Tonight after dinner, the entire fam schlepped ourselves over to an office supply store to purchase a replacement printer. Located right next door to the pet store, we promised the children that if they were well-behaved in the store (no running around, no touching things that weren't theirs), we would take them for a quick trip to view the snakes and fish.
For Helios, this worked pretty well. There was some mild spiritedness, particularly around the large paperclip bins which were apparently beyond tempting. But, other than approaching the cute female sales clerk and sharing with her every detail of his new Transformer toy in excruciating detail, he was fairly good. (In our opinion, the sales clerk did a remarkable job of feigning interest in boy toys, leading Mommy to believe that she will be, if she's not already, a superlative girlfriend.)
For Hesperos? It. Was. Utter. Disaster. He ran laps around the store, he pulled reams of stationery off the racks and tried to build houses, he refused to hold hands, and he plucked red/white/blue tinsel off the very unseasonable flag table display.
So, when Daddy and Helios merrily sauntered off to the pet store, Hesperos and Mommy went to the car where he screamed. And howled. And screamed. There are souls in the seventh circle of hell who probably felt like they got off easy, based on the tortured wails issuing from Hesperos' body. Demonstrating his mighty lung power, Hesperos stopped his ululations only to wipe his nose with his shirt and glare at Mommy peevishly to ensure she paid attention to him.
Once, Mommy reached into the back seat of the car to wipe Hesperos' nose with a tissue. "No!" he shouted. "My nose!" He covered his nose protectively with both hands. "This is MY NOSE, Mommy! You can't have it!"
Calmly, Mommy explained to Hesperos that she doesn't want his nose. She just wants to wipe it.
"No, Mommy! It is MY nose yucky." ("Nose yucky" being mucous, in case you didn't infer that.)
He glared. Mommy sighed with resignation and moved in for the stealthy wipe. He dodged, Mommy swerved. He blocked with his arm, Mommy swooped around it. He ducked, Mommy honed in. (He's locked into a car seat, so Mommy has a bit of an advantage.) SUCCESS! Nose wiped!
Now, the unholy sounds of three-year-old rage were unleashed from a previously unknown repository of vocal might. Unimpressed, Mommy stared at him in quiet amusement while he bellowed. Realizing he was not succeeding in getting Mommy's goat, he ups the ante and shoves one index finger into each nostril and delivers toddler rage served cold on platter. Glaring at Mommy, he shouts, "You're not getting my nose yucky EVER AGAIN MOMMY!"