**Sorry that there was not a Friday post, but you will soon understand why**
1812 Overture was playing in my head as I glanced over at Ladybug feverishly shaking her rattle to the speed of the music. At the same time Bean was running around me in a circle incoherently screaming as if I were her prisoner being tied to the stake. Sippy cups dropping as the cannons exploded, the baby pinching my arms and pulling my hair as I fed her, and Bean throwing toys around like they were confetti. We were in the midst of a battle and I was not about to win.
With bruised arms and tighter stomach muscles (due to picking up dropped cups), I was still trying to gain some ground and win the battle. Bean advertently refused to pick up her toys and showed stronger threats of combat as she pointed her finger to me and said "I'm 16 years old, I'm not a child (thanks, Little Mermaid).
The battle followed us to the park. She ignored my requests and continued to play and toss rocks in the water, REFUSED to eat her lunch but then hijacked my bag of veggie chips. I ran to retrieve them - all while watching her laugh with excitement. Moments later I see Bean and her little play mate whispering as if plotting against us moms. Coyly they each picked flowers and walked them over to us, then ran off laughing and screaming like banchees, arms flailing in the sky, then rolling down the hill as if doing drills and preparing for more combat. They had handed us live grenades.
"2 more minutes before bedtime" I warned as Bean was finishing her puzzle. Silence. I peered out from the doorway and saw her standing still and staring at me from across the hall. We were in a standoff....who would draw their guns first? "Etta, I'll read one book but it's time to go to bed," I said calmly. She leaned back as if about to sprint, then charged at me like an animal that had fallen into a prickly bush. I was preparing for an exploding collision as I inhaled, held my breath, and closed my eyes expecting the worse. I felt her little cold hands grab and squeeze my thighs with unexpected force and wasn't letting go.
"Momma, I love you", I heard her say. She looked up at me with her big beautiful brown eyes, smiled, then calmly climbed in her bed. The white "truce" flag had finally been lifted in the air.