As my due date creeped closer and closer and I started having contractions more and more often, I began to be concerned. The Peanut, while able to walk, simply preferred crawling. How the heck was I going to manage anything if I had two kids I had to carry around. Well, as my colleagues at Banneker taught me, God doesn’t always come when you want Him, but He always comes right on time. (This is my second favorite phase I learned teaching in a predominantly black community. The first being: Charge that to my head, not to my heart.)
The Peanut started walking 85% of the time the day we got Spike home from the hospital. And we are officially living in Toddler Town, where every moment someone is pulling on your hand demanding walk, WALK! I would say the one word I would use to describe baby phase is sweet. Everything is just so sweet, the little toes, the little clothes, the first everything is just so sweet to witness. The toddler phase word in this house is FUN! The Peanut is so fun right now. And to celebrate this fun time in our house, the Top Ten signs you have entered Toddler Town.
1. You invite the toddler to watch you in the bathroom in the hopes that they will soon gain interest in the potty. The toddler points at you while peeing and exclaims EEEwwww eewww EEEEEWWWW! Then tries to pull all of the toilet paper off the roll.
2. Every question is answered with a resounding NO! But that negative is often switched to an affirmative when asked “By no, do you mean yes?” (Wouldn’t it be great if you could get every “no” in your life changed like that?)
3. The bathroom door remains shut at all times (even if no one is in there) because while there has been no interest in peeing in the potty, there is great interest playing in the toilet. Plus the roll of toilet paper is again, very fun to unroll.
4. Things that were once safe on the dining room table are now in the danger zone because the toddler has learned to pull out the chairs, crawl on them to get on top of the table and wreak havoc with anything she has found. Someone especially likes to dump out all the salt or pepper and then make designs in it. The toddler does all this while telling herself “no, no, naughty, uh-uh”.
5. You have spent a twenty minute drive singing “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” over and over because the toddler in the back claps and yells YEAH! And then starts singing again every time you finish.
6. While in public you spend a lot of time explaining that everything everyone else has “doesn’t belong to us” because the toddler thinks it is acceptable to climb into a strangers wagon, or walk up to a strange woman drinking a coke, smack her lips and say mmmmmm in hopes of getting a drink.
7. You go through about 4 dish towels a day because you have to repeatedly clean up the dog water that has been spilled out of the dog dish that is now upside down and being pushed around on the floor while the toddler yells “beep beep.”
8. You are often interrupted by “AAAAAAH! stuck, stuck!” because there are a myriad of places the toddler can get into but not out of.
9. You lose your keys, or glasses that you swear were just right on that table, because put things in other things is the new favorite game. You find whatever it is you were missing a week later in the toe of your boot you haven’t worn in two weeks but never got around to putting away.
10. Anything and everything that can be worn around a neck is worn around the neck: purses, jewelery, my sling, the top of the tiny potty, Christian’s underwear, etc.
It is exhausting, and at times frustrating. But I laugh every single day, look at Christian and exclaim, “did you just catch what our daughter did?” Because it is fun to just be a witness.