There’s a Toddler in the House…
There’s a Toddler in the House…
Written By   |   03.11.09

Reading Time: 3 minutes

We have a toddler in the house. It has been twelve years since I have had to keep up with such a ball of energy bouncing around the house looking for something to get into.

Nothing in the house is safe or seemingly out of reach. All plants have been Googled for toxicity, waste paper baskets have magically transformed into treasure chests, and the bathroom door now bursts open the moment I sit down.

I should have known it would be this way. Every couple of years, since the late seventies to the mid-nineties, we would have a marauding toddler running around the house. It wouldn’t take long before our little bundles of sweet smiles would soon be off and running, testing our grit. I should have known better than to invite a new one in, but we have always had a full house, and I missed it.

One of my toddlers loved to sing. I use the word “sing” only because that’s what she thought she was doing. Anyone else hearing her would not use that word to describe the sounds coming from this beautiful little girl.

This particular toddler found a way to use her love for “singing” to whittle away the time spent on a potty. Unfortunately, she also discovered the wonderful acoustics that public bathrooms have to offer.

Most mothers will agree the real test of potty training ability (yours) is shopping in a large store where the bathroom is a panic driven five minute sprint away. After one such power walk from the east to the west side of the department store, we got to the bathroom. I helped her up, and she shooed me out.

While standing guard outside the door, I heard her begin to “sing.” At first it was fairly quiet, then, she burst into full opera mode. I stuck my head in to give her the hush sign, but her indignation at my intrusion was quickly followed by a door slam.

People started walking by slowly, with furrowed brows, and glances of concern. After the longest ten minutes in shopping history, two store clerks and a manager came up to me with grave expressions on their faces.

“Can I help you?” the manager asked, with a tone of solemn condolence.

“No, thank you. We’re just waiting.” I said, with a smile.

“Is she hurt? Is she okay?” one clerk asked.

“She’s ‘singing,'” I sheepishly explained.

That phase lasted almost two years.

In many ways I was glad those days were behind me. Sleeping through the night is such a wonderful thing. So why would I miss the mess of a toddler?

I don’t. But my mother’s heart needed the companionship that only adoring baby eyes can bring. Since my birthing days are long gone, I adopted the perfect child for a menopausal woman- a four month old puppy.

She is now six months old and my children complain she has more toys than they did growing up; which is probably true. However, I quickly point out that she is happy with plastic, and she doesn’t want an iPod.

In many ways Penelope, our newest member of the family, is like a spoiled, only child. And I love it-she makes me smile when I don’t want to.

Raising a family can’t be replaced by anything on earth, and grandchildren are a delight. Still, as we edge toward that empty nest, this fur ball has brought our home the kind of laughter only toddlers can bring, even if she has four legs.

Even though I still can’t trust her upstairs alone, the bathroom must be monitored at all times, and she has an appetite for baseball hats, she is my perfect child. Birthed, nursed, and weaned by another, yet I hold her undying affection.

Her big brown eyes will never say good-bye as she heads off to college. She will never embarrass me in a public bathroom, ask to drive my car, or beg for a cell phone. She won’t use my makeup or borrow my clothes. She will never flash a bright diamond ring while telling me the date she plans to leave our home and change her name. And if she comes up pregnant- I will sell her children.

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