For a few days this week I have the opportunity to babysit a little girl who is quite possibly the cutest toddler of all time. It’s been a long time since we’ve had a munchkin around these parts. A looooong time. It seems there are several things that I had forgotten about this stage.
I’d forgotten how toddlers are fascinated with shoes and leave a trail of foot apparel a mile long as they try on everyone’s boots, flipflops, and slippers.
I’d forgotten the joy of hearing a tiny person belly laugh so hard their tummy shakes.
I’d forgotten how to sleep with the baby monitor on. Every little squeak, every small sigh is magnified. So many squeaks and sighs, so little sleep.
I’d forgotten the feel of a tiny fist holding my hair while a small wet face is buried in my neck.
I’d forgotten that all matters of my personal hygiene, including showers, must be scheduled at nap time or after everyone’s in bed.
I forgot to plan an extra fifteen minutes in travel time in order to coerce a small, flailing body into a safety harness and then later extract that same child who now no longer wants to leave the car seat.
I’d forgotten how heavy a diaper bag is. And how necessary.
I’d forgotten how changeable these little people are: loving something wholeheartedly one minute and then despising it the next.
I’d forgotten the futility of tidying a living room with a toddler around. The minute you put something away, that object immediately because irresistible and must be gotten out and played with at once.
I’d forgotten that these little individuals cannot be reasoned with. They want what they want, when they want it.
I’d forgotten the witching hour between 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. when all hell breaks loose as you’re trying to cook dinner. So many tears, so much one handed cooking as you hold a distraught toddler.
I’d forgotten that at this age, Cheerios are an actual food group, peek-a-boo is an Olympic sport, and the word ‘again’ is the word of choice, followed closely by the words ‘no’ and ‘mine.’
I’d forgotten that glorious moment when a sparkling smile from a tiny person makes life wonderful.
I had forgotten so much. It’s good to remember it for a while.