The other night, Ian was drifting in and out of his ‘No-No-Nothing’/Headless Chicken mood.
When he’s in this mood, the best way to maintain sanity in our home is to try and distract him from himself: a bath, building blocks, Spongebob Squarepants, tickle him senseless, etc. Sometimes this backfires. Very often tickling will only make him more excited, and Ian will writhe on the floor, laughing and crying at the same time.
If the mood continues for too long, Ian reaches a sort of critical mass. He runs away as (surprisingly) quickly as he can toward the couch, bounces off the cushions and falls to the floor, writhing in grief. He can stay in this position for quite some time.
Sometimes the old stand-bys fail, and Kelly and I are left to improvise.
This particular night’s mood was particularly nasty. Ian wasn’t eating (another lovely phase), chicken had been thrown, and Mommy had spent all day dealing with this precious child and looked as if she was ready to…well, the frightening part was that I couldn’t tell what she was ready to do.
So we played music. There wasn’t time to review our CD collection for a proper selection, and though Ian will bust his move to anything – anything – there was a good chance that a single CD wouldn’t be varied enough to keep him entertained. Thankfully our DirecTV service comes with 36 music channels of potential distraction.
We tried them all. Gospel, 80s, Solid Gold Hits, Disco, Radio Disney – it didn’t matter, as long as Ian was happy. We jumped, we twirled, we hopped, the three of us shaking our groove thangs to the Bee Gees, Glen Miller and Journey. It was a blast!
Then Kelly and I started wondering if we could remember our ballroom dancing lessons from a few years ago. We had trouble with the Fox Trot, but did better with our swing.
In the middle of a turn, I noticed that Ian had stopped dancing, and was smiling and watching us. When we stopped, he nosed his way between us, wrapped his arms around our legs, and started pulling us back and forth. So we danced, stumbling around the family room with Ian wedged between us, his head bobbing to and fro.