According to the toddler, that is. Toddlers are unique creatures. My fellow teachers and I used to say that about freshmen, but that is another blog post. I’m sticking to toddlers today. If you happen to live with one, my heart goes out to you. If you are a stay-at-home mom with one, you deserve a medal. If you keep toddlers in daycare or preschool, or you are the mother of twins or more, you deserve a Nobel peace prize. It’s not an easy task being responsible for the care and nurturing of a one-t(w)o-three-year old. I know this because I am experiencing it firsthand. Again.
Thirty years ago, God blessed me and my husband with toddlers, but time has a way of smoothing out the rough edges in our memories. All I remember are the sweet sticky kisses, the cute outfits, the chubby smiles, the little hands in mine, the occasional tantrums. Photos of my two sweet babies can bring tears to my eyes. Those moments can never be recaptured.
Fast forward to last December. My son and his wife invited me on a week-long vacation with them to help with my then two-year-old grandson. It was a bucket-list trip to a tropical locale I would never have seen otherwise. “Wake up, Coco!” These were his cheery words at 6:30 in the mornings. At least Mom or Dad would have the coffee ready.
Never idle, he loved to give his Coco a heart attack by jumping fearlessly into the pool whether he remembered how to swim or not. But after a wave surprised him at the beach, my daring little grandson became terrified of the ocean and preferred to play in the sand. Loving grandma that I am, I stayed out of the inviting blue water and built castles in the sand so he could kick them down. Laughter is preferable to crying any day.
|Me and my two-year-old grandson|
These fears may seem irrational but we have to remember how small these tots are in this great big world. Recently I took my daughter, her two-year-old, and her newborn to the hospital for the baby’s PKU test. My two-year-old granddaughter has a fear of her doctor’s office across town with good reason, but when she saw the hospital she freaked out. Changing my original plan to drop my daughter and newborn off at the door, I parked in the parking garage and we all got out to make the trek across the street to the hospital. An attendant driving a golf cart offered us a complimentary ride to the hospital but Toddler screamed until we declined the ride and walked a good quarter mile in misty rain to the door. Great for a newborn. Toddler was upset the entire time we waited in the lobby for her momma. There was no way she would have gotten on the elevator. We tried that once before. Irrational? Maybe. But it is a big scary world when you’re only two feet tall and don’t get to make your own choices.
|Hubby with our two-year-old granddaughter|
Even at that, it’s a toddler’s world, because their objections to our choices for them can make us reconsider in a heartbeat. I changed my plans several times just that day. As a grandparent, I get to do that as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone. Unlike parents, I get to leave and go home to a quiet house. I’ve done my time. But I would gladly do it again, and will continue to coax, coddle, and cuddle my grands for the short time they will let me. Years tend to fly these days.
Do you have toddlers in your life? Please share!