I am a toddler mom.
I regularly find myself saying things to people like “I am so sorry to hear about your grandmother pass–no SIR get DOWN off that right NOW or it is time OUT!”
I have come to love peanut-butter-and-maybe-a-little-bit-of-snot kisses basically as much as this kind.
And “I luff you Mommy!”s even with an accompanying head-butt right in the abdomen or face.
I have no idea what is going on in the news. I try. Or at least I try to pretend like I do when you talk about it. But I haven’t read/listened to/watched the news in six months.
Sometimes I am insanely desperate for an activity to fill 15 minutes (usually right before Daddy gets home), and sometimes I lose 3 1/2 hours and have no idea where they went.
I can unload a dishwasher of crashy, clanky dishes during naptime without so much as a decibel escaping.
And I have cat-ninja feet navigating a toy-mine-scattered household.
I answer the question “What you doing Mommy?” approximately 94,283,491 times per day with true and complete responses like “scratching my nose” or “looking out the window” or “changing your diaper, of which you are quite aware.”
I simultaneously cannot wait for potty training to happen so that I can quit cleaning bottoms and buying (apparently platinum-lined) diapers — and I also dread and fear it because it means bringing extra pants everywhere for inevitable accidents and being at most 90 seconds from a toilet at any given time.
I want to call you back. I do.
I’m probably not going to call you back. To do so during waking hours would likely result in colossal Hulk-levels of desperate attention-starved mania within 45 seconds. To do so during sleeping hours in our teensy house carries far too great a potential risk.
I am capable of having the following conversation for upwards of 45 minutes while inwardly planning meals, mapping out schedules, and doing complex calculus in my head to maintain shreds of sanity:“Mommy where we going?” “Home.” “Oh.” “…” “I wanna go home.” “Okay, that’s where we’re going.” “No I wanna go HOOOOOME!!” “Okay, we are going home. That’s where we’re going.” “No I wanna go REESEE’S HOOOUUUUUUSE!” “We just left Reesee’s house. Now we’re going home.” “Oh. Okay.” “…” “Mommy. Where we going?” [Repeat] [ad infinitum]
I can carry a diaper bag, a lunch, a purse, a sippy cup, a tea mug, a beanie puppy, two bags of groceries, and a thrashing 35-lb child, all at once, in heels. In the wind.
I can snake up the tubes at Irving Bible and in Chick Fil A (aka “Tickle Fway”) playgrounds that are supposed to be for humans not exceeding 40″ in height.
On that note – Tickle Fway, with your clean, unbroken diaper changing stations, with diaper bag hooks on them; your stools at the bathroom sinks; your healthy-ish kids meal options; your servers that make a note on your receipt if you have a small child and bring your order to your table; your “Under 3” toy options which are usually a tiny book which can then go in the diaper bag to save the day multiple other times at other establishments; your usually-mostly-clean playground with accompanying toddler area and a door that’s impossible to smash your fingers in; your sticky table mats and sanitizing hand wipes aplenty; I could probably kiss you. Hopefully without residual peanut butter and snot. But I almost feel like you wouldn’t mind, so deep is your understanding of me and my plight.
I feel a thrill of purest joy when a family of slightly older boys sits near us at a restaurant, for I know that their actions are finer entertainment even than television, and that we are likely in for an uneventful meal. Of actual conversation.
I can see when a utensil, item of food, or cup is about a second and a half from being thrown across the kitchen, in his eyes, played out in slow motion, like supernatural foresight.
I am irritating or infuriating to my little charge all of the time. Except when I’m completely, utterly essential and irreplaceable.
I am a toddler mom.