Falling, bumping, spilling, dropping, breaking, tripping, stumbling, slipping, dripping: forget language, independence or defiance – these are the true hallmarks of toddlerhood.
Honestly, I think that, as far as toddlers go, mine is pretty darn graceful, but man oh man, she has her challenges.
Spilling, not surprisingly, is one of them. Not one to accept a sippy cup, my daughter’s beverages end up on the floor as often as they do in her mouth. It seems as though as soon as she puts her cup down it is rendered invisible, and she is as apt to kick it, bump it, push it or hit it as she is to pick it up and take another drink. Now, this trait she comes by honestly; her father is a champion drink spiller, and has – I swear this is true – spilled his beer from across the room. Remember the game Mousetrap? His beer-spilling feat from 3 metres away was like the most successful game of Mousetrap you’ve ever played. Just not for the white rug.
Ok, anyway, the spilling she gets from her father, and we may as well credit him for the dropping, breaking and dripping too (plus burping, tooting, any other noxious emissions and forgetting where she put things – all him). But the rest of it? The general spazziness of the toddler set? Sigh. It can be cute, the way these tiny people learn the use of limbs and the laws of gravity, but as a mother watching, kissing better and cleaning up after the many foibles of her three-year-old? Well, it’s exhausting.
Barely a week goes by that Bee does not fall off of something. Couches, ottomans, stools, chairs, counters – they are all fair game, and while thankfully, we have had no serious accidents (knock on wood, spit into the wind, throw the salt and don’t tempt fate), my heart drops and my pulse accelerates with every thud, bonk and bounce my little monkey incurs.
When talking about the things no one tells you about having children, I skip right over the pain of childbirth, fierceness of love or sleep deprivation part, and head straight to the, ‘Your toddler will be a spazz’ part. I really do wish somebody had warned me about it because it is this aspect of having a child that has truly surprised me. I mean, I spent time around little kids before I had any, but good lord, you don’t realize just how often they break things until the things they are breaking are yours.
So, my advice to all of you who do not yet have toddlers: put away anything that you don’t want ruined, emptied, broken or wasted; always have a stock of band-aids and superglue on hand, and if you want to be really safe, don’t teach your kid how to walk.
I’m kidding of course, about that last part. A little. Oh and hey, anybody out there know how to get sunscreen out of a wool couch?