Thursday, February 21, 2008

Tired: a toddler triptych

A mother and child enter the library. It's after lunch, and the little one is happy, quiet and well-fed. The children's section is to the right, and the duo comes upon two other toddlers sitting and reading with their mommies. They pick out a couch, slide a basket of books over, and start to read. Approximately 41 seconds pass, and the busy bee is off the couch and on her way to a bookshelf. She proceeds to pull books off, look at them, and toss them to the floor faster than her mama can read the dewey decimal spine stickers and reshelve appropriately. The other families leave after a few minutes, and toddler decides it's high time to leave the children's section to explore other areas of the library, all while using her high-pitched, excited, screaming voice. Four minutes, 7 seconds, 8 interventions and 3 tantrums later, mama decides it would be best visit the library another time. Like in nineteen years, when toddlerhood is over, adolescence on its way out, and the child has some concept of the term "inside voice."


5:15, dinner time. The mini-monster has a tray of steamed yellow squash and diced chicken, and to top it off, a fruit smoothie to wash it all down. Mama is attempting to finish the meal by 5:45 when Daddy is due home. Chicken fries in a pan, vegetables steam nearby, and the smell of garlic bread fills the kitchen from the oven below. Child decides, with some degree of thought, between two options: whether to throw uneaten squash peels to the floor or smoosh them through hair, starting at bangs and continuing to crown. Mama intervenes, using a carefully chosen disciplinary word, "no," to communicate with seed-haired child. Child replies with sweet-yet-sinister tone, "NO!" and throws entire handful of food to floor, where dog is working at speed of light to keep up with sweet manna raining down from heaven above.


5:52. Mama sits down to dinner (finally) and child decides she is done. Mama leaves steaming plate to clean child off and deposit on floor. For next eleven and half minutes, the whirlwind runs across the floor, carrying tupperware and spoons here and there. After each lap, she stops to pause by the dog, backs up slowly, and then throws herself down onto the dog's rear, reclines until her head rests fully on the dog's back, and then gets up and runs away, only to return a few seconds later and go again. Dog sighs.


post script: 7pm. Dada bathes and soothes child to sleep. Mama pours a large glass of homemade Pinot Noir. Completes daily crossword. Sighs. Bedtime, anyone?

1 comment:

bonnieb said...

I am laughing until tears are rolling down my face! That's our girl! I can just see her in the library and eating dinner. You express the reality of your busy bee perfectly!