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Truman is an angel at daycare. We constantly hear from his teachers, the director and even other parents how cute and helpful and wonderfully behaved he is. He wasn’t a crier as a baby, he transitioned to the toddler room easily and only went through a brief phase of being sad when I left him, which his teacher said ended as soon as I closed the door. He helps put toys away, set the chairs around the table, cleans up after others and he shares with the other kids. I’ve mentioned some of his tantrum throwing abilities at home and the teachers look at me like I’m crazy. They say they never see him act out there. This makes me really happy and proud. Of course, I’d much rather have him act like a maniac at home with us than for other people.

Well, Miss Carrie got a glimpse of the real Truman the other day. Mike went to pick him up after work and was greeted by an incredulous and frazzled Miss Carrie. She explained an incident that occurred earlier in the day when she brought out a broom and dust pan to clean up a spill. Miss Carrie thought it was so cute the way Truman ran over to her wanting to help sweep. “Broom! Broom!” he said excitedly. She picked up the mess and allowed him to sweep for a minute, again marveling at how helpful and sweet my boy is. Well, had Miss Carrie not been blinded by the cuteness, she would have seen what I see when Truman lays eyes on a broom. A kind of maniacal grin spreads over his face and a crazy-glaze falls over his eyes. Every muscle in his body is twitching with excitement, ready to grab that broom. He becomes enchanted. This works out well if you have all day for him to play with the broom, but if you have to leave the house with him, feed him, change him or get him to bed, the parting of boy and broom becomes frightening. Oh, Miss Carrie learned the hard way. After a few moments of sweeping she announced that it was time to put the broom away. The look on her face was priceless while she nervously stuttered through the story with Mike.

“I…I’ve just never…I just can’t believe…I’ve never seen him like that, Dad. Never! He threw himself on the floor and screamed…” Mike had to stifle his laughter as she told the tale of Truman’s unraveling. It apparently took quite awhile for him to calm down and a lot of thrashing, screaming and crying took place. She attempted to console him but he wanted nothing to do with her. Mike just laughed and said we were well aware of the obsession and that was pretty typical behavior for him when brooms, mops or vacuums were involved. She looked relieved, though still in disbelief.

Mike filled me in and I died laughing. I told him she should consider herself lucky she hadn’t busted out the vacuum, he’d still be throwing himself around the room. So, Miss Carrie now knows our dirty little secret. Our perfect little son is a brat in disguise, his meltdowns fueled by various cleaning gadgets. I must admit it makes me feel a little better that they saw this behavior first hand and don’t think I’m crazy or lying about what he’s capable of…though now they probably wonder what we’ve done to make him this way. You just can’t win when you’re a Mom.