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It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times…

Toddlers

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times…

When Charles Dickens wrote this, he surely had just sunk into his chair after babysitting a toddler.

My mother-in-law has stated on multiple occasions that she believes two years is the cutest age.   She is — no offense — obviously senile.  Yes, two-year-olds are terribly cute to look at and, yes, sometimes they do things that are so darn cute that you almost want to write a haiku about them:

Skye says “Mo’ Gaga”
I press play on my iPod —
Her wish, my command.

I know.  Like, totally deep.

But the age itself…?  About as cute as a rabid possum rolling around in fresh dog sh*t.  Which, coincidentally, I’m pretty sure Skye was threatening to do this evening if I didn’t take her out of the stroller and carry her four very long blocks home.  At least that’s how I interpreted MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA! MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!

All punctuated by very dramatic sobs and Houdini-like attempts to escape her stroller.

“Tired?” a passerby asked sympathetically.

“Yes,” Mr. Candy and I nodded — except we were talking about us.

Going out to eat has suddenly become infinitely less fun.  Booths are for running, chairs are for climbing, sugar packets are for throwing and parents are for driving into an early grave.  We’ve become those people, the ones you don’t want to sit next to, with me yelling, “SKYLAR.  Do NOT pull the shades down on that man’s head!” and Mr. Candy finally having no choice but to walk her around the restaurant until our food comes.  At which point Skye takes two bites of her chicken, gets angry that I won’t let her pour an entire glass of ice water on her lap, then decides it’s time for us to leave.

MA-MAAAAAAAAAAA!  UPPPPPPPPPPPPPPPP!

Scary thing is, I suspect she’s not even that bad.  In toddler terms, that is.  Which is kind of like saying Aileen Wuornos wasn’t all that dangerous.  For a serial killer.

So don’t get me wrong.  We often have rather enjoyable times, like the times when we’re playing with flashcards — again, her pronunciation of “yo-yo” makes me all smiley and haiku-y — or with her beloved dolls, or when we snuggle together at night.  But then there are also times when she cannot shake the fact that she’s almost two years old.  No matter how many times her head spins around.

Like tonight.

The parenting sites warn you not to give into your tantrum-throwing child’s demands, that doing so will only encourage more tantrums.  Yeah, easy for them to write from the solitude of their kid-free cubicles.  But when your child has been SCREEEAAAMING for five blocks, to the point where she can no longer catch her breath and even the poodle walking by is like, Dude, just pick up the poor kid already, you find that all you (and the neighbors) want is some freakin’ peace and quiet.  So you hike up your maternity pants and carry that child, her head endearingly nestled in your shoulder, for the remaining four blocks.

Oh yeah.  And did I mention:  Skye’s case of MamasGirl-itis has spiraled out of control, especially now that she senses a big change on the horizon.  A big change that goes by the name of Baby Brother Freedom — or, as a stranger suggested yesterday, Pride.  Yes!  PRIDE.  After a character in a book she was reading.  “Certainly a strong-sounding name,” I smiled in agreement.

Hey, I allowed my 9-year-old cousin to nickname him Freedom all this time.  The least I could do was humor a kind old lady with a fondness for names that would make Alicia Silverstone squeal with joy.

Because of Skye’s extreme MamasGirl-itis, only I am allowed to pick her up, carry her, help her brush her teeth and put her to bed — all while I am hugely pregnant. (She’s lucky I’m a sucker and that her father has thick skin.  I probably would have disowned her by now if I were in Mr. Candy’s shoes.  I kid you not.)  As I lugged Skye down the street tonight, all 28 lbs. of her on top of my enormous 20-lb. bump, I could actually feel the baby shaking his head and griping, “These chicks need to get a grip.”

Freedom rolls his eyes
At least I won’t name him Pride —
Unless labor sucks.

Because sharing is caring, as I tell my kids. (Except my wine. Never my wine.)
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Candy Kirby is the founder of The Laughing Stork and a professional fun-maker who will never stop chasing her lifelong dream: to find the Pomeranian or porn star after whom her parents must have named her. A humor columnist for Disney, Nickelodeon, Scary Mommy, Reductress and Redbook, she also used to be a staff writer for the soap opera, The Bold and the Beautiful, where she penned many scripts featuring prolonged heated stares and countless “Who’s the Daddy?” story lines. Candy lives in Los Angeles with her husband, two young kids and three rescue Persian cats, the latter of whom are the real brains behind this operation (so send all complaints to them).

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