How Do You Say Payback in Italian?

Monday, March 19, 2012

My birthday trip to Italy was absolutely wonderful. It was beautiful and delicious and everything I imagined it could be. And a little bit more sprinkled on top.



Now that we’re back home from this grand trip … we pay. It started with my being hit with a “what in the hell?!” flu one day after flying home. My mother swears you pick up “these viruses on the plane,” but the origins of the thing wasn’t my main concern. I was more interested in how do I stop the sweat-chills and deep-in-the-bones body aches, and the fact that someone — a mini monster — decided to take up pneumatic drilling from inside my head.

Next, it’s our son. Oh, he was so happy to see us. It was so sweet. We arrived home at night, long after he had gone to bed. So the first time we saw him was the next morning, bright and early.

He jumped into my waiting arms. “You’re back!” he said, all smiling and groggy. “You’re back, Mommy.” He hugged me again, maybe to make sure that it was real. Then patted my shoulder and delivered the killer heart-melter: “Mommy, you’re so beautiful.”

The next morning after that, he woke up at 4:30 a.m., and came directly into our room. He wanted to sleep in the bed with us, he said. And we let him. I was too sick and drug-drowsy to do anything but allow it. He  went back to sleep clutching me, my neck, my arm, as if letting go might mean we wouldn’t be there in the proper morning when he woke up.

The following morning, another early wake-up. This time 2:30 — ahem, I SAID, TWO-THUUURTAAAAY! — refusing to return to his bed, crying loud and long each time we walked him back to it. The Youngster’s always been a solid sleeper, so this new style of things … no, ma’am. Not our jam.

This morning, thankfully, he was fine. He did his normal wake-up, and was quite pleased that he had “slept awwwll the way to the morning.” But who knows if this is a sign of getting back on track? No, really, do any of you know??! Who? Speak up! Help us. We have can pay you in fine olive oil, straight from the Italian countryside.

Oh, and there’s also the backsliding on the independent potty business. The little guy’s gone from doing his thing in the bathroom, virtually unassisted, to having little “accidents” on the rugs and at school. Over the weekend, it’s become clear that these “accidents” are rather deliberate. If he’s misbehaving and is directed to his room to calm his body down, guess what else is going down? Oh, yeah, best believe some drizzle, my pizzles.

The husband and I are meeting in the Situation Room (what? OK, maybe sometimes it’s called the kitchen.) to talk strategy this evening. I feel that so much of this is about our son missing us for the nine days that we were away. His grandma told me how he would walk over to his special calendar and just tap on the date that his parents were coming back home. Or how he would ask, after catching glimpse of an airplane flying overhead, “Is Mommy in there?”

Thing is, we’re back. But trying to reassure our young’un that we truly aren’t going anywhere anytime soon might take some work. Again, got something solid to offer us? We’ve got olive oil. And perhaps a pair of leather gloves!

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