I’m sitting in the kitchen as we speak watching Brooks rearrange my cupboards. So far he has put his pear in the drawer where the pans are and the prunes have a new home under the oven. I’ve been thinking a lot these days of what it means to be a mom of a toddler. I continue to amaze myself by the things that I will do for this child. I’m not talking big stuff…of course I would do anything to keep him safe and healthy. I’m talking the day to day stuff. A little over a month ago, we flew to Ohio and Brooks was eating the complimentary little bag of pretzels. Well actually he was eating the salt off of the pretzels and then taking the soggy pretzels out of his mouth and putting them into mine. Obviously they were disgusting but I still ate them. About a week ago, Chris and I were putting him to bed. He had just gotten out of the tub so he was walking around his room in his birthday suit. I was trying to get lotion on him and he bent over right in front of me and farted in my face. Chris and I died laughing. He is definitely the only person in the entire world who can get away with this. Having a toddler means eating the crust on the pb&J even though I hate the crust. It means giving him the last bite of whatever I’m having, holding him until my arm feels like it’s numb, wiping his nose with whatever I have on hand including my hand or sleeve (gross, I know). It means dragging myself out of bed in the morning with only enough time to pee and brush my teeth. It means being covered in food, drool, and occasionally snot. As I watch Chris come down the stairs looking very GQ as he leaves for work, I’m painfully aware of what I look like. Usually though I have Brooks in one arm and a spatula in the other, so I’m too busy to care for long. I have gotten crazy good at doing things with one hand. The other day, I was holding Brooks on one hip, talking to Chris on the phone, and kicking a ball to Brooks’s delight to my brother-in-law. None of these skills would get me very far in corporate America but in my day to day life, they are becoming quite useful.
As I write this I’m only half with you. The other half of me is keeping an eye on his every move. Brooks is very energetic, curious, and busy. He’s into everything and really only occupies himself without my help for a few minutes at a time. Some days I find this exhausting. Today, I find it amusing. Days like today I want to have a handful of Brooks running around the house. There are other days when I can barely find the energy and the patience to survive until nap time.
Last Saturday, Brooks took his first nose dive down two stairs at the park. He succeeded in skinning his forehead and nose and screaming bloody murder for quite sometime. Yesterday, he gave his forehead a new bruise when he banged it on our dining room table. In both instances, I was less than two feet away from him. I have caught him about a thousand times so I guess the odds are against me. He’s bound to fall and fall he does. Often I feel like a helicopter mom, hovering over his every move. I have no idea how much space a toddler needs but I don’t feel like I give much to Brooks and yet his face still looks like he lost a fight at the playground.
I suppose I’m rambling. Most of my posts have a point or some advice or whatever. I definitely don’t have any advice in this one. Fact is that each day brings something new. Brooks is figuring out how to explore his world and I’m figuring out how to get him through.
Regardless though of how crazy some of our days get, or how frustrated I get when his new “thing” is repeatedly hitting me in the face, I also love this age. Everyday he learns something new. Seeing the world through his eyes is both exciting and challenging. With a coffee cup in one hand, I welcome the challenge.