Reposted from April 8, 2009
A friend’s 4 year old daughter was helping her dad feed the goldfish. By helping, I mean that she dumped the whole can of food into the tank. And while her dad was plugging it back in after cleaning the whole tank, she DID IT AGAIN!
This story reminded me of my own toddler adventures. My son was an awful toddler. Awful might be too nice of a word. He was a horrid little beast of a child. And I say that in the most loving way possible. Back in my married days, we lived in a Victorian house near the JC. It had all hardwood floors, crown molding, three bedrooms, and one bath. My daughter slept in the bedroom near the front of the house. My son slept in the bedroom that was connected to our bedroom via the bathroom. There were two ways to get into his room: the bathroom or through the second entrance in the kitchen. It was incredibly convenient to have him in this room as a baby, since I was able to get up at a moment’s notice and get him when he needed a midnight feeding. When he got older and more mobile, we kept the kitchen entrance gated with a baby gate, and the bathroom door was kept closed to keep him in this room. This worked for a little while. It was when he took it up on himself to get out the necessary ingredients to make a PB & J sandwich in his bed that we realized he had more access to the rest of the house than a baby-gate was supposed to allow. I’ll never forget the evil laugh he gave when peering through the makeshift jail cell we created with stacked chairs on his baby-gate to bar him in his room and keep him out of the refrigerator. Or his attempts to still make it out by climbing all the way to the top of the doorjam by using the stacked chairs as leverage.
When my son was three, he was brought home by the police. No, really. My son was an escape artist. I never experienced this with my daughter. She always made sure I was within a glance from her. But my son would stealthily escape only to be brought home by one of the teenage skateboarders near our house. Even then he was intrigued by these boards. Whenever he couldn’t be found in the house, I knew to just go up the street and there he’d be, kneeling by a bunch of would-be scary teens that got a kick out of my rambunctious monster. So I wasn’t surprised when, on an overnight stay with his grandmother, she called to tell me the news of his first trip home in a cop car. She hadn’t even been awake yet when they knocked on her door, asking her if she knew the boy in question. Apparently he had escaped at 6 in the morning to play basketball down the street, and then got hungry and wanted cookies from a neighbor.
There was the time that I found all the contents of the cat’s litter-box spread over the whole bathroom, the time(s) he took his poopied diaper off during his supposed nap, the times he tried to ditch me for random strangers just because they had a dog or a ball, the time my friend’s mom gave him chocolate and he bounced off the walls for THREE STRAIGHT DAYS, and the time he called 911 and sent the police to our door. There was the time he hit his head on the concrete pathway and got a scary looking goose-egg, prompting us to bring him to the emergency room, only to turn around hours later because he wouldn’t stop running around the whole emergency room floor and the staff kept giving us dirty looks for wasting their time. And there were the many times that my little terror hit the same spot, making his head look permanently lopsided between the ages of 2 and 4.
And of course, in all this there were lessons to be learned. Stay tuned….