Trouble with toddlers


Just as I was wondering what to write about this week, Fate snickered and sent me a two-year old.  Now I’m trying to figure out how I can possibly cram all of this toddler fodder into one column.  Here’s my best shot.

When my brother-in-law and his wife had their third baby over the weekend, my husband and I offered to watch their older girls while they were at the hospital.  Their kindergartner I can handle, but the shorter one, hereafter referred to as the Lydie-Monster (LM), apparently not so much.

Our first evening together went quite well actually.  The LM was so tired from being in a strange house with strange people that she fell asleep almost immediately. And because I don’t own bottles anymore (yay!) and the LM wouldn’t drink from a cup, she was too dehydrated to wet her diaper during the night and slept straight through (double yay!).  Doo and I congratulated ourselves on our clearly still well-honed parenting skills and happily sent our nieces back to their father.

That afternoon brought another babysitting request.  Doo had plans to hang with another brother, so it was just me with my precious little relatives. To kill time, I got crafty and broke out the paint.  Sweet mercy, two seconds, two seconds I turned my back and suddenly the LM was covered in purple and brown water color. No worries, I told myself, it’s washable, so I cleaned her up and sent her off while I Cloroxed the previously-white counter. Moments later a crash had me sprinting to the office, where I found the LM surrounded by trash and chewing something in utter delight.  Kleenex?  A discarded apple core?  Nope, it was gum, hopefully Orbitz but quite possibly Nicorette.  Just to be sure, I watched her like a hawk for the rest of the evening and fortunately observed no unusual agitation or bowel movements.

A third visit was equally exciting.  After tracking the LM down in an upstairs bathroom where she had clambered onto the sink and chugged an ounce of Soft Soap, Doo decided coloring would be a safe bet.  I concurred. Non-toxic crayons, paper, what could go wrong?  But when I peered into the kitchen after an unusually quiet couple of minutes, I saw the LM drooling a tar-like substance. Huh? She had bitten the tip off a stray marker and was drinking the black ink as it spilled forth in all its Crayola glory.  Lovely, just lovely.

So we did what any self-respecting aunt or uncle would do.  Snapped a photo, emailed it to the trusting parents, and called it a day.  Then we thanked baby Jesus that we don’t have two-year-olds anymore.  Peace out.


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