And we know you want to hear all about it, but that is not what we are going to do. Not yet. Once we make sure Awesome Toddler's parents still like us, you might hear about it, in all the gory details. Right now, we are gonna tell you what happened when we got home and all about the magic that Awkward Mom managed to pull off. Super Toddler may have just screamed himself out of all energy and collapsed, but we'll give Awkward Mom her moment, for the moment.
So, Super Toddler loses it. I mean, full-out-full-body-why-don't-we-have-an-exorcist-on-speed-dial loses it. At Awesome Toddler's house, whom we love. And more importantly, whose parents we love. So, I can justify this one any number of ways. He didn't nap. It is late. He is 2 years old. Whatever. Nothing can ease the embarrassment of having your child collapse on the floor in a fit that would win him an Oscar, if the movie is about out of control toddlers run wild. And all you can do is try to remember all those parenting books you read (or in my case, that parenting book I read); willing your tired and frazzled brain to remember how much to push, how much to give, and if bribery is ever OK.
We walk in the door at home, he is still screaming. Awkward Dad wanders away, something about feeding the baby. The angelic baby who has not made a peep since we left Awesome Toddler's house. Thanks. So, I am left staring at the howling mess, who has flung himself on the floor in a puddle of mismatched clothes and tears. (Did I mention we barely got his coat on, totally missed the gloves and hat, and he is still wearing a dress-up dress and crown-like headband?) I take one look at this mess, contemplate giving him cookies, think about what that would look in an hour, recalculate, take a deep breath, and ...
Once upon a time there was...
Slight pause between screams.
And that princess lived in a beautiful castle at the edge of a deep, dark forest.
I wonder what is in that forest, thought the princess. Whatever could be in the forest?
(Tiny, tiny voice; whisper quiet, half-choked with held-in sobs.) Fireflies.
Fireflies, eh? Well, yes, I think there are quite a few fireflies in the deep dark forest. And, what else, I wonder?
Ghosties. (Eyes are drying; round as saucers, but drying.)
Ghosties, that is right. And every night the ghosts would dance in the trees of the deep dark forest. The forest all lit up by the lights of a million fireflies.
They dance on top of the trees.
They do? Well, that's right. Ghosts can float, so they dance right up there on top of the trees, light as feathers.
The princess sees them. (I actually have his coat off.)
She does! She goes walking in the deep, dark forest one night and she sees the ghost dance in full swing. It is amazing. All those fireflies lighting up the sky and the ghosts dancing on the treetops, not even bending the branches because, you know, they have no feet.
No feet, that's right. (I am not even gonna attempt to take off the princess dress-up dress.)
So, a ghost floats over to the princess and says, hey, princess, you wanna dance? And she says...
Yes, I want to dance. (I put him on his bed.)
And they do, all night. He pulls her up there on top of the treetops to dance all night.
The witch. (He lies down and closes his eyes for a moment, but they fly open again.)
Oh, that wicked witch. She shows up just in time to ruin the party. And what does she do?
She poofs. (He smiles and closes his eyes.)
That's right, she poofs a spell that makes all the ghosts stop flying. And they fall right back down to earth.
Poor ghosties. Then what? (He is rapt as he can be, half-asleep.)
Well, the princess tells them that they can dance on the ground, it is no problem. So, they keep dancing the night away in the deep dark forest.
And the witch?
Well, that mean old witch is never heard from again.
Good. (Eyes still closed, his breathing starts to become regular. And finally, so does mine.)
I creep towards the door.
You forgot the ending part.
I return, lean over, and kiss my little sleeping beauty. (No longer the beast, thank goodness!)
They all lived happily ever after. The End.
But he is already snoring.
Funny how your worst night can be your best in some ways, eh? Not too bad there, Awkward Mom. Now go make sure Awesome Parents don't hate you!