Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nuk Sharing

Leaving a fun place is never easy with a toddler.
Leaving the Minnesota Zoo with Addie still there is even harder. (Yes, her parents were with her.)

Nora was snug in the mei tai sleeping through the screaming scene Spencer was sharing with anyone near(or far)by. After Katie and I wrestled him into the stroller, Team Snyder (sans the birthday boy) made our way to the exit.

All my usual tricks failed to ease his tantrum.
"I know it is sad to leave a friend and a fun place" only led to more painful yelps.
"Whoa! Look! A leopard" was met with shrieks and squirms.
"Remember when the goat licked your hand?" was greeted with a vigorous shake of the head and more tears.
"Shall we greet the people? Let's wave to the people" did indeed get a twist of the wrist but the crying continued without vocal interruption.

He then started chanting, "Nuk! Nuk! NUUUUUUUUK!"

Finally, I broke the taboo that I had established to eventually wean Spence off his nuk. I wrenched the nuk from the sleeping girl's lips and inserted it into his mouth. He immediately stopped screaming and relaxed into the stroller. Nora miraculously stayed asleep.

We made it through the Russian Coast before Nora awoke and wailed. I started to do a bit of parental calculations. Which child was entitled to the serenity the nuk provided? Which child had a better set of lungs? Whose screams could I tolerate for the twelve minutes it still would take to get to our car and the second nuk?

"Spencer, can Nora have her nuk back?" I just knew this wouldn't work. Was I setting myself up for an even bigger meltdown when he rebuffed me?

He nodded. I leaned down and tenuously removed the nuk from his mouth and put it in Nora's. I listened for my punishment and was greeted with silence.

"You are such a good big brother."

He nodded.

(Happy Birthday Dave!)


Kathleen said...

they just continue to surprise us don't they?

kudos to both you and spence!

hee...this post made me smile.

Anonymous said...

This was painful to read because I can hear the screaming child as if it were my own (wink wink). You did what you had to do, that's what I say. It's amazing that Spencer shared the nuk with his little sis, truly amazing. What a kid!

Margaret said...

This was painful for me to read because one of your nuks is still sitting on my kitchen table. It was such a relief to get to the point of the story where you revealed that another nuk was in the car. And then there's the post traumatic stress thinking about driving home from the zoo with two children--amazing that that all worked out so well, no? This gives me hope that it might also be possible to reorganize the global economic system--it can't be that much more difficult that the nuk sharing feat...

Jess said...

what a good big brother!