I love F.
At the end of the day, with all the screaming and the whining and the pleading and the spitting and the potty mouth and all of the other less-than-glamorous stuff, there’s nothing I love more than wrapping him up in my arms and snuggling. In a lot of ways, he really is the best but the cold, hard truth is that toddlers are the worst in a whole lot of ways. Have you ever seen a toddler meltdown? Yeah. Exactly.
|convincing, no? don’t let him fool you.|
So, I guess what I’m saying is that even though I really, really, REALLY love him, sometimes he’s pretty hard to like (which, as far as I’m concerned is a part of the human condition). I remember his second birthday vividly – especially the part where everyone made jokes like “now it begins” “here come the terrible twos”.
Two was a walk in the park. Three? Now that’s where it gets interesting. Three was like dragging a screaming toddler across a park because it’s time to leave and he doesn’t want to. Oh, wait. No that was yesterday. Funny that.
My favourite thing about toddlerhood is that kids are coming into themselves. They’re figuring out what they like and what they don’t like, and they are adamant about these two extremes with very little in the way of “middle ground”. Tolerance and toddlers just don’t go together, unless you’re a parent trying very hard to tolerate your child at which point I recommend wine, or coffee or both in excess. Especially the wine.
Toddlers are impossible to predict – no matter how well you think you may know them. F often likes his sandwich cut in half, but every now and again he doesn’t so WATCH YOURSELF if you cut it without asking. Mercy. Think Hulk only less green and instead of ripping his shirt off he pulls it over his head and gets stuck, thus actually needs my help (but would never admit to it).
They also seem to know words that they shouldn’t know, and I’ll take it one step further by pointing out that the little
buggers darlings know the exact friggin’ context in which to use them. Merde. Have you ever heard a 3-year-old sling a four-letter-word, while holding a sippy cup? Tis a sight to behold, lemme tell ya. In F’s defense, he probably learned them from me. In my defense, I have nothing to say for myself. Fisherman’s daughter, yo.
Toddlers are experts at embarrassing the hoozy-whatzit out of you at the most inopportune moments. No really, take your kid to that public washroom with you. It’s a great idea, until they open the door and expose you, squatting precariously over the toilet and cursing yourself for not having stronger legs (while simultaneously telling yourself that this quick trip to the loo constitutes a workout). Then you can just wait until they tell everyone you see about whatever other private business didn’t want advertised the exact second your kid sees a person. “D’ya know what my Mom did? She pooped in the toilet this morning.”
And finally, much like the teenagers they are all-too-soon to become, toddlers have mood swings that would give a person whiplash. One minute it’s all lovey-dovey, and the next minute you’re the monster that lives under the bed and they don’t want to be your friend anymore. While I regularly lament that my toddler thinks he’s a teenager, I *almost* look forward to when he’s a teenager so I can just leave him to his brooding and go to Starbucks and drink the largest caffeinated beverage I can find WITH WHIPPED CREAM and possibly even enjoy it while it’s still hot. Something tells me people might get upset if I tried this with my occasionally angst-ridden toddler.
Now, I do have to point out that F is a pretty good little guy most of the time. I’d like to think that this is indicative of me doing something right, but perhaps he was born with it? In the middle of his biggest meltdowns, I try to remind myself that he’s had a lot to cope with and overcome and then sometimes I join him. But when we’re both tired and overwhelmed or there was something he wanted and couldn’t have, you might say SHIT HITS THE FAN. Wear gloves.
It’s a special age, and the truth is that it is flying by faster than F can race me up the stairs (which, might I add, is very fast). It’s hard when he’s his super pleasant self, but it’s pretty well impossible when he’s not. While I wouldn’t trade him in for all the pumpkin spice lattes in the world, I can honestly tell you that I look forward to embarrassing the shit out of that kid when he gets a little older. I wonder what his first date will think of me making her privy to his bathroom schedule? 😉