explorer Stars, whom you call to when you need to find things.]

So between yelling at her to stop screaming at the stars (they are, after all, light years away, she simply MUST yell at the top of her lungs, cupping her hands around her mouth, in order for them to hear her), and yelling at her to get back to the front step, she was just nine kinds of pissed off at us.

Finally, daddy had had enough. He marched her little butt inside to watch the rest of the eclipse from the bedroom window. She wanted Dora. No Dora. Oh, the humanity! She was in a full-on meltdown...face sopping wet from tears, blowing impressive snot bubbles, throwing herself down on every available piece of furniture, screaming at us, the whole ball of yarn.

It took me putting her to bed to calm her down. Someone remind me that these moments are few and far between, and that I really did want kids in the first place!


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