As we oh so graciously navigate the wobbly legs of toddlerhood the baby is trying on for size, the post traumatic stress disorder memories of toddlers who have come before are now flooding my brain. Jarring me awake at night and creating mild anxiety panic attacks in the grocery store aisles, salad dressing in one hand and penny I just found in her mouth in the other.
I am an old pro at failure so I seize each new opportunity to learn nothing from past mistakes. After the second child was found chewing on doll stilettos, we initiated the “chokeable bucket”. It is simply a vase where any and all items are thrown when stepped on, removed from a child’s mouth or removed from the death grip of an almost three-year-old who knows that whatever precious object travels to the chokeable bucket is never. heard. from. again. This kind of trauma is the kind that shows up, unannounced, on you doorstep like a mother-in-law or that foundation you donated to that one time in college. Out of nowhere, like a ‘Nam flashback, we will hear: “HEY, what happened to the Diver’s scuba tank, world’s smallest tea cup or that Lego you found in so-and-so’s diaper?”
It’s all fun and games until you find a Lego wheel in someone’s diaper.
Aside from the crazed attention to detail you must have in order to safely defeat the perpetual Baby-To-Toddler-Hand-To-Mouth-Disease, you must also begin taking an active role in sweeping and vacuuming daily. Daily. If your house is anything like mine, the vacuum also doubles as a spaceship or track horse. Our horse, Death By Playmobil, is moving one step closer to the glue factory in the sky with every sweep over the house. A veritable toy graveyard lives inside its belly. “Sorry, Pa. She had a case of the belly-busters real bad. Me and Timmy had no choice but to end her sufferin’ down by the waterin’-hole.”
Just like participating in a conga line is not really dancing, the vacuum is no real substitute for getting on your hands and knees while canvassing the ground and under furniture like a blind wildcat waiting for another smaller, blind animal to kill.
But, like I said, it’s all fun and games until you find a Lego wheel in someone’s diaper.
So, here I am, canvassing the floors. Crawling along, stealth like, like that Victoria’s Secret model who rolled her ankle on the runway and then lay trapped under the pressure of her gigantic angel wings. Think of me fondly as I turn a back brace into a saddle and burn Barbie’s stripper shoes under the light of the full moon.
Until then, may your children’s diapers be Lego free and may my next vacuum come with a lifetime membership to the Wine of the Month Club.
|Dearest Friends, you are gone, but, never forgotten. Rest in pieces.|