Call me crazy but I think I’m getting the hang of this whole toddler thing. Either I’m becoming familiar with the daily temper tantrums or I’m still on a high from your week away at your Grandparents house. You still average half a dozen outbursts daily but I try not to get emotional about them or panic if they happen in public. Yes, it’s true I have become one of those parents that you see at the mall who is trying to stuff their screaming limb-flailing toddler in to a stroller while they scream “PUT ME DOWN!” You’ll no doubt see these poor Mothers at some point in your life and you will watch and you may even judge them. Having experienced this occurrence too many times, I now find myself laughing to myself when this happens. I don’t expect pity from people because I chose to unleash my devil on to the public masses. Instead I laugh because my nightmares of having a toddler are finally coming to a head – after so many grueling cringe-worthy public outbursts, I’m finally reaching a point of absolute numbness. Take for example a boiling pot of water. You stick your hand in the pot and it will hurt . . a lot. But, if you keep your hand in the pot long enough you will eventually get past the initial bout of pain. You may not have a hand at the end of this exercise but that’s beyond the point. In case you’re wondering, you are the pot of boiling water and the missing hand is my sanity. I hear these horrible cringe-worthy toddler moments are the stuff of which great family stories are made of – I just hope senility doesn’t steal these from me before I have the chance to enjoy them.
So you may be asking yourself, what are the things I do to make you cringe? Well, let me direct you to a fine example when we were at a clothing store. You had one of your dramatic Oscar-worthy moments when you declared that you could not possibly sit in a stroller any longer. I allowed you to walk along side me under the condition you would not touch anything. So much for conditions – not only did you inspect every garment with an oooh and aaahhh, you managed to unfold every piece at a neck-breaking speed. To give me a moment to accomplish my errand, I distracted you with a full size mirror in the middle of the store. You danced and made silly faces and I silently gave myself a pat on the back for achieving Motherhood awesomeness. A sales lady started to make her way towards me when I looked over at you and in slow motion, I witnessed you sneeze. Now let me tell you, Toddler sneezes are messy. You don’t hold back – every inch of snot, booger and loogie make their way out. Lucky for me, you were staring directly at the mirror when you decided to clean out your sinus cavities. The dripping evidence was there and in clear sight for all to see. I didnt have the courage to look directly at the other patrons so I nonchalantly whipped out a burp cloth and started cleaning a full size mirror – as if this is a service I provide to the stores at the mall.
Lord help me if I have to use a public restroom while in your company. If by accident I fart, you have to announce to the entire restroom, “MOMMA, ARE YOU POOPING?!” “No dear, that was Miles.” “NO, THAT WASN’T MILES – YOU’RE POOPING! WHY ARE YOU POOPING?” Since when does going to the bathroom result in a full-fledged investigation? I leave the stall to find several women washing their hands smiling at me. YES, EVERYONE LOOK AT ME – I JUST HAD A BOWEL MOVEMENT RIGHT HERE AT TARGET AND YES, I TRIED TO BLAME IT ON MY SLEEPING INFANT! Thankfully, I haven’t experienced one of those encounters where you make an embarrassing observation about someone’s weight or physical handicap. I’m sure since I thought about it, it will happen tomorrow.
Your memory has really developed lately and you are now filled with party tricks. You can memorize books, random sayings I say in passing and songs. You have memorized both kid songs and songs I have sang to you since you were a baby. My personal favorites are “Sea of Love” and “You Are My Sunshine.” I like to have you break these out in front of other parents or other public arenas so I can puff out my chest proudly. While you’re singing, I have caught myself doing that Pageant Mom thing where I silently mouth along the words with you as if I’m coaching you along. You are definitely an entertainer and you are not shy as to where you take your show. Just this past weekend while we were in Jamestown, you decided right in the middle of an antique store in front of a sea of grey to belt out, “You Are My Sunshine.” I think you made every Grandma go home that evening to start crocheting a blanket for their Grandchild.
You are certainly a handful 98% of the time and I have to admit that I do appreciate that you have a sense of humor. I would be sad if you were a generic run-of-the-mill toddler (I really do think they’re out there). Your sassy behavior will certainly get you in to trouble as it did today in swim practice. I’m astonished by the things you pick up on. The other day you were drawing with chalk in the driveway and I asked if you were drawing a circle and you corrected me by saying, “No, that’s no circle – that’s an oval!” To many people without children, they would probably think, so what but when dealing with toddlers, you have no idea how many times you try to drill certain lessons in. You still don’t fully understand the concept of a square but oval you get. I still consider you the brut of the family and you will no doubt kick ass in lacrosse or rugby or ultimate fighting one day. You certainly keep me on my toes and you can generally swindle at least one honest laugh out of me daily and that my darling, should be considered a success.