Tag Archives: toddler

My Fault…

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I thought I could go back to bed and lie there for a bit without incident. So, technically, I suppose it was my fault. But I heard everyone helping each other get breakfast. It sounded peaceable.

So, forty glorious minutes later I walk out. The weather’s perfect. It’s sunny. Even the introvert in me is charmed.

“Let’s go to the park,” I say, “Shoes on.”

At this moment in the hallway the little guy passes me holding a spoonful of milky cereal in front of his belly and marching into his bedroom. Curious, I follow him. Then I watch as he stops, calculates, throws said cereal onto the carpet, touches one foot on top of it delicately as if to evaluate his success and turns, I’m assuming, in order to get more.

Well, I stop that nonsense and on the way to the kitchen with the spoon I notice several other arrangements of cereal on the floor and realize this is an installation piece, probably entitled “Scourge of My Mother”. There is also one very wet towel lying in a square on the floor.

“Hey guys? What’s with the wet towel? Did he have an accident?”

“No, Mom, he spilled a cup of milk,” said the eldest.

“He did it on purpose. And it was my milk,” said the girl.

Mixed media.

(There are many moments like this when I’m glad I don’t have a nice place. I can’t stand how my kids treat my two-bedroom rental. What on earth would I do if they treated my dream-house this way?!)

I proceed into the kitchen. And the baby has tried to make a smoothie.

Here is a picture of that baby:

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I sigh and scrap my plans for the park. I place the baby in the tub (the only place he will remain contained) and wipe counters, do dishes, unload dishwasher so I can load dishes, start laundry from last night’s pee debacle(another long story), scrub and baking soda a square of carpet, sweep the kitchen, vacuum and four hours later it’s nap time and I’m sucking down coffee and eating some Go Diego Go cereal. For some subliminal reason I wanted some.

The first baby, that’s not anyone’s fault. You’re naive; you’ve never had a baby. You don’t know. The second one, well, that’s not technically your fault either. You and your husband have seven siblings between you. Let’s blame family culture. But three, well- the third one’s on you. You asked for three. This is on you.

Infant Lap Sit …

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So, I just returned from a whirlwind weekend trip to New York City.

It was blissful, even though I carted the youngest along with me.

Trips with kids are tricky.  Everyone’s always glad to see them when you arrive, but someone’s gotta take that bullet.  That bullet has a name, people, and it’s “infant lap sit”. In my case, a second bullet was named “red-eye”.

For starters the word “infant” is probably a misnomer at this point. The boy is a toddler now.  You can tell by the way he was tearing all over the terminal grabbing down every package he could reach from every shop.  Which also implies the “sit” of “lap sit” may be inaccurate.  He was running, squealing, giving high fives, and only standing still with a studied nonchalance next to anyone eating a snack.

They adored him.

In only a few eyes did I see my own anxiety reflected back, “This child will be on a red-eye with me.”

Because boundless energy is adorable until it is confined to your lap or, worse yet, the lap next to you.

He did okay, that is, he only bothered me. Holding a sleeping toddler for the duration of a six-hour red eye when every passerby is intent (as if they could avoid it) on hitting his head or feet, isn’t conducive to dozing off.  So, I hadn’t got but half an hour of sleep when we hit New York at five am.  Luckily, I have been in training for this contingency for about six years now.

On the way back, things were looking good, he was hitting the peak of his squirmy-fussy-overtired quotient when I got him on tap (again!) and saw his body finally surrender to the sweet familiar cradle of Mommy’s arms.

And then, at this moment, the young lady next to me flips on her overhead light and pulls out a giant crate of grapes. I groaned the inward groan of a dozen deaths!  Suddenly it’s Disneyland three inches away from his face.  He sits up and starts making friends.

He baby talks at her something like, “So, I see you have some grapes there.”

And, “Did you know grapes are my favorite food ever?”

And, “Seriously, I prefer anything the exact diameter of my larynx.”

He signed for grapes again and again. To her credit she gave him a few.

I kept turning him around and signing “all done”, but he knew better, he saw the crate. They were far from all done.  And she would pick at them slowly over the next four hours.

It stopped being a problem when I got him to sleep. I had to stand up and get my carrier down and pace the aisle a few times, but he went to sleep finally.  And I was able to get out my ear buds, watch some junk TV, and eat a snack without sharing.

In short, we survived, which gets tallied in the Mommy columns as a “win”.

And wouldn’t you know it, as we were disembarking, not one, not two, but a total of three people said to me, “My, he did so well!”