A couple weeks ago Steve Almond over at Baby Daddy, whose one year old daughter Josie is about a week older than Adam, posted about how his little girl is growing up and is no longer a baby. He also listed out the 10 ways you know you’ve got a toddler on your hands. (I’ve found that when I get toddler on my hands the only things that will get it off is a combination of red wine and Comedy Central after he’s in bed. Classy … I know.) Now, if there’s one thing I strive for with my blog it is originality, subject matter autonomy, droll observations, witty self-flagellation, obscure pop culture references, and proof that my Microsoft Word Thesaurus plug-in is functioning (OK that’s six things) but I just can’t resist using Steve’s template to list out my own 10 ways you know you’ve got a toddler on your hands.
For those of you with would-be toddlers in pre-ambulatory, quadrupedal or forearm pulling themselves around the house like Sean Connery’s death scene in The Untouchables stages of forward motion you can use this list as either an early warning system or as social justification for discouraging walking by carrying them everywhere for the rest of their lives. (“Dad, come on, I’m gonna be late for my college entrance exams.” “I’m too tired Jack, get your mother to carry you.)
It seems like only yesterday that Kathleen was delivering Adam by herself above the toilet in the upstairs bathroom while I did the time-honored Chicken With Its Head Cut Off Dance, very popular at Weddings, Bah Mitzvahs and Regional KFC Holiday Parties; and now if we even look away for a second he’s splashing his hands in the sacred waters of the same toilet (which, for new readers, is actually a the mouth of a traversable wormhole that connects to the Gamma Quadrant on the other side of the Universe.)
Adam has thus become a devout follower of the teachings of Toddlerism and demonstrates his beliefs in the following ways:
1. He’s got a passionate inquisitive drive to understand the world around him. What’s in the bottom of this garbage can underneath these coffee grounds? What would happen if I chew the paper off this annoying thing with buttons that keeps saying Hola? How would the cat react if I lay on top of him then pull out handfuls of fur?
2. By waking up at 2:00 in the morning, grabbing the rails of his crib like the top rope of a wrestling ring and yelling incomprehensible yet intimidating WWE inspired threats until Mommy lifts him from the squared circle while Daddy prepares his late night victuals.
3. By using a method of mobility that goes run, stumble, recover, walk, bang against door jam, stumble, fall, get up, run, trip on toy, fall, get up, walk, stumble, recover, slam forehead into corner of dining room table, fall, cry, get up, etc.
4. Answering the question, “How cute are you?” with a sly grin, upturned hands and a nonchalant shrug of his shoulders that suggests either “I don’t know…” or “For the right price I’ll be as cute as you want me to be.”
5. Is learning to express himself through sound and the rudiments of vocabulary “Daaaa Daaaa Daaaa….” can mean either Dad, Pick me up, I’m tired or I’m gonna be late for my college entrance exams. “Naaaa Naaaa Naaaa Naaaa …” can mean either I’m hungry, I’m walking here, why is there a rubber band holding this cabinet of poisonous cleaning agents shut, or Hey Hey Hey Goodbye. “Maaaa Maaaa Maaaa….” can mean either Mom, why did you put all the cookbooks up where I can’t reach them, I’m hungry or how did I do on my college entrance exams.
6. After Kathleen changes his diaper on the living room floor, ever since he began trying to leap from the changing table like a Hawaiian Cliff Diver, he takes the burritoed dirty Pamper from Kathleen, walks it into the kitchen, opens the cabinet door under the sink and throws it in the garbage.
7. Climbs onto the couch then tries to make the Evel Knievel Snake River Canyon leap to the love seat using the ottoman as a launching pad.
8. Has special needs hair in that the back of his head looks like Gene Wilder’s tub drain while the front looks like angel hair pasta therefore giving the illusion of a Chia Pet caught half-way under a steamroller.
9. Has an unnatural relationship with the vacuum. Well, not so much the vacuum as much as the vacuum’s accessories and extension tubes.
10. Is either playing Seven Minutes in Heaven with a box of Cheerios or the cereal cabinet is actually an otherworldly passageway to Narnia.
So, add these 10 with Baby Daddy’s list and I think we’re well on our way to creating a comprehensive profile to identify when you have a toddler on your hands. Personally, I think I better open another bottle of Merlot. Who would have thought the toddler to have so much energy in him? Out damn’d spot. Out I say!
Anyone else have toddlers on their hands or maybe just a corkscrew?
Follow me to Narnia. Aslan awaits.