They can also be terribly, terribly cute.
Oh sure, Skye has her moments. Moments such as yesterday, when we were taking a perfectly lovely walk around the neighborhood together — Skye pushing Curious George in a doll stroller (terribly, terribly cute) and me, holding our cherry-apple Slurpees (terribly, terribly toddler-whipped) — when she suddenly threw herself on the sidewalk crying Mommy up! Mommy uuuuuuuuppppppppp! in response to me requesting that she not turn around and walk in the opposite direction of our house. That’s it. That’s all it took to transform her from terribly cute two-year-old to terribly snotty, dirty, whiny mess of a toddler lying on the ground just a few feet away from our house.
So I did what any compassionate mom would do: let her continue to scream while I calmly sipped my Slurpee.
Of course, this is when our neighbor decided to take his dogs for a walk. He looked at Skye, screaming as if in front of a firing squad, then at me, sipping away as if lounging on the beach in Cabo.
“Is she sick or something?” he asked, horrified.
“No. She’s a toddler,” I shrugged, making slurping noises as I reached the end of my drink.
This is the same neighbor who asked if the baby was sleeping through the night yet. When the baby was two weeks old. Suffice it to say this neighbor does not have kids.
The reason I could remain so blasé is because I do have kids and know that two-year-olds are bipolar. Mine is, at least. Which is why five minutes after I scraped her off the ground, she was cuddling on my lap, asking me to read a Curious George book to her. I also know this about two-year-olds: they are impossible to say “no” to when they are being earnest. I mean, a two-year-old can make anything sound cute: “Help me, Mama, pease!” “Tank you.” “Sam-I-Ham.” “Skylar have stinky feet! P-Hyoo!” (Thanks for that one, Mr. Candy.) “Stalin.” Anything. Cute.
Seriously. We should unleash the two-year-olds in times of war and NBA contract negotiations. “Suwwenda! Pease!” And… WHOOMP! There it is: white flag waving.
Not to mention the things that they say. “Yuck! Daddy eat kitty poop!” Skye grimaced upon seeing Mr. Candy’s plate of shredded pork tacos a few weeks ago. At which point I may or may not have snarfed my mashed potatoes.
A two-year-old can also make any fashion combination work. It is not unusual for Miss Skye to parade around our house wearing her pink wrap-around Dora sunglasses that make her look like Bono, a Sephora bag as a purse, no pants and my snakeskin peep-toe shoes — and totally kill it. Me…? I can’t even throw together a faux fur vest and shirt without looking like a slightly more masculine Liberace. Skye is fully aware of her style superiority, too. When I tried on a fedora at Target and jokingly asked her what she thought, the kid wrinkled her nose and said, “It’s too much.” IT’S TOO MUCH, she said.
And she was right.
Two-year-olds are designed this way on purpose, of course. Redeeming themselves with The Cute before we ship them off to military school or, worse, a single-screen movie theater still playing “Leap Year.”
If only “Leap Year” had starred two-year-olds. Then dialogue like “What are you, the Lucky Charms leprechaun?!” might actually have been palatable. Might have. (Hey, The Cuteness may be able to end wars, but it can’t work miracles.)