What can I say? It's almost the end of July and some part of my brain is insisting that's impossible. Where did May disappear to? How could June have flown by??
Damn physics, what with its continuous matter and energy and whatnot.
Anyway, we took our 1 year old on a trip to see all my husband's relatives. I'll skip right over the nearly 1700 miles spent in a car (did I mention we had a 1 year old with us???). It was a whirl-wind tour of some of America's least childproofed places on Earth. Also, there were relatives.*
*I joke. My husband's family is awesome and we had fun. Also, they owe me approximately 1 1/2 weeks worth of sleep and nearly 2 years of my life, which were stolen from me when Mr. Man nearly grabbed a cactus/ate a screw/touched live wires/etc.etc.
Mr. Man got to meet several cousins. He loved chasing his two year old cousin around using his little walking cart (yeah, he can walk, he just chooses not to most of the time and mommy is FINE with it) and was in awe of his older boy cousins, who blew me away with their gentle inclusion of him in their games.
Then we came home, but without our baby. Our baby had been replaced with a willful, opinionated toddler. Here are some examples:
Discipline prior to our trip:
Baby crawls toward the dog's water bowl, stops, sits, points at it and says firmly, "no, don't!" Baby crawls away from water bowl. Parents smugly pat one another on back.
Discipline after our trip:
Baby crawls toward the dog's water bowl, shoves hand in bowl, and slaps water gleefully. Parents remove baby from area, firmly reminding said baby why we don't play with the dog's water. Baby immediately makes a beeline toward water bowl again. Parents use firm voice.
Eating prior to our trip:
Baby eats everything given to him on his highchair tray. Requests more. Upset tone is occasionally used if parents do not put food on tray or in baby's mouth in a fast enough manner.
Eating after our trip:
Additionally, food that is deemed not acceptable is put through the following ritual:
Step 1) Food is tasted and deemed unacceptable (note scrunched facial expression)
Step 2) Eye contact with parent is made
Step 3) Food is slowly thrust out of the mouth with tongue
Step 4) Similar food is picked up from tray with grubby fingers
Step 5) While maintaining eye contact, said food is held out above the floor
Step 6) Parents gently but firmly remind boy-child that we do not drop our food on the floor
Step 7) While maintaining eye contact, said food is slowly released from aforementioned grubby fingers and dropped ceremoniously to the floor
Step 8) Food floor must be pointed to no less than 10 times while uttering "no" and signing "more," astonished expression that food remains on the floor is optional
There are more examples, but I think you get the point. I don't know if it was the multiple near-death experiences or if he just had time for a good long think during our endless hours in the car, but Mr. Man has matured much faster than I ever dreamed possible. Unfortunately, the maturation process from baby to adulthood requires traveling through the carnival-mirror maze of toddlerhood. Of course, it brings a lot of intentional silliness, lots of kisses, a fascinating leap in reasoning**, and other adorable moments that keep you from wanting to abandon them on a desolate mountain peak.
**For those of you who have not been around a toddler, this is akin to a tiger learning to pick locks.
But speaking of moments, this one is up and I need to get back to the hectic pace of a working mother. Hopefully I have time to stop in and tell you about our experiences again before Mr. Man graduates from high school.