Life Lessons From The Toddler

He sat in the swing at the new park and I pushed him back and forth, back and forth.

“Mommy! Up sky!”

I pushed him higher.

“Mommy, I see pretty trees, and a swide, and birds, and a baby!”

“Yes,” I answered, “this park has a lot of things to look at. I see a sandbox over there.”

“And Mommy? I will tell you some-ing. I see ladies and some mans!”

“Yes, there are ladies and men here and children just like you.”

“Uh-huh Mommy,” he nods in agreement before refocusing on the feel of the swing going back and forth.

“And Mommy? I will tell you some-ing one more time. Mans have penises but ladies do not have penises. But I have a penis! And Daddy has a penis!”

I nod my head. I’m pretty sure this conversation is audible to the penis-less ladies swinging their children beside us.

“And Mommy? You are a lady. But I am a boy. But you are a gul. So you not have a penis. But guls have bottoms. And boys have a penis AND a bottom!”

I nod my head again. The other moms have decided to go play at the sandbox away from the swings. It’s probably a coincidence.

“And Mommy? Mommy, are you listening?”

“Yes sweet boy, I’m listening.”

“But it’s ok, Mommy, if you not have a penis. We can get one at the store for you.”

Pause.

“Oh, I didn’t know that,” I reply as I continue to search for the correct way to respond.

Pause.

“Yes, Mommy,” says my toddler with a defining nod.

“Would you like to get out of the swing now?” I ask.

After pondering my question, he says, “Ummmm no. You can just push me.”

There was silence now as I pushed him higher and higher. We felt the breeze blow and heard birds chirping. Sounds of children’s laughter drifted up into the air and I felt a sense of calm and relaxation.

“And Mommy? You ‘member I peed in the ice cream? And I peed in the potty? And I peed in the floor? You ‘member Mommy?”

“Yes, I do remember that. You pee in a lot of places.”

“Yes Mommy.”

“And Mommy, you ‘member that one day I was a baby?”

“Yes, you were a baby but now you are a big boy.”

“Yes, that’s right! And Mommy…”

“Look! Your friend is here! Would you like to get out of the swing and play?”

“Oh yes Mommy yes yes!”

As I help him get down from the swing and watch him run off, he turns to me as says, “Mommy, I am going away. You stay right here, Mommy.”

And so began our morning at the park. Luckily, this exchange was followed by a visit with a Mommy friend and coffee. Who doesn’t love starting their day with a play date, gorgeous weather, and a conversation about penises?

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Don’t Eat the Ice Cream

It was late at night (read: 7:30 pm) and everyone was exhausted from the day’s events. The husband had chosen to unwind by watching some show on TV that the toddler that I would never watch, so he sat alone in the living room. I decided that I would catch up on a little blogging and twitter before our impending 8:00 pm bedtime deadline. The toddler was content beside me in the computer room, playing with his train table. Thomas was just descending down the bridge section of the track for the 897,039th time when the toddler decided that he needed ice cream.

“I can have ice cream Mommy?” he asked earnestly on his way to the kitchen. Unfortunately, I had told him he could have ice cream earlier in the day, but the day became busy and the ice cream was never eaten. While I was debating on whether to agree to the ice cream because I want to keep my promises to him, or to say no to the ice cream because it was right before bed time, my son took matters into his own hands. Before I realized the events that were unfolding, my son showed right back up in the computer room with the entire container of ice cream straight from the freezer and two spoons. “Here’s ice cream Mommy!” he exclaimed as he opened the lid, and then stood up. As I was getting out of my chair and trying to compose a thought similar to “thank you”, HE PEED IN THE ICE CREAM.

We consider him fully potty trained, he has free access to the potty, and usually doesn’t need prompting to go. He had not mentioned anything to the effect of “I need to go to the bathroom,” so who knew that a freshly opened ice cream container would make a toddler’s mind think, “I need to pee in that.”

My reaction must have been memorable, because I have never seen my husband jump off the couch faster, coming to save me from the pee-soaked ice cream.

“What happened?” he asked.

“He peed in the ice cream!!!” I exclaimed, still in a bit of shock from what I just witnessed.

“Why did I pee in the ice cream, Daddy?’ asked our son, watching as I gathered the pee filled ice cream container, the two spoons, and used a towel to wipe the excess that got on the floor.

Leaving the husband to deal with the age-old question “Why did I pee in the ice cream,” I went to the kitchen to wash the spoons and the towels and dispose of the ice-cream-container-turned-toilet.

Which led to a melt down. “Why did Mommy throw away my ice cream???? I want eat ice cream!!!”

Doing our best to calm our child and explain the values of eating food not covered in pee, the hubs and I finally managed to get him upstairs, just in time for that 8:00 bedtime. After brushed teeth, pajamas and stories our little guy finally drifted off to sleep and all was well in our world.

The first thing my toddler said to me when he woke up this morning? “Mommy, ‘member when I peed in the ice cream? That’s funny.”

Yes, dear. It’s pretty funny.