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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Is It Toddlerhood or an Evil Plot to Take Over the World?

A thought struck me tonight as I was scraping a burnt candle wick out of Princess's mouth. Parenthood is strange. Hard, fun, exciting, rewarding, and strange.

I never thought I would see the day when I obsessed over another person's body functions the way I do with Princess. When she was a newborn, Hubby and I carefully noted each and every diaper and its contents. Now that's she's being potty trained, I cheer and reward her with an m&m each time she pees in the toilet and she gets a standing ovation when she poops in the toilet. And honestly, the phrases, "No, Honey. Don't play in your potty." and "Oh no! You dropped your m&m in the toilet! Let me get you another one." were things I never really saw myself saying.

Speaking of weird phrases, there are so many times that I say something to Princess only to find myself realizing how strange I would sound to another person. Some of my favorites so far:
"Princess, stop! Sheep don't go in the garbage!"
"Stop eating that candle."
"Why are there teeth marks in your shoes?"
"Why don't you go give Tigger a hug?"
"We don't lick the carpet, Honey."
"Take that cat food out of your mouth and give it back to the kitty."

I think parenthood is especially strange when you're the parent of a toddler. Princes's moods, likes and dislikes, and behaviors change from moment to moment. A food that she couldn't get enough of yesterday makes her scream in horror at the sight of today. She can be laughing hysterically at me making faces at her and then mid-laugh, will switch to a condescending frown that says, "How dumb do you think I am?" I've given up trying to figure out why Princess does the things she does, things like throwing the baby doll she'd been mothering so gently to the floor and stomping on its head or carrying a empty gatorade bottle around with her for two days straight.

I was at The Farm one evening for supper and Hubby's mother started putting some peas on Princess's high chair tray. I immediately told her not to bother because Princess couldn't stand peas and hadn't eaten them since she was about 6 months old. Before the words had left my mouth, Princess was shoveling the peas in her mouth like she couldn't get enough of them. My mother-in-law told me that when her kids were younger, and they inevitably proved her wrong when she made a statement about them, she would say, "I'm just the mom, what do I know?" How true.

Unsolicited Advice:
When Princess is balking at doing something like cleaning her toys up or giving me a few minutes to do some laundry, I have found that I can make her happy by asking her if she would help me. She's happy and busy for a few minutes and I get my way too!

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