The Life of a Toddler

My plan this morning was to share with you how much I treasure my son, Thomas. I wanted to sketch out my joy in seeing my toddler learn, play, and grow.  I planned to post a proclamation of happiness for motherhood.



So I set to work detailing in my mind all the things I've noticed in Thomas lately: his sense of family and of home, his frequently uttered phrases [like "Hear that?" and "Where'd Daddy go?"], his newly found affection for disc jockeying his keyboard dance parties, and his mature ability to clean and organize beyond the anticipated capacity of a two year old.

And what better way to show you how much fun it is to be a mom than to let the joy of my son speak for itself? I grabbed my cold cup of coffee, placed it on a coaster in his bedroom and unzipped the video camera out of its case.  I hit record and let Thomas do his thing.  He told me that the "T" letter block had a turtle on it and that  it means "ME!".  He fiddled with a kitchen clip and hurt himself, then asked "what's that?" when he noticed the flashy device in front of my face. I watched behind the lens as he used his practiced manners and followed the dance instructions the camerawoman asked of him: hip shaking, hand clapping, spin around the room and escalating joyous screams kind of dancing.  He smiled. Waved to Nana and Papa and gave a sweet bye to "everbody". 

I placed the video camera aside and got to work.  You know the work I'm talking about. Real life stuff. That stuff no one is about to like on Facebook or retweet on Twitter because it's just the ordinary, the necessary, the ever unfurling scroll of To Do. 

I planned the day, washed Thomas's breakfast mess off the table, put away dishes and made another cup of coffee.  Thomas and I took yesterday's yard work to the recycling center.  We came back to the house, and I gave the backyard a good stare down before throwing myself at it like a rabie infected dog on man flesh. And if you think that analogy is disturbing, you're nowhere near prepared to see my backyard.  Well, what was my backyard until said crazy attack.

While I ripped, pulled, weeded, cursed, tossed, crammed, snapped, clipped, dug, and wrenched from the ground, Thomas saw to it that the yard was properly watered.  Clothed in nothing but a Nemo swim diaper and a pair of Nike sandals my son found a heavenly level of fun with a water hose, a cracked water table, and a bucket.  In between tossing what I unearthed from the corner of the yard, catching my breath, and wiping my brow, I would peer between weeds to see Thomas shaking the hose upward in slow motion with his eyes squinted toward the sun, tongue out happily, and belly thrown forward, totally uninhibited in his crafted backyard water park.  

I was walking toward our back patio for a sip of my coffee and just then thinking that this image was what I should be sharing with you, not the filtered reality of video.  Yes, this was the good stuff--this very real image of my son's diaper so soaked with water and his face so happy from water and this joy from me witnessing it in... and then that's when I saw it: his diaper soaked with water trickling and his face not looking so happy anymore and then back to the diaper, the diaper which trickled water... but not water. 

Poop alert.  Poop alert. Poop alert sounded like a gong in my mind.  My eyes bulged. Thomas's smile dropped. My eyes continued to bulge and I could think of nothing more intelligent to utter than "Poop. Poop. Oh my gosh. That's poop down your leg."  Which was the decidedly worst thing I could have said to my two year old who chose to do the right thing and grab his diaper to effectively keep watery poop in.  As he grabbed, a river of waste streamed down his leg.

I jumped into action, pleaded him to stand firm in his spot, pried the diaper of his wrinkly butt and then hosed his little naked toddler private body parts like the step-in poop pro that I was. Poop everywhere, sure, but I was in charge.  

He stood now, giggling at the water and the poop and his nakedness in sight of neighbors who had likely gathered at their windows either from my vine ripping induced cursing or his water park poop fiasco. 

See. Life is so much fun with a toddler. It's also, at times, a lot of poop.