Getting Up: Life With a Toddler
Thump thump ablablablaooo I strain my ears to pick up more of the faint noises, was that my son chatting to himself in the next room? Silence. Awooaooawoo, I am sure it was him that time, but once again as I strain my ears to listen I hear nothing, and eventually drift back to sleep until WAAAAAAAA!!! MAMA! DADA! WAAAAAA. Felix is up.
I stumble out of bed and across the hall to the bathroom as my one year old son continues to scream and wail for me. “Mama’s just going peepee,” I inform him, but that does nothing to calm him down. I flush the toilet and wash my hands, rubbing the sleep from my eyes as I stumble back into the hall and open Felix’s door.
Felix is lying with his face on his pillow. His skin is red and blotchy from crying giving the impression that he has just had a severe allergic reaction to something, and his blue eyes are puffy. When he sees me he springs to his feet, “Hi,” he says, a huge grin on his face.
“Good morning,” I reply walking over to his crib and pulling on the string next to the window to open the blinds. Felix points out the window in excitement, “Do you see your house?” I ask.
“Ya. Weewee!” says Felix.
“And your slide.”
“Why don’t we get your diaper changed, get some breakfast, use the potty, and then we can go play outside.”
“You want to see the garden?”
“You want to see the beans?”
“And green onions?”
“Ok lets go into the kitchen and get some breakfast.”
“Yes some num nums.”
I lift Felix out of his crib and put him on the ground. It seems that his limbs must have turned into noodles overnight because instead of standing his legs fold up under him and he melts to the floor, yelling “No, no, no, no.”
“Felix, I’m not carrying you. You can walk.” Felix is nearly two, and I am six months pregnant with our second child, but he doesn’t understand this. He screams and cries and yells Dada Mama all over again as if I have just betrayed him in the most insulting way.
I leave Felix in his puddle of limbs and tears and go grab a diaper. “Do you need a bum change?” I ask as I poke my head back around the door.
“No,” Felix says.
“Do you want to use the potty?”
“No,” Felix says.
I feel Felix’s diaper, “Yooouur wet!” I exclaim, “Lets- change- your- BUM!”
Felix forgets about his despair and springs to his feet, running away across the house as I crawl after him thumping my hands against the floor. “I’m going to get you!” I yell.
When I catch Felix I strip off his wet diaper, and he takes off again half nude, laughing as I chase him halfway around the house, then sneak back the other way and surprise him as he careens around the corner. Finally caught and diapered, I leave Felix with some toys while I head to the kitchen to prepare breakfast.
Felix is thankfully distracted while I crack eggs into the frying pan and slice some fresh pieces of bread. Unfortunately he only remains distracted for about five minutes. “See, see.” He states as he toddles into the kitchen. I lift him up so he can see the eggs cooking away in the frying pan. When I put him back on the floor he once again demands “see, see.”
“FELIX, I just showed you,” Felix does not like this reply and the waterworks start again.
“Do you want some banana?”
“Ok, go get in your high chair, I’ll get you some blueberries.”
I turn the eggs down to low, lift Felix, who is once again a puddle on the floor, into his high chair, rummage through the freezer until I find our bag of frozen berries, and pour some straight onto his tray. This buys me another five minutes of time.
By the time Felix is dissolving into tears again I have his breakfast mostly prepared, and I hand over his plate while I put my own meal together. Finally I have a little bit of peace and quiet as he is distracted by his food. Breathing out a big sigh of relief I grab a mug, pour myself some tea, and place my food and my piping hot mug on the table.
“Tea!” Felix points a pudgy finger to my mug.
I take a bite and wink at my little blue eyed, blond cutie pie eating happily in his chair next to me, picking up pieces of egg in his pudgy fingers and stuffing them into his chubby cheeks. Just as I take a second bite, Felix tips his sippy cup over and starts shaking milk out all over his breakfast. “No thank you,” I say and take his cup away from him.
Felix arches his back in protest. I manage to convince him to eat a few more bites before bits of food start hitting the floor and I take his plate away before the whole meal becomes food for the dog to clean up. I wipe his fingers and face and let him scramble back down to the ground as I shove my last couple of bites into my mouth and swallow a gulp of tea.
Breakfast is done, now I just need to get Felix to use the potty and get dressed before we can start our day. Fortunately he is pretty accommodating at letting me take off his diaper and sit him on the pot. I give him some markers and paper to keep him busy while he does his business. Of course he needs to strip his shirt and socks off as well as his pants and diaper. He sits on the pot in the nude while I do a little clean up from breakfast. Potty time involves a ceremonial dumping and flushing down the toilet, and another chase around the house in the nude and then I can finally get my squirmy boy into his clothes for the day, approximately one hour before nap time...