Eli has entered toddler-hood. This means, in essence, that he’s almost completely uncontrollable, has absolutely zero sense of self-preservation, is lethally curious and almost just as lethally clumsy, and has a temper that’s as quick and unpredictable as a rattlesnake. It also means that I frequently find myself in situation where I think I must look and sound like either a sitcom character or a cartoon. Some examples:
Eli comes running out of the bathroom carrying a plunger in each hand. I take them both away and put them back in the bathroom. In the time it takes me to do this, Eli is coming out of the other bathroom carrying the toilet brush.
Eli says, “bye bye!” and closes the bathroom door with us on the other side. When we open it one second later, all the toilet paper has been unrolled and is on the floor. This does not actually seem humanly possible.
Eli would like some crackers. I am standing at the sink, and he’s three feet away, at the counter. In the time it takes me to get to him, he stretches his little arm to an almost inhuman length and reaches the box on the counter, removes one cracker, then dumps the entire box onto the floor. I get the broom out to clean up the crackers. Eli LOVES the broom, which means that he grunts, whines, and shrieks to get me to give it to him. I give him a handheld broom in order to distract him. Then, as I attempt to sweep up the crackers, he follows me around and disperses each pile with a sweep of his handheld broom. This goes on for several minutes before I finally turn on Noggin and put Eli on the couch. I will not be judged. See for yourself. What would you have done?
My brother and his girlfriend come over to visit. Eli refuses to play with them, because he Only Wants Mommy right now. As they hang out on the couch watching TV, their heads follow Eli and I like we were a tennis match as I chase him back and forth, trying to retrieve: 1) daddy’s iPod; 2) mommy’s iPhone; 3) a CD case from the office; 4) my chapstick, which he likes to remove the lid from and “apply” (chew on), and then attempt to inhale the lid; 5) a partially open water bottle; 6) the plunger, again; 7) a heaping handful of cat food; 8 ) the plastic garbage bag that he yanked right out of the trash can in our bedroom. Things I do not even attempt to retrieve include my, Justin’s, or Eli’s shoes, hairbrushes, travel mugs, glasses cases, sunglasses, magazines (which will be virtually ground into pulp), or any of the plastic dishes and cups that Eli can access from “his” drawer in the kitchen. We’ll find these later.
Eli is a master at the Steal-and-Stash. Examples include Justin’s car key, which I have variously discovered inside Eli’s toilet-training potty and in the bedroom garbage can. Also Justin’s iPod, which was discovered under a bathroom cabinet after a two-day search. Discovery of toys, pieces of cheese/banana/Cheerios/raisins, small flashlights, baby shoes, children’s books, or other stashables inside my purse no longer amazes or amuses.
Eli is not interested in dinner/lunch/breakfast. This is common, and when it happens, Eli simply: 1) throws his food onto the floor or at one of us; 2) mashes it into his hair (leading to such sitcom-esque statements as, “are you going to eat that or just rub it in your hair?”); 3) scatters his food carefully across his tray and then uses both hands to make “food tidal waves” that rocket off the sides of the tray; 4) requests his water (“waydoo”), takes a token sip, then pours as much as he can onto the tray of food before we snatch it away. This results in increased awesomeness and blast radius of the food tidal waves.
Eli doesn’t care for having his diaper changed, as this takes away from playtime. The result has been some truly horrifying chapters, such as the “reach down and grab the poopy diaper while laying on the changing table, rip it out from under me with terrifying speed, and smear poop over nearly my entire body” trick, or the “insist on being changed while standing up, then, as soon as the poopy diaper is removed, spread legs wide and sit brown-eye-down on the nice clean changing table cover.” Or, and this is really the best, “scream uncontrollably while being changed, due to diaper rash or simple whimsy, then attempt to leap off the changing table so that mommy simply has to grab my poop-covered self, resulting in a bubble bath for me and at least an hour-long shower for mommy plus the burning of all the clothes she was wearing.”
Eli is playing in a puddle of dirty water. It’s close to naptime, so Justin picks him up to leave. Eli utters an inhuman shriek and commences Tantrum. Tantrum means that he thrashes and squirms so much, while screaming at permanent-ear-damage-decibels, that he cannot be set down because he’ll crack his head open on the sidewalk. Similarly, attempting to hold him safely in your arms is akin to trying to land a shark on a fishing line, as he thrashes, bites, and wails. This lasts 20 minutes or so, and he can only be pacified by fistfuls of raisins. Again: I will not be judged.
I am still too traumatized from this morning’s outing to discuss what it’s like to go to a restaurant.
So, do you think if this all starts before he’s even 18 months old, we can hope that it’ll be over by 2? Yeah. No. That’s what I thought. On the plus side, he’s really, really, really cute. When he’s not slathered in dooky, that is.Read more →