It is 10:30 a.m. He woke up early from his morning nap today…nothing unusual.
The little fellow needs immediate attention with his diaper. Once freed, he is off, but not for long. He boomerangs back to me, squeals in delight, and grabs onto my leg in a delightful hug.
With my little barnacle squeezing my leg, I begin to fold a pile of laundry, using the master bed as my folding table. My little tot sticks around, of course, and cheerfully begins to “help” me with the laundry. He pulls a folded towel off the bed and drops it on the floor. I refold it, put it back on the bed, with a firm “no, no.” But he is no longer in the room. He has already taken off with a couple of folded washcloths and tossed them over the banister and down the stairs. I tell him firmly that he must go get them. He peeks down the stairs and doesn’t see them. Toddlers are so bad at seeing what you want them to see. So I take him to the stairs and point out each washcloth. He squeals like they are a great discovery and takes off collecting them. He keeps looking up at me to make sure I am watching this venture. In a minute he is climbing back up the stairs with questionably clean laundry in hand. He grunts more and more as he gets closer to the top. Apparently, it is terribly difficult to get up the stairs holding a couple washcloths in one hand. Odd, he has no trouble toting his blankie up and down the stairs… I reach down and take the cloths from him. Then return to my work of folding.
A few minutes later, the little buddy returns, squealing. He snatches another item off the bed and takes off giggling. Before I can catch him, a pillowcase hits the floor downstairs. A game is afoot. I tell him to go get it. He scurries off to oblige me. He then stands mid stairs grunting and reaching up with the pillowcase in hand. Somehow, he couldn’t take another step out of exhaustion. I am assuming the pillowcase was extremely heavy. I clamber reach down to grab the missing piece and refold it. I catch him the next time he reaches to grab something off the bed, and I put a stop to his fun. I snatch him in one arm and my basket of folded laundry in my other arm and we head downstairs. On the way down, my little tyke spots a sock on the steps that he missed picking up. He is determined to take it all the way back upstairs to put it away. Why wasn’t he so eager when I was at the top of the stairs instead of the bottom? I let him return the sock and quickly try to get the folded laundry put in the right places before he returns.
It is lunchtime. I shred up a block of parmesan to make chicken alfredo for the children’s lunch. I give my little fellow a small pile of shredded parmesan cheese. He devours it all and asks for more. After a few helpings, I hear him say “uh-oh.” I turn to look, and there he is, holding shredded cheese over the floor and dropping it like snow on the floor. I scold him, but too late of course. I now have a couple tablespoons of cheese on the floor to sweep up. So, I get the little pot out of his chair, brush both him and his chair down, then walk to the closet to get my broom. When I return within the same minute, there is my little tottle, laying face down in the cheese, licking the floor. I pick him up, brush him off again, tell him “no.” I begin to sweep the floor. I take the dustpan around the counter to the trash to empty it. When I return, the little fellow has skipped town with my broom. I pursue the broom and find it alone on the floor of the den without a tot. He has discovered something interesting to watch outside and is at the window, pressing his little fingets to the glass. I leave him, collect the broom and call the children to lunch.
After lunch, I gave my children a cookie while I cleaned up the kitchen. I am wiping down the counter when I feel something attach itself to my leg. I look down and two chocolate covered hands are grabbing onto my legs and a gooey smile is looking up at me. As I bend to clean up the chocolaty child, a potent smell, that was not chocolate, wafts from the child’s diaper. Time for another diaper change! I go to the bathroom drawer where I keep diapers. My little guy spots the diaper in my hand and takes off giggling. The chase is on. I play along and I capture the squealing, laughing, dirty little boy and get him all cleaned up…both the diaper and the chocolate.
Once free from my care, he opens a kitchen cupboard and entertains himself by pulling out my pots. I let him amuse himself safety in the kitchen while I go to switch laundry loads. As soon as I return to the kitchen, I am greeted by squeals from my three older daughters. My little boy is up on a stool and standing nose to nose in front of the tv, blocking everyone’s view from the show they were watching. I pull him down and plop him back on the floor telling him “No, that is not kind.” He giggles and then trots off. I ask him to trot back and put my pots away. Picking up is ever so tedious for little people. He obliges and begins to put the pots back into the cupboard. I can see this is going to take him some time, so I take the laundry basket upstairs to fold. Working quickly and hoping to get the folding done before I am discovered.
When I return to the kitchen, the cupboard doors are left open and the pots are tucked inside in a haphazard stack. I hear a happy screech. I turn around and there is my little toddle. He is standing by a once clean white wooden stool; a blue crayon in his hand. He proudly wants me to see the blue artwork he had put all over the white stool. This is a first. He had used crayons on paper, but supervised. I firmly explain that we only color on paper, not furniture or walls. And then pull out a sheet of paper for him to use. After a minute or two of scribbling on a piece of paper, he is bored.
I am not though, I now have pots to straighten up, crayon to wipe off, and still some laundry to fold… and was there something else? Oh yes, washing dishes from lunch… I will leave the fingerprints on the window for another day… I look at the clock hoping it is nap time again…It is only 12:30 in the afternoon…
Someday, I will fold laundry in silence without squeeling helpful company. Someday, I will make lunch without interuptions. Someday, I will not have chocolate stains on my pants from grubby little hands. Someday, I will not chase a little child around the house to change a poopy diaper. Someday, my cupboards will be in order, just the way I left them. Someday, there will be no misplaced coloring to clean up. Someday, there will be no more little fingerprints on my windows. Someday, the house will be quiet and in order. And Oh how my heart aches at that thought, for I will ever so much miss these precious, crazy, messy, days!