Guess what I’ve been doing a whole lot of? Not blogging. The last time I was here, I had a baby. I come before you now, the much more tired mother of a toddler. August is toddling the shit out of life. Everyday, finding new ways to try to kill himself or the cats. And everyday, getting angry that I thwart his efforts. At least for the most part.
August has still been able to fall in between the toilet and the bathroom counter, giving himself a black eye. He has launched himself, head first, into an empty bathtub. His favorite pastime of running the length of our couch (while I run to him yelling SIT ON YOUR BUTT) usually ends in him falling off and landing in such a way that I am convinced for one terrifying moment that we are heading to the hospital. I am now super diligent when it comes to buckling him into the changing table, after he launched himself off of it while I was grabbing a shirt from his closet. I kept one hand on his belly while I turned my head, but that did me a lot of nothing. August loves to sneak up behind our cats, crouch down, and then scream at the top of his lungs to make them haul ass out of the room. I’m waiting for the day that they grow tired of him pulling their tails or grabbing them by the face and show him what claws are for. I’m not worried about the dog trying to eat him, because they have an understanding and August makes sure to tithe a percentage of every meal to Bea.
For all the bumps and bruises my darling, sweet baby has accrued, he seems to give as good as he gets. Other children, even adults, are mere obstacles on the playground of life. I wait patiently (not) for the day August starts playing with other kids, and not just on them. We joined a gym for kids the winter to make up for the lack of time at the park. After coaxing him to climb a series of steps the instructors had set up for the other toddlers in his class, August grabbed the shirt of the child in front of him, pulled him backwards, and then stepped over him and went on his merry way. The only time he seems to acknowledge the existence of other children is if we bring a toy to a play group or party. August can be completely engrossed in an activity, but his spidey senses go berserk when another child across the room picks up his ball.
Baby Bruiser isn’t helped by the fact that he is enormous. August has measured six months ahead in height and weight since he was an infant. He is currently not even 18 months and weighs as much as the average two-year old, while being as tall as a three-year old. My child is solid. I don’t know how, because apparently toddlers don’t eat. I went from having a perfect-eater baby, who would gobble down whatever I put in front of his face, to an insanely picky toddler who turns his nose up at any and all vegetables. He has a sixth sense that tells him how much effort I put into a meal, and reacts accordingly. Did I spend a minute putting together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch? Shove it on the floor while looking me dead in the eye. Did I make a batch of smoothies with yogurt, fruit, and some carefully hidden vegetables? Take a gulp and then do a spit-take. Did I spend a few hours of that oh-so precious nap he took to chop and sauté fresh vegetables and grass-fed whatever, topping it with a sauce I wouldn’t even take the time to make for myself? Pour it into my favorite shoes, set them on fire, and then pee on the flames while chanting to Satan. I’m about to give up and let him live off of chicken nuggets and NyQuil.
Toddlerdom is not 100% the worst, though. August has gotten more and more affectionate as he has gotten older. I curse and whine while I’m throwing on a sweater because he has woken up for the fifth night in a row at 4am and needs to be rocked to sleep. But my mood is turned around pretty much immediately when he is sitting in my lap and grabs my face to give me a kiss. He also is showing more and more of his personality, and I’m seeing bits of Adam and bits of me, and then some bits that are who-knows-what but purely August. He’s gentle and loving with any and all stuffed animals, independent but is learning to ask for help when he gets frustrated, stubborn as hell, finds himself hilarious and loves to make people laugh. He also isn’t really talking yet, so he can’t talk back and hasn’t learned “no”. So there is always that.
Toddlers are weird. They are both less and more work than babies. They’ve got their cute crap and their annoying crap and their funny crap and their infuriating crap. They love to bite you and then laugh about it. They know how to manipulate you into not making a toddler-shaped hole in the wall with a smile and a hug. And they can make you feel like you are the most important person on the planet. As much as I am excited for the day that he is out of diapers, can follow directions when they are accompanied by threats, or can be my DD on St Patricks Day, I’m trying to savor this time. I miss the days when he was a tiny(ish) squish that would just lay in my arms all day, but I know I am going to miss this time when it passes. So maybe (maybe) I can get myself back into documenting these experiences in blog form so I at least have this to look back on. At the very least, I can use it as a punishment by making sure this blog is the first result in his future employer’s Google search.