Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Toddler velocity defies the laws of physics

You're thinking, "Oooh, she means how they move at the speed of light?" And you are wrong. Toddlers are frequently the slowest creature on the planet. Snails and turtles live whole lifetimes in the span of time it takes Toddler Flails-a-lot to fasten her seat belt or put on pants. She's almost three so these are things she MUST do herself.

You want to support a toddler's independence and it is damn difficult to do anything for them while they are screaming "I DO IT!" in your face and struggling wildly. So you let them do it (whatever it is) and by the time they are done the Social Security checks are rolling in and you're thinking about retiring to Boca.

This week, for instance, Toddler Flails-a-lot received a much overdue haircut. The stylist conveniently forgot to tell me she only accepted cash or check. I should have known since the only customer I saw had to be eighty years old. She paid with a poodle check. The bank was only six blocks away and I thought it would be good exercise for the two of us. A little sun, a little stroll, enjoy Northern California's winter.

Except toddlers only have two speeds, sprint and mosey. She moseyed. At first it was all fun and stories and educational asides about plants. After twenty minutes it was me trying to not scream and fantasizing about duct taping her elbows to my belt loops so I could drag her the rest of the way.

Before you have children, you think about all the different things that will be challenging, but somehow "keeping pace with them" never enters your head. Also "not throwing my daughter in a pit of wolves while laughing maniacally" was nowhere on my list. But there you go, sometimes parenting is nothing but watching their brains and bodies develop while having delightful conversations about trains. Other times it's suppressing internal screaming over stupid, silly things.

I gave up on life after the first thirty minutes and relaxed into the new pace my life was taking. We discussed the dogs and cars and people going by. The stylist was paid. I even picked up a snack and store owner gave her a free treat for being cute. She fell asleep while I was pulling the car out of the space so I ate her treat. It was delicious.
John Martin's Book, The Child's Magazine--Article!
Unrelated holiday cuteness via Finsbury on Flickr.

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  1. It's these darn expectations we have that mess us up. I feel your excruciating pain. At least she didn't throw a tantrum in the chair and impale herself on the scissors. And btw, I never carry cash or checks.

    1. When we were in Buffalo I was shocked people didn't accept cards since I hadn't carried cash in years. They looked at me like I was from Mars when I tried to use a card for under $20 purchases. The Bay Area is all cards all the time. She was very well behaved. Me, not so much.

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