by humanmama on April 3, 2014

I have a toddler. That should be the start of our own 12-step program. “My name is AJ and I’m the mother of a toddler…” ToddlerAnon. That’s not a bad idea. I’ll keep working on that.

Anyway, I’m the mother of a toddler. The reason I would want to keep that anonymous is because of the horrible things that happen around here, and the things I Google. How many times can you Google “is ___ poison?” before they start keeping tabs on you over in the ol’ federal government? And my big kids–don’t even get me started. I’m sure if they tell their stories elaborately enough, I’m going to at the very least be picked up for questioning.

For example, this week Benji has learned that “I am slapping you in the face” is code for “I absolutely adore you.” And thus, we have all been slapped in the face many times lately. The other day I was sitting on the floor of the kitchen, trying like hell to tie Lilly’s tie shoes (which are her favorite right now because “they’re fast” but I have a sneaking suspicion they’re her favorite because watching mom tie shoes is so hilarious), being 2 minutes late, trying to put jackets on and get out the door. And every time I picked up a shoelace, Benji would come over to slap me in the face, of course, saying in his toddler way:

Please stop what you’re doing and love me [SLAP]! I want to love you [SLAP]! Oh, that makes such a satisfying sound while also getting my point across so well [SLAP]! Love hurts [SLAP]!

And after about 10 seconds of this I gently said “Benji, no!” Then “Benji, you can hug me but no hitting!” Then, “Benji, no hitting! Please stop!” And then. And then I verrry ever-so-gently pushed him away from me to I could see to tie Lilly’s other shoe out of my rapidly swelling black eyes, and–you guessed it–he trips over his shoes and falls on his face. He cries. Lilly cries. I tell them both I’m so sorry and we don’t hit but we also shouldn’t push and I didn’t mean it and etc. etc. etc. And then in the car 20 minutes later (now we’re 22 minutes late), Lilly acts really, really strange. And I say “Lilly, are you ok? Did I hurt your feelings?” [Shrug.]

Lilly, what’s the matter?
I don’t know.
Lilly, did I do something?
[Long pause.] Remember when you threw Benji on the ground on his face and he cried and cried?
[Sigh.] That was so wrong of me. I didn’t mean for him to fall. Let’s not tell your teacher, okay?

And that’s just the average day around here. So if you find me sitting in a church basement around a folding table, drinking bad coffee from a styrofoam cup, don’t worry. I don’t really have the stomach to be an alcoholic. But what I do have might be worse. I have a toddler…




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