Wally Ben has been a snot monster all week, with a runny nose and cough, and actually has been quite a trooper about it. He lets us wipe his nose, which we have to do quite often.

Usually he’s not a fan of the bogies (which I pronounce boe-geez), and neither is his mom—we’ve been known to have 10 minute tussles where I pin him and say I’m getting his bogies and he screams. But then he’s relieved when I’m done, and curious at my catch, and I breathe easier because he can.

But this week, with this runny nose, he lets us wipe away! Although, it has put him in a bad mood here and there. Today he was having a rough patch, and usually his bad mood equals a hunt for bad behavior. Which brings me to my story. During the rough patch, he went running for the carbon monoxide detector and pulled it out of the plug—and we all know that anything plugged in is “not for Wally.” I said as much, and took it away. He was appalled. His face twisted, he started wailing. But I could tell that wasn’t enough of an outburst for him. His jaw shifted in concentration. And then, he raised his little arms, and looked where he was aiming, which was my face, and he started hitting! But alas, he missed repeatedly—the poor guy was so upset, and he hasn’t gotten the hand eye coordination yet. And for all his big guns, the few punches he landed felt like light taps. He was aiming to pound his frustration into me, and he was so dang passionate about it, I had to do everything I could to burst out laughing. Every time I think about it, I chuckle inside. That gumption! That intention!

I know, I know. Hitting is bad, and I’ll have to figure out how to teach him that someday. But I could tell that he didn’t intend to hurt—he just felt a little fired up and wanted to pass all those bad feelings my way. Sometimes it can be so entertaining to be a parent and watch a person figure out how to be a person.

He climbed up on me a few seconds later—a Wally version of a hug. Then he ran off and came back with a bottle of bathroom cleaner. That’s when I decided what any mother in her right mind would agree with: it was naptime.

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