I took my daughter to the beach this morning, she fell asleep at 11:40am on the drive home. I swear if I am driving anywhere in the eleven o'clock hour the kid passes out and shoots a hole in her nap.
So she slept I was able to carry her upstairs into our apartment and plunk her down in her crib. I think she slept for forty-five minutes total.
This is not enough.
Not enough sleep for her, and not enough break for me.
I got her up and and gave her lunch. I sat back down at my computer and tried, tried, to finish the email I was typing. When I looked up she was crushing her strawberries in between her fingers. My intial thought?
'Good thing I didn't put you back in your clothes.'
These strawberry crushing moments are one of those moments as a parent where I feel like I can actually feel the world slow down as I choose my reaction. She's just exploring texture, she hasn't been socailized to know that squishing your food between your fingers isn't the most polite activity. Is now the moment where I teach her that? By jumping up and screaming, 'NO!' Or do I encourage her natural curiousity? Or do I just not react. While I was making up my mind to react (I guess the world doesn't slow down all that much for my inner monologue) she flung her hands about in the classic excited toddler gesture, which sprayed strawberry juice all over the white wall behind her. Again I sat deciding what to do, but I think my furrowed brow and pinched mouth conveyed to her that I was not happy because her smile faded quickly and she put her hands down. What is that song lyric, 'You say it best when you say nothing at all?'
She ate very little of her lunch and then started shouting that she was,
"ALL DONE! ALL DONE!" I let her sit a few more moments, because I didn't believe her. Out of all the sign language that we tried to teach our young one, she learned, 'all done,' the quckest because she realised that means we let her out of that chair. Often I will leave her a bit longer than the announced, 'all done,' because sometimes she will eat more.
I finally let her out of her high chair. She started bring all her little animal toys (that belong to her Noah's Ark set) to me and demanding that I set them on the table right next to me. She points to the spot where she wants it and goes,
"Put here," while tapping it repeatedly with her finger. Sometimes she just taps, and does not talk. On one hand I am thrilled that she can communicate her desires, on the other hand I don't really want to be bossed around by someone that is 2'5".
Eventually she brought me the ark and then insisted on climbing in my lap to play with it. During his process she must have stepped on my inner thigh, pinching the skin (okay, fat) between her foot and the chair, at least nine times. Apparently someone wanted my attention. Which makes perfect sense because she had my undivided attention all morning long.
So I decided we would go to the park.
So there we were at Patton Park, I had stood back and let Emma do more of the climbing on the play structures without my help. I had noticed she has started to regress and ask for my help with things she had previously done on her own. She stood at the top of the slide and I asked if she wanted my help, usually I hold her hands and guide her down. She said no, I looked away for two seconds and there she was at the bottom of the slide. Triumphant she had done it on her own. I rushed to the bottom to help her down, cheering her on in her big achievement. As I helped her down I looked back up at the top of the slide, huge poop smears down the slide. My cheers were quickly silenced, as I swept her up off the ground and rushed over to the stroller holding her out from myself under her armpits.
I laid her on the grass and changed her. Can I say right now that I hate these moments of random poop in public. I am NEVER fully prepared for them. Sure I have wipes and extra diapers, but when the poop anywhere else but on her I feel like that is never enough. Should I be carrying around a high pressure hose and disinfectant soap everywhere we go? Because that's what I feel like it takes to make it sanitary after my kid's poo gets smeared everywhere. I guess I feel like you can't really be prepared for those kind of accidents, but in the back of your head you are thinking, 'if I was a better mom....'
A few cleaner moments later we were back at the slide. I wiped the smears down with wipes (because that's all I had, no water, no bleach) and while my head was turned putting the poopy wipes back in the plastic bag that held her poopy cloth diaper Emma let her rip again and went down the slide without my help. Except this time at the bottom she didn't stop. She launched off and landed right on her face. I launched myself over towards her shoving everything in the diaper bag. Her little pink mouth was open, screaming, and full of gravel. I did the 'is anything bleeding' check and gave her a sippy cup. In a matter of seconds she was fine and off again.
During this time I was talking to another mom, who seemed sympathetic. She pointed out that her daughter was poopy and wouldn't go down on the slide on her bottom because she knew better. So apparently this is more common than I think...
Maybe this is why you don't remember much of toddlerhood, if you have every memory of your parents whipping of your pants in public and whiping down all your poop you might never poop again.