Being a toddler pretty much sucks, doesn’t it? And you make sure we know it.
You’ve definitely entered the opinionated phase. I’m chuckling a bit because the argument could be made that you’ve been stubborn from birth (See: All posts about my breastfeeding woes).
I laughed out loud when I saw the top featured article on Babble’s toddler site yesterday: “Are All Toddlers Psychopaths?” HOW DID YOU READ MY MIND, BABBLE?
What’s the difference between a toddler and a psychopath? Apparently, not too much.
The author reviews a 16-point test developed in 1980 for determining whether someone was a psychopath and applies the criteria to her children. In summary, the shoe fits. This just seems like the shitiest time ever for you, the only consolation being there’s no way your undeveloped brain will remember any of it.
Take last weekend, for example. You asked for juice, we confirmed that you wanted juice, you watched us pour juice into your cup and hand you the cup of juice, then you threw a flipping fit while screaming, “Nooooooooo! Miiiiiiiiiiilk!!! MMMMIIIIIIIILLLLLLK!!!!!” And you freaked out when I took off my sneakers following a run. I mean, how dare I?
The other day you tried to push my boob back into my chest and had a meltdown when it kept popping back out (Note: I couldn’t decide whether this was too weird to share. Ah, well. Carpe diem.).
Most of the time, it’s easy to sympathize with your understandable irrationality, to attempt to explain why Mommy’s boob just doesn’t do that, and to give you a hug because, hey, you really seem to be upset about this. But you and I were hit with a nasty cold simultaneously this month. Besides the inopportune vomiting (my back never felt so warm and gooey), it was difficult to face your irrationality through my fog of “WTF. All I want to do is go back to bed and wake up in a week.”
At the end of the day, however, I’m pretty proud of how strong-willed you are. I like that you have opinions, that you feel a lot of passion. As parents, our challenge will be channeling that, er, spirit into the best-suited areas while making sure you understand that it’s NOT OK to eat the cat’s tail.
In other news, garbage trucks are a huge deal in this house. Savannah? She was so two months ago. ATTENTION Mothers of Toddler Boys (or so-inclined girls; don’t want to be sexist here): Search for “garbage trucks” in YouTube and discover a treasure trove of videos from Florida suburbs (personally, I prefer Part II). When Charlie was sick, this was the only thing that would calm him down. Now healthy, he demands to see “guhbuh tlukths” any time he enters the living room.
Even when redirected to books, you only want to look through ones with trucks. You received The Little Blue Truck for Christmas, and I still have no idea what happens after the big rig gets stuck in the mud. You won’t let me turn the page!!
Several times this month, I’ve caught myself remarking just how big you’re getting. We bought a potty for you to try, though all you really grasp at this point is how fun it is to pee on the floor. Then dance in it. A 15-month-old boy started in your Grandma’s school a few weeks ago, meaning you’re no longer the youngest child there. Is it weird that I teared up when I realized that?
You’re tall enough now to open the silverware drawer. The other day I discovered you lifting up every spoon, licking it, then putting it back.
You’ve done some other remarkable and beautiful things this month:
• You chased bits of floating dust through a sunbeam in your nursery. Uh-oh, I think I feel my uterus aching.
• You love to sing; we catch you humming to your toys. I credit the opera music we play during dinnertime. Your Dad and I are so elitist sometimes!
• You’re learning numbers and letters. Currently, your favorite number to say is “nine.” You also have the counting sounds down pat. Nyeh…nyeh….NYEEEH!
• Your thumb is always in your mouth, but your Grandma believes this will benefit your brain development in the long run. Though we think you’re right-handed, you end up doing a lot of tasks with your left hand.
• Your comprehension is super fantastic. You’re ability to follow direction? Not so much.
• You learned how to say “Obama” – well, more like “MaMama!” – during the State of the Union address.
This parenting thing can be tremendously difficult (See: Taking a Parenting Break), but those special moments with you are just indescribable. While putting you to bed tonight, we played “What Parts of Charlie Can I Kiss?” to your giggling delight. I kissed your belly (giggle), I kissed your elbow (giggle), I kissed your left cheek – then your right cheek (giggle, giggle) – then I kissed your forehead as you slowly closed your eyes.
Nothing can compare to that. Nothing will ever compare to that.
My dear boy, nothing will ever compare to you.