I remember waiting in anticipation as Isabel began showing signs of movement. I mean, who knew how exciting seeing your kid roll from back-to-front would be? Then came the sitting-on-all-fours-rocking-back-and-forth that would eventually become crawling. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Her first birthday came and went, and no walking. Little did we know, walking is one of the biggest tricks in the toddler rule book.
I never thought that after six years of higher education, I would have so little control over my own life.
First UC Berkeley. Then UCLA. Now, The Institute of Obeying your Toddler. Let’s face it, before having a toddler, we (at least I know I did) had grand thoughts that our kids would never control us. We would stand firm. Set boundaries. Make it known who was boss. Pfffff.
From the moment I first met my daughter she was loud. Her small heartbeat was loud on the ultrasound; she entered the world screaming her head off; as an infant, she made it quite clear when she was hungry, tired, mad, sad, or gassy; and now, as a toddler, she can go from playful chatter box to screaming devil in 3 seconds flat. But despite the annoyingly loud moments, there are other times when her noises are comforting and almost reassuring.
Distraction eating should be an Olympic sport.
Mealtime with a toddler is always an experience. Sometimes it’s easy, and they eat whatever you give them. Other times, it’s a bit challenging, and they need encouragement or coercion. And then there are the times when they claim to be done before we’ve even had our first bite. It’s these times, where Olympic-level parenting kicks into gear.
Before becoming a parent, there are certain parts of life that you know for certain will change, like sleep patterns and coffee intake. Then there are the other, more unexpected changes, like car rides, house departure rituals, and dinner excursions. And some changes are inevitable, but forgotten until they actually happen, like radio and TV choices.
Whenever I pick Isabel up from school I always do the same thing before she can see me. I stand inside and peer through the window, watching her as she plays outside. I look not to make sure she’s ok, because I know that if she wasn’t they would have called me earlier. I look to see if she’s alone.
Bedtime with a toddler is an interesting experience. Some nights are quiet and smooth, others involve jumping and yell-counting for 30 minutes straight, and then there are the nights when no number of books or songs seem to satisfy their fickle personalities.