It is bed time. Past bed time.
The Screaming Tomato is back.
The Screaming Tomato is angry.
The Screaming Tomato wants his DIZZZZORT NOW. This should be YOGHURT or ICECREAAAAAAAM.
The Screaming Tomato wants his mother to GET AWAY FROM ME. Hang on, wait, are you actually leaving the room? Then in that case I WANT MY MUMMEEEEEEEEEEE. And also WHERE IS MY DADDDEEEEEE? Here he is making the shushing noises and trying to give me cuddles and saying in a soothing manly tone: here's your daddy. In which case DON'T TOUCH ME DADDY, JUST GO AWAY.
The Screaming Tomato does not want his bath.
The Screaming Tomato does not care to be placed in the bath when he has made his displeasure known.
The Screaming Tomato shall make his parents rue the day that ears were invented.
Cunningly, the Screaming Tomato suddenly transforms into smiling curly headed infant and bat eyes in fetching fashion. This shall be called: Story Time.
Story Time ends after a selection of fine toddler literature.
Screaming Tomato promptly returns.
Parents attempt to wrest Screaming Tomato into bed.
Screaming Tomato plays Trump Card. This shall be I NEED TO DO POO POO.
Parents have already caught themselves on previous nights crying wearily; "But it's so late. Can't you just do it in your nappy?" This makes them feel like Crap Parents.
So once again Screaming Tomato is perched on potty. Pyjama trousers must be completely removed and preferably placed in another room, or state. More stories must be read to hypnotise the Screaming Tomato digestive system into, the much shouted about, motion.
NO POO POO. MORE STORY. GIVE ME MAISY.
Mummy of Screaming Tomato tells Daddy of Screaming Tomato that "that's it."
Mummy then does something nasty to her back.
Daddy attempts to re-clothe infant son and must suffer indignity of being told at top of voice: NO DADDY, GO BACK TO WORK.
And later, when he falls asleep, I think about different things we could have done; fed him earlier, bathed him earlier. I didn't smack him but maybe I should have, I didn't insist that he brush his teeth but maybe I should have. I wonder if we're spoiling him or if we're giving him confusing signals, or if he's going through a stage of temper tantrums that are only worse because he's bigger
And I think about his curls and his eyes filled with tears and his red straining face, and his soft kisses when finally finally he relaxes into his bed.