It’s no secret.
I am more like my toddler than I like and it is embarrassing to think about.
#1. We both wake up cranky.
While our exits from bed may look very different, the morning turns both you and I into unrecognizable zombies blobs.
You bolt down the hall in a fright looking for someone, then immediately tell that person that you are, “still hungry,” and whine until either waffles or pancakes have been served. No other breakfast options are acceptable. Getting dressed for the day seems to be as painful as ripping off your limps… so whatever dude. Just go naked.
Me? I roll around for 3 hours, stretch, yawn, rub my eyes, and retreat back into my den of covers like a groundhog continuously peeking out to contemplate the consequences if I just didn’t get out of bed. Gradually my legs creep their way closer to the floor. I fumble for my glasses and meander down the hall throwing a bra on just in case the mailman stops by. I walk straight to the coffee maker, pour myself a 12 ouncer and pound that sucker like it’s the remedy for a poisonous snake bite.
We stand there together, shoulders drooped, hair sticking every which way, both mostly naked and size each other up and each decide it’s going to be another hour before we are ready to interact like civilized toddlers.
#2. I too throw tantrums when I don’t get what I want.
And really… our tantrums don’t look much different.
There is screaming.
There is crying.
There might be some rolling around on the floor kicking mixed with breaks where we throw things.
In the end, we both never get what we wanted in the first place and Dad just throws chocolate at us as he backs away slowly.
#3. I also can’t wait to get to be able to go to school.
You can’t WAIT to go to preschool like your big brother did! You talk about it alllll the time, plan out which fun things you are going to do and try to decide what you want to do when you grow up. Now… if only you could conquer this whole peeing into a toilet thing then you could go!
I am eagerly waiting for you to freakin’ potty train so after I unload you to some unsuspecting teacher, I too can return to the #1 love of my life: learning.
Also, I too am trying to decide what I want to do when I grow up.
#4. I don’t want to potty train you either.
I know. You think I am the worst because I just want you to poop into a “teeny toiyet.” You don’t want to. It’s a friggin’ waste of time. You would have to actually STOP playing and take the time to do this one thing I ask of you. Instead it is just SO much easier to poop in ones pants, for Mom to change you real quick and speed off to go back to playing your Legos.
I know… it really is SO much easier for me to just change you real quick so I can go back to checking Facebook for the 100th time again. I have to STOP playing and doing my projects in order to wipe you, clean out your “teeny toiyet” into the actual bigger toilet which you should just use in first place ( NO it’s won’t eat you if you fall in) and then wash both our hands. I don’t even want to think about having to find real toilets when you are trained and we are out doing errands. YUCK.
What a waste of time. I get it.
#5. We are both always hungry.
I think this is self-explanatory:
YOU are always hungry because you are growing vertical rapidly, so you eat MY food.
I am always hungry because even though you are eating MY food and I never get a full meal, I am rapidly growing horizontally.
#6. I’m also fed up with your sister touching, looking at me or just being in my presence in general.
There is always someone touching me 24/7. In the morning, while I am cooking, while I am going to the bathroom, while I am showering, at nap time, at dinner time, at play time, at bedtime and in my bed all night…
I also want to scream when your sister touches me.
#7. I want everything to be mine.
Everything REALLY DID used to be mine.
Unlike your lies that you had that toy first (You did not, your brother did. I’m not dumb. I can’t be fooled. I have eyes in the back of my head), I really DID have everything first.
It was all mine, Mine, Mine, MINe! MINE! MINE! MINE!
#8. We both look hilarious when we dance.
You are a cute little chubby kid who is so squishy and cuddly. When you dance it’s like watching a drunk marshmallow try to bend. Your hands aren’t in sync and your legs look like broken pogo sticks.
And the most adorable thing I have ever seen.
No really, everyone laughs.
No really, everyone laughs.
We both need them. I fight for them. They never happen. We both are always exhausted.
#10. We are both really squishy.
Again please reference marshmallow trying to dance… You are adorable.
Even as a 3 year old, you are still covered in pockets of adorable baby fat that I cling to because I am watching it melt away with every movement you make. I love to pinch and poke and tinkle you because not only do you still have baby soft skin, but it is still just so squishy. Cuddling with you at bedtime is one of my favorite parts of the day because all that squish makes me forget for just a few moments that these precious few years of your innocence and baby characteristics are fleeting. Your knuckles are starting to show. Your thick, chunky thighs are showing muscle. A muscular boyish 6 pack has replaced your baby belly. Your feet no longer make a splat noise when you run down the hall. Your 18 neck rolls have been replaced with collar bones and a strong set of shoulders which you show off to your Dad in hopes of manly approval.
I’m squishy too. I am squishy because my body housed 4 different babies. It stretched and widened three times to accommodate three growing human beings. It gained weight in response to hormones preparing me to produce milk to feed you after you were born. My thighs just can’t seem to let go of those baby fat cells even though it’s been two years and I don’t have a womb anymore. I’ve lost some weight, but there’s all that extra skin… My chest, which three times stretched and groaned under the weight of producing gallons of milk in order to feed you all, is now depleted. My skin is more than just loose. It sags…and not just in the chest region. My inner arms have even been affected negatively by what I lovingly referred to as my “nursing boobs.” They are no longer and the scars (and enough skin for triple D implants) remains. My legs now swell in the heat of the day or from too much activity. My face looks tired, all the time. My eye’s which used to look so vibrant and full of dreams, now look hopeful that bedtime will come early. My stomach… even though with 3 C-sections and a hysterectomy, I got the pleasure of receiving 4 SMALL tummy tucks, it still droops over my scar. I used to have the BEST abs. All Natural. I didn’t have to do ANYTHING to make them look good. They were my pride and joy, especially considering my thigh situation. My abs have now been replaced with a permanent “Burrito Pooch.”
( DEAR HEAVENS I want a burrito right now!)
My whole body jiggles when I walk. I don’t run in order to spare people from seeing something that would scare them for life.
But it’s not just my body that is more squishy.
It’s all of me.
I used to be a cinefile. At several different places I was known for being able to tell you what movie you were thinking of by just one quote of detail.
Now? I can’t even make it through Sophia the First without weeping. Don’t even get me started on Disney movies. Did you know that the average life expectancy of a Disney parent is a mere FIVE minutes into the movie?!
I fear EVERYTHING. Things I never would have thought of give me small panic attacks. Playgrounds, blankets, high beds, couches, bikes, sidewalks, going too fast on anything, silence… every parent knows to fear silence.
My heart is so squishy that I fear the smallest thing could make it explode and shoot emotions off like fireworks into everyone’s faces.
I fear death.
This my dear toddler is where we differ. While you have ZERO concept of death, it is in my mind every waking moment. “What if” scenarios are on a video loop in my head as I try to protect you from mostly yourself. Loosing a child has made my heart keenly aware of what it is like to be emotionally torn apart, flipped inside out and sewn back together again not quite the same. The way I see the world is now filtered through the stark reality of child loss.
And as I fear what your life would be like without me… The only person in the world who knows just how much we are alike (and different), what sets you off, what sets you right again, which boo boo is from what fall and just how you like your peanut butter spread on your sandwich.
So child, I add #11:
My toddler and I are the same person because we wear our hearts on our sleeves.
You, because you take after your father and love deeply, harshly and intensely.
And just because you are a threenager…
I wear my heart on my sleeve because of you.
You (and your siblings) are my heart.
And I must now comes to terms with the fact that my heart now resides outside of myself.