I have a toddler. This is the second one of those that I have had. My first was a boy. A delicious fat-thighed lover of all things, especially his Mommy. Sweetness and calmness personified. At least that is what I
choose to remember.
Mine is the toddler who streaks on the deck clad only in hello kitty underpants wrapped strangely around her waist.
Mine is the toddler who yells in the consignment store while I shop. She yells consistently, excitedly, loudly. She yells just three things while wrestling strange children over a wooden rocking horse, a train track, the other child’s shoes; “Mine!” and, “Baby!” and, “Hi!”
Mine is the toddler who thinks her big brother is the most famous of all the famous people until he wants to play with his soccer ball at the exact same time that she clearly wanted to play with his soccer ball. And then she will Take Him Down.
Mine is the toddler who will not get her face wet in the bathtub. She will not, cannot do this thing without tears and shrieks, no matter how many techniques I employ to make rinsing her hair an easier process. Later that day, she will continually stick her face straight into the 1 inch of mucky water that resides in the plastic pool on the deck. Because irony is not lost on her.
Mine is the toddler who hates the cheese I have placed before her. Hates the cheese. With a passion that rivals that of a phobic reaction. She scrunches her face and pushes it away…”YUCKY!” she shouts at me. Alright, then your brother can have the cheese, I say. She fixes me with one steely blue eye and I imagine her thinking, “Well, Mommy, that is not going to happen.” I feel afraid when I see that look in her eye.
Mine is the toddler who takes herself to bed because she has an unrelenting binky addiction. And no, Mr. Pediatrician, I won’t let that binky go yet. Because, you see, the child TAKES HERSELF TO BED.
Mine is the toddler who sees her family in all people. Older women are “Nana.” Curly-haired women are “Aunt Nikki.” And all men are, embarrassingly, mortifyingly “Daddy.” Thank you for calling that young, good-looking, college guy, “Daddy.” I will now go curl up in a corner and die.
Mine is the toddler who has now decided she doesn’t really need me much anymore, thanks. She is capable of donning/doffing her clothes, getting into and buckling her carseat, climbing into her crib, taking off her diaper, pouring her milk, reading her books upside down.
Mine is the toddler who can empty a wallet in 2.5 seconds but who will take 30 minutes to put on her shoes.
Mine is the toddler who will eat rocks, fuzz from the rug, dead bugs. But that delicious baked apple with cinnamon or fresh bread from the oven will never pass her precious lips.
Mine is the toddler who is a reserved cuddler. So, if she ever does grace you with one of her hugs, you kinda feel like a rockstar in that land of the rockstars.
She knows exactly what she’s doing.