Spinning wheel, got to go ‘round.

As the Child hurtles past the 2 1/2 mark and careens toward 3, his mood swings have begun to last for days, if not weeks. So: we’ll have a marathon of intense horribleness, followed by a leisurely stretch of unbridled lovability. It also seems that, the more horrible he is, the more lovable he’ll be later, and vice versa. (Of course, if this were strictly true he’d be escalating in every cycle toward a state of almost inhuman badness or goodness, so I guess it’s not strictly true, but whatever, I’m not a scientist.)

You’d think this could mean that I could ride out the bad period, because I’d know it would soon come to an end. Like during the last Black Period, when we were at the bookstore and, for no reason I could see, he threw a book at my face and screamed one of his charming nonsense words that sounded exactly like “Bitch!” (To all the shocked caregivers surrounding me, some of whom gasped and clutched their bosoms: he wasn’t saying “Bitch,” okay? I mean, if he was going to repeat the cursing he hears in our house, he’d call me an asswipe or a douche. You know! All sophisticated-like!) Or at the playground, when he collapsed into a frothing, shrieking mess because it was time to go home, and I had to haul all 40 pounds of him into the stroller and somehow buckle him in and he kept kicking me in the teeth. You’d think I could laugh these episodes off! Ha, ha! Kids!

Nope, pretty much I can’t.

But now! Oh my god, the sweetness, the cuddling, it's almost too much. Unbidden, he will request a kiss and/or hug. He will come up with statements like “You're my best pal” and “Your hair is cute” (I swear I’m not making this up) or “I’m enjoying this wonderful day with you, Mommy.” During walks he’ll ask me the names of different flowers and then expound upon the wonders of that particular flower. This child, according to him, has an infatuation with tulips that borders on the inappropriate. He is hot for tulips. Today, as I ate my lunch, he stood next to me watching, a huge smile on his face, and as I ate the last bite of my sandwich he said, “That was your last piece!” and I agreed and he said, “And now the Last Piece Monster is coming to kiss you!” and he started kissing my arm.

The Last Piece Monster. Can you stand it?

He’s been this way for a while. It could all change at any minute. No storm clouds will herald the darkening of the Child’s mood. He could go down for his nap with a smile, and then wake up to announce that I am in a world of shit.

He’s napping now.

I’m afraid.