We have what I like to term “Stepford Moments.” These are moments during which, despite the fact that our children are fully capable of inflicting no end of torment upon us, they somehow behave as though their crazy little selves have been replaced by perfect little robots. We had one such experience a month ago when we were out to breakfast with a long-time friend of their grandparents who lives in L.A. She had never met the boys, and we had not seen her in years. The boys were in a foul mood all morning. Then, we stepped into the restaurant, the clouds parted, angels sang, and their halos began to glow. The sat politely, ate (relatively) neatly, and quietly played with the toys she had brought them. 90 minutes later, after we said goodbye, the grey clouds descended once more, and the boys returned to their previously scheduled foul moods for the remainder of the day.
A Stepford Moment.
Today, I was granted a seven-hour Stepford Moment. From the minute J left us at security to the instant Zachary ran to his grandfather’s arms all the way across the country, my kids behaved far better than they ever have before. It helped that I had them run races for ½ hour before the flight. And the pantry of snacks did not hurt either. Nor did the fact that my computer battery held out till the pilot told Zachary it was time to turn off all mechanical devices for our descent to Dulles. This meant that the one who actually likes television watched it for the entire flight. But that is only a partial explanation of absurdly good behavior.
Even Benjamin, who is manic when he is tired, only went insane for about ½ hour before I got him to take a short nap in my arms. He did enjoy getting the man across the aisle to pick up endless dropped toys, and I sincerely hope that against all odds that man reads my blog, because I really, really want to thank him.
While we’re giving shout-outs, how about one for the lady who let Zach pee before her and the security woman who entertained one child while I put on the other’s shoes?
As we pulled up to the gate, I told the boys how impressed I was with their behavior. I also told them they only had to hold it together for about 20 more minutes and that they were welcome to go insane once they were with their grandfather.
My kids were so well-behaved (in contrast to children of the same ages in the row in front of us), that several different people stopped me as we got off the flight and told me how good the boys had been. I could only respond, “I know. I have no idea why. Please don’t take it as a reflection on my parenting skills.”
It was a Stepford Moment, the whole damned day. It was still one of the most exhausting days I have had in my adult life.