Transmissions From Toddler-Town: B-Dub Birthday Number Two

Here’s what happens:

You have this baby.

This baby is boring.

I mean, the baby’s sweet and all. Chubby-cheeked and wrinkle-butted. But after a while you figure out the baby’s only got so many tricks in his bag: giggle, fart, coo, burble, squirm, fill diaper, start over again. You can connect with the baby on a kind of primal-spiritual level, like, you hold the baby and you stare into his eyes and contained there in those big blue orbs are the secrets of the universe. (The baby, of course, is just admiring your nose hairs or eyeglasses or thinking about boobs. Secrets of the universe be damned.) But all told, the connection you feel with the infant isn’t particularly deep.

It’s strong! It’s very strong. But it exists only on that primitive level.

Babies aren’t even dogs. Dogs have that soulful look. They know what’s up. Sure, they crap on the couch or eat your trash, but they know they did something. An infant is like a human-shaped goldfish. Things happen and the baby’s like, “Nope, forgot already. Who are you?”

But then a weird thing starts to happen.

The baby nature begins to peel and fall away on the coming wind. And what emerges from this infant-shaped chrysalis is the weird, needy, hilarious individual known as The Toddler. This creature has a personality. He is different from other such creatures of his kind. He likes things and dislikes other things. He has preferences. And wants. And irritations.

And he starts to talk.

And he starts to defy.

And he starts to play pretend.

He sings and makes up words and dances around and runs full speed into things.

The infant becomes the toddler.

The toddler is a person.

And our toddler is rapidly becoming a little boy because today, B-Dub turns two years old.

Little B-Dub is a comedian.

He likes to do silly things and say silly things not merely because of their delightful silliness but also because he’s watching you like a hawk to gauge your reaction. He’ll fidget out of his pants and go “OHHHHHH” as if to say, dude, I just totally slipped out of your pesky pants trap. He’ll pretend that his truck is eating food and he’ll watch you with a puckish look to see what you say about it. He’ll call us by funny new names — “Moppy Boppy” for my wife (or “Moppy Poppo”), and “Daddy Tot-tee” for me — just so we can correct him and he can cackle.

He’s got empathy. If he hurts you or sees you get hurt, he’ll rush over to give a hug. If you tell him you’re sad — like, say, he decides to fight reading a book one night — he’ll come around and try to fix it. Then he’ll say, “Daddy happy!” and all is right with the world.

I don’t want to suggest that it’s all perfect.

He’s a sweetheart. And hilarious. And smart as a whip.

But toddlers, man. Toddlers. Some days I wonder if we’ll get PTSD. It’s like living with a hand grenade. One minute it’s all laughter and trucks and Curious George and next minute it’s like someone opened the door and invited a tornado in for tea. A rage tornado. Sometimes it’s rage that has a clear and present source: he wants a popsicle but it’s lunchtime so we say, yeah, no, we don’t eat popsicles for lunch, good try, A for effort. You tell him “no” and you might get him to comply or you might see him melt down as if all the bones in his body turned to beanbags, as if all he can do is pile up a sack of of spilled potatoes. But at least that has a cause.

Wants popsicle. No popsicle. Rage. Easy equation.

What happens sometimes though is that the rage has no known source of agitation. It’ll just be like — whoosh, the tides shift and a squall crashes through your seawall. The shriek, the tears, the incoherent inchoate frustration! You know what it is?

I’ll tell you what it is.

SATAN, THY NAME IS TWO-YEAR MOLARS.

Two-year-goddamn-molars.

I thought we were done with teething! I was like, “Great, whatever, he’s got all his teeth, he can chew his food better than most old people.” You feel like you won. But then it’s MORE TEETH. Big mamma-jammas, too, poking up through his gums. And it hurts. He’ll tell you it hurts. Parts of his jaw are breaking away and becoming teeth. It’s like something out of a horror movie.

So, you couple that with the fact he’s basically a turbulent broth of intellectual, physical and emotional development and you have there a recipe for what amounts to a Godzilla-attitude crammed in a very tiny person-shaped creature.

Good times.

When you’re a baby, your entire perception is that the universe exists for you and you are cradled at its starry center. All the people around you have manifested to serve you. You’re like a chubby little-big God-Baby. A divinely cherubic Jabba the Hutt.

At this point, your whole life is solipsistic.

But then, as Toddler Spirit begins to manifest, that solipsism is forced to the margins and you start to realize what must be a rather shocking reality: you are not the center of a universe created just for you. Imagine that. Imagine being God and then someone saying, “No, that was just a delusion cast unto you by a brain still forming itself inside your doughy little head.”

Oh, shit.

So, B-Dub the Toddler is grappling with that, I think. And he acts out in ways that suggest he’s still trying to hold onto some measure of his flagging Divine Power. The kid’s like a Little Napoleon. He does this thing where he assigns one parent to a task — say, the washing of sticky hands or the ascendance of God-Baby up a flight of stairs — and you know who hath been chosen because he jolly well fucking tells you who hath been chosen.

“Mommy,” he’ll say after dinner, waving his food-crusted hands about. “Hands dirty.”

Go ahead, ask him: “Can Daddy wash your hands?”

“Nope.” (He prefers “yup” and “yeah-yeah” and “nope” to the more traditional yes and no.)

Sure, you can ask him again: “Can Daddy please wash your hands?”

No.” And now you hear the irritation in his voice.

Subtext: HOW DARE YOU DEFY ME, PUNY KERNEL OF HUMAN CORN.

And if you ask him again — or if you just say, yeah, fuck it, I’m going to wash your hands — you have invited a certifiable shit-fit. A nuclear toddler meltdown. A RAGE-DIAPER.

You have defied the God-Baby.

And now the God-Baby is mad.

See, but that’s the weird thing. You push it with your kids, right? You do this in part out of frustration and stubbornness (“You don’t tell me who washes your hands, I pay the mortgage around here and I can wash the hands of any sonofabitch who comes through that front door”). But you also sometimes capitulate instead for entirely different reasons — maybe you think, “Me washing his hands is really not the hill I want to defend right now,” or you think, “I really don’t want to make him cry. I want him to be happy, not sad.”

And it’s that last part that really trips you up as a parent.

Because your knee-jerk reaction at any given moment is to protect, protect, protect. To help them. To restrict from them all the sadness-making things that may happen to them. You might think, “Life is short and hard and so what’s the big deal if I let him eat a popsicle a half-hour before dinner?” (B-Dub would shank a dude for a popsicle, especially while teething.)

But that’s bad news, that attitude. Because whatever life is or isn’t, it’s filled with an endless array of potentially unpleasant moments — and there comes a point when you realize your job as a parent is less about making your children instantaneously happy and more about preparing them to deal with the unpleasant moments life will fling at their heads. You need to teach them ways to be happy in the midst of potential unhappiness, to be able to weather the slings and arrows of dissatisfaction. You want to give in and buy them every toy they see, but then you have to realize that not only is it your job to help them handle disappointment but sometimes it’s your job to actually foster that very disappointment. It’s like “disappointment training.”

Which is really very cruel.

But also really very necessary.

So you say no to things. You deny them things.

And you do so even when you want to do otherwise.

FINE YES HE SAID HIS FIRST CURSE WORD, OKAY.

He was in his seat eating.

I opened the door for some reason and our new puppy — the Red Dog named “Loa” — shot out like a bolt of lightning and so I went out to get her back in and whilst out there I uttered the — totally appropriate! — curse word of, “Oh, you bitch.”

I’m not proud, but there it is.

So.

The door was mostly closed behind me.

I didn’t yell it. I said it. Spoke it in my normal volume.

But B-Dub, he has some kind of SORCERER EARS.

Because he says to my wife:

“Bitch!”

And then you’re left with a struggle as to what to do. Laugh? Cry? Yell? We went with the: Just ignore it and hope we give him no satisfaction. It seems to have worked because he never said it again. Still: we’ve let slip a few half-cusses — “dick,” or “douche” — and sure enough, he plucks those words out of the middles of sentences like they’re delicious candies and immediately begins trying to say them and savor them.

He truly is my son.

He says lots of nice things, though, too.

He says please when he wants something.

He says thank you when you give him something.

He says thank you when he gives you something, too.

He’s just letting you know you owe him some gratitude, damnit.

It’s surprising what he’ll eat. He’ll eat kale. He’ll eat mushrooms. He’ll eat peas. Things that when I was a kid you couldn’t get into my mouth. My mother would try to sneak green peas in my food and I’d be like a dog sorting out a pill — I’d eat the rest and then ptoo. Bye-bye, pea.

Thankfully, we also haven’t had many instances of him eating things he shouldn’t. When I was a tot I choked on a bottle nipple. I choked on a penny. I almost died drinking well water where a possum had died (oops), though that wasn’t really my fault (thanks Mom & Dad for the dead possum water, which is like Vitamin Water except full of infant-killing bacteria).

Knock on digital wood, but B-Dub’s been healthy as a horse for the last two years.

Maybe it was the breastfeeding? Or the kale? Or the gamma rays we subject him to so he can become The Incredible Hulkbaby whenever someone won’t give him a popsicle?

HULKBABY SMASH

BUT FIRST HULKBABY POOP

THEN POPSICLE

THEN SMASH

We’ve had two years of miserable sleep. This kid has never slept well. Up every couple hours. Restless. Irritable at night. Like he always wants to be doing something, and sleep ain’t it. People told us all kinds of shit to fix it. Here’s the danger of parenting advice, by the way — parenting advice is geared toward One Specific Child, and as it turns out, all children are not built off the same template. We had everyone giving us advice on how to fix the sleep problems — attachment parenting, cry it out, give him a mini-bar bottle of whiskey, stick him on a northbound tractor trailer, let him read some Dostoevsky. We tried it all and all of it failed.

Eventually our doctor was like, “You know how some adults don’t sleep well? Some babies are like that.” She has two kids herself and one of them worked well with cry-it-out and so for a while she assumed that was the go-to advice but then it totally failed with her other child.

So, turns out, every kid is different. WHODATHUNK.

Just the same –

Suddenly, B-Dub is sleeping.

Two years later and he can finally sleep through the night. I can be up and writing in the morning before he wakes up which is some kind of divine intervention. It’s also horrifying at first because you’re like IS HE DEAD DID HE ESCAPE IS HE IN THE VENTILATION SYSTEM LIKE JOHN MCCLANE FROM DIE HARD WHY ISN’T HE AWAKE YET OH GOD OH GOD

But then you get over it and enjoy the relative peace. Short as it is.

He loves trucks. He loves trucks so much. I’m pretty sure he might marry a truck someday.

He loves every kind of truck out there.

Even trucks I would normally consider to be “lesser” trucks — like, an excavator is kinda bad-ass. Some tractor trailers are pretty bad-ass. But he’ll get excited over a garbage truck. Shit, he loves garbage trucks. Pick-up trucks, too. ALL TRUCKS EVERYWHERE.

I tried indoctrinating him early into other interests. Like, “Hey, dinosaur!” No, fuck that dinosaur. “Dude, robots!” I got a little bit of traction with the robots but it’s fleeting. “Here’s a cutesy-wootsy pre-school version of Batman!” No, Batman can eat a bag of bat-dicks. Stupid Batman. We’ve had some luck pushing other vehicle-types on him — he’s definitely into trains now and has some love of planes and boats, too. It’s a game of inches.

But at the end of the day, give him a truck and he’s happy.

Which is why we have approximately 4,000 trucks.

All of them sharp.

The bottom of my feet have truck-shaped calluses.

I walk through my kitchen like a lizard dancing across a hot desert.

The intellectual leaps-and-bounds occur daily, now. He’ll spit new words at you — words you never actively taught him. Like, for a while in terms of language development it’s you and him together in a concerted effort to pick up new words. You’re going, “Can you say antidisestablishmentarianism?” And he’s like “dibblesnot” and you’re like, “Fine, good enough, let’s move on.” He gets a cookie and everybody’s happy.

But eventually he just starts… repeating. Or saying words you don’t even remember telling him.

Which is so strange. You get the sense that someone is coming into his room at night and teaching him words. (Maybe that’s why he didn’t sleep for all those months.) It also reveals itself not just in parroting words but in the comprehension of those words. Like at one point he — of his own free will — picked a dandelion and went and gave it to my wife. And she was either genuinely thrilled or put on a really good show about it and then he runs back to me and is like, “Mommy, yellow, happy.” And this was a little while back when he hadn’t been saying three-word sentences — and here he put together a statement that wasn’t just an objective statement but is actually somewhat abstract and subjective. Happiness was not a thing we taught him about. Not even the word “happy.” And there it was. He made Mommy happy by giving her a yellow flower. And he recognized it and could talk about it.

The last two months have been a springboard of brain development.

He can count stuff.

He knows his ABCs — well, not the ABC song itself because it blew my mind one day to realize that the actual order of the alphabet is largely meaningless and what’s meaningful is that he can identify individual letters and know their sounds. Words don’t give a shit that C comes after B comes after A — words just care that you know what each letter does on its own and in relation to the letters next to it in that given word. So, we’ve concentrated less on the rote memorization of ABC and more in a, “I’ve emptied this bag of letters let us identify them together or you will be eaten by this Kodiak bear I’ve invited to our learning session.”

Every parent thinks their kid is a genius, I know, I know.

BUT MINE IS HE’LL RULE YOU ALL SOMEDAY FEAR HIM FEAR THE DIAPER

So, now he’s two.

I don’t know what happened.

I don’t know what happens next.

But that’s really part of the fun, isn’t it?

He’s fun. And sweet. And strange. And occasionally a rampaging monster.

Happy birthday, little person. We love you very much.

 

50 comments

  • The order of the letters is still very important in later for filing papers, using libraries, and grumping about how no-one learns the alphabet any more; but then you knew this.

  • That! You put into words the chaos of toddlerdom perfectly. We had cars & trains in our house. He at one point wanted to be a train-driving proffesional soccer player, who was a weekend stunt bmx’er while designing & flying aircraft in his spare time. He’s since decided he’d much rather be a scientist & blow shit up.
    My daughter on the other hand, wants nothing more than to be a girl. Makeup, hair & clothes. She’s about to turn 7 and already owns more bags than I do.

    Toddlerhood is turbulant, full of so many amazing things. I loved watching my two figure out their place in our family.
    The best bit about toddlers is their total & unashamed honesty. They don’t mince their words, they say what they mean in the simplest way they know how. – my daughter for example once stood up, pointed at a man and declared loudly that men have boy babies because he was *clearly* pregnant. My son once confused a man with a woman because he had moobs and we all know men don’t have breasts. This man did and therefore he wasn’t a man. On neither occasion did they consider that this wasn’t acceptable social behaviour, they made an observation and made it reasonably calmly while looking & feeling mighty proud of themselves.

    Good luck on the next step of parenthood, toddlerhood gives way to childhood and with it, a whole new set of chaos to endure, enjoy and adjust to!!

  • Love this article. I have an 8 year old and a 10 year old and yes, they truly are individuals.We’ve had the tantrums, the repeating bad words (my son as a toddler would accidentally alight on ‘bugger’ then burst into tears when he realised what he said. No need to tell him off) and the attitude (still have that one). Toddlers are magical creatures. You see them learn and grow, and destroy (usually my things) and build. Sometimes you want to laugh when you really know you shouldn’t, and sometimes their tears reduce you to tears too. Personally, I wouldn’t have it any other way. Hope your wee one has a wonderful birthday and doesn’t destroy too much of the house celebrating.

  • My son was obsessed with anything that had wheels from 12 months until around age 6, so I get the truck thing. One of his first words was “koenigsegg”. He’s now 9 and his horizons have expanded quite a bit. Stepping on trucks…wait until the Lego comes out. Stepping on one of those fuckers is akin to birthing a brontosaurus. Sideways. Through your nostril.

  • Happy birthday, young man.

    Excellent reflections, father-man.

    And, erm, I don’t think you get to the “post” bit, ‘cuz the boy will never be so old that he doesn’t need you for something. But the stress isn’t one big thing, its years of different little things. Thankfully the happy is also there, and in the end, most parents are ruled sane after all.

  • Awh. Happy birthday little guy.
    I love that we get to hear a bit from your other-than-writing life too. Nice words, Chuck. I want one of those beard hats.

  • This post is going to be special to your little one when he is older. I loved reading your challenges. Reminded me of the ones I faced with my little ones. Yesterday I watched one of my sons walk across the stage at RIT to get his diploma for physics – he was my “terrible two” child who brought lots of frustration and lots of laughter – I’m so proud of him. I’m glad that you’re so in love with your son, that will do more to foster his success later in life than any other thing you can do. He is very blessed to have you as father.

  • Beautiful. You’ve made me miss my grown-up kids being babies and toddlers.

    I don’t have any advice for B-Dub’s sleep problem and don’t know how you’re handling your lack of sleep but if you could make sure that your wife is getting at least two full uninterrupted nights a week your life will be better for it. You too, you need sleep.

    Signed, Sleepless Mother for Five Years (attachment parenting, family bed)

    Happy Birthday B-Dub!

  • Happy Birthday to the Wendig offspring! And gold-stars to the parents!

    And you do survive. Having children scars you, but in the most beautiful way. My son is 19 now but I remember when he was a toddler. And I cringe. And then, my heart explodes with love and my eyes tear up. Good times.

    And the word thing! Yes! I kept track of every single new word the kid said. I remember typing them up on my work computer, saving that precious list to a disk (how old am I?) and printing it out to take to the pediatrician.

    She read the list…there were over 1000. She hands it back (with that look that says ‘yeah, first time parent’ uh-huh….) and said that kids his age probably know 300 words, use maybe 100. She did eventually concede that since I was a single parent, I probably talked more to my kid than a two-parent household and so he maybe knew more words than the average Joe.

    Or, maybe he’s just really freaking intelligent!

    Anyway….most of us do survive our children; you will too.

  • Truth! But, he’ll probably love dinosaurs by his next birthday, so don’t give up hope. I have 4 boys. Their “interest” progression went something like this: ball, car, truck, train, dinosaur, fish, bugs, bigger animals.

    Many happy returns on your little guy’s big day. Hope he doesn’t hulk smash the cake.

  • I got quite a kick out of this post as I have two boys myself and so much of your observations rang true with me.

    BTW, great pictures. Did you take those yourself? You may have a hidden talent as a portrait photographer.

  • Giant pointy rocks ripping through tender pink baby gums. No booze or drugs for comfort.

    For the love of all that is decent and holy. Save the tough love for later and give him the popsicle.

  • “I don’t know what happens next.”

    He turns three. And then he’ll be tormenting your dog, reaching the *really* valuable stuff and eyeing your car.

  • I love this post, because it feels like you’re talking about my life. My little guy, Kirk (yes, named after the Captain), is going to be two in about a month. Everything you say applies to him. Today, I put him in the car and he said, “I want to go on CITY BUS!!!” As with your child, trucks rule, trains a close second, buses a close third, and Daddy’s old jalopy not making the list. I think he has a soccer gene, because when I throw balls at him and say, “Catch!” he fakes the catching pose, and then, at the last minute, tries to kick the ball I’ve thrown to him, regardless of it being at chest height. A Captain America cosplayer frightened him at a recent con (the kid’s fault, not Cap’s) and ever since then, he screams “Captain America, Kirk cry!” at random moments. It’s a blast, I have nothing more to say, I think you’ve pretty much nailed the Daddying business here.

  • Grats Really, i mean it. Its a special time for you, your wife and the wee one. It gets a lot better, but before it does, it gets worse, a lot worse – like comparing the destructive potential of an Egyptian chariot to a M1-A1 Abrahams Tank – worse. Yeah the two year old is sweet, but as you’ve so eloquently described there is already the virus of evil lurking behind the baby blues, or browns. I just want to warn you by the time they are four, they’ll be like eight times faster, something like fifteeen times stronger and at least as twice as smart. From my experience, this physical/mental expansion ratio continues pretty much unabated into the future. My oldest is 17, he’s just slightly smarter than his 14 year old brother, both of them together have the destructive capacity of, i don’t know, Serbia?, and the intellectual/judgement/EQ/maturity level at least three times that which they had when they were two. So here’s to child development. Its a wonder we have survived as a species. Don’t get me started on the girls, my eight year old daughter is so much smarter than the rest of our familiy, my boys work for her and my wife and I have been relegated to providing food and shelter as she plots out world domination. You don’t truly know your place until a third grader bat’s her beutiful green eyes at you while smiling a smile that could melt Greenland and calmly lets you know that she has the phone number for Child Services – “I’m just sayin, Dad.”

  • Wait until you see what happens to his brain from age 2 to 2-1/2. It is the most amazing, wonderful, awe-inspiring thing. He’ll start to get complexity, language, sequence, and so many more things that I don’t remember in detail since my kids are 21 yrs and 16 yrs respectively. I do remember that it blew my mind at the time. Thanks for sharing. :)

  • I’ve been awaiting another of these fatherly reflection posts. I read plenty of parenthood stuff by women and love hearing it from a man’s POV. I laughed out loud at human-shaped goldfish as I have a nearly 4 month old who is climbing out of that stage. Also found the observation regarding sleep and temperment differences wise – these little humans really are individuals! But it horrifies me to think I have two years of crap sleep ahead of me! My little guy has been sleeping well at night- as long as he’s laying against me- but not napping particularly well. I very much enjoy these entries and your writing talents are on full dsiplay here. Best WIshes.

  • And you’re right on with preparing kids for frustrations in life. I think all the caving-in/ softness I’ve shown my eldest daughter ( who is nearly 7) is beginning to show itself lately in her attititude. Good for you for figuring that bit out so early. Happy Birthday, little guy. And I agree, you’ve got some mad photos skills to boot.

  • You really want to know what happens next? I discovered that the Terrible 2s are a myth. Age two and three are just the mild warm-up calisthenics for the Fucking 4s! Actually, no one can tell you what happens next because every kid’s “next” is as different as their sleep patterns. Just hold on tight and enjoy the ride.

    • 4′s are definately the worst aren’t they. My wonderful loving affection empathetic amazing daughter woke up on her 4th birthday possessed by a demon-zombie-ghoul-life sucking vampire and we still haven’t got the nice one back yet (she’s nearly 12 now). So wish we could have cancelled her birthday and kept her 3. Hubby said we couldn’t though. Or she’d be in the house forever.

      Best advice I was ever given about childrearing is by the time they turn 5 they have learnt 85% of the words they are ever going to know. That all the rest is subject specific language. Keep encouraging the words. The arguments with them are so much more fun and entertaining if they have a large enough vocab, not just I Hate You.

  • May 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM // Reply

    What a great post! That really took me back. . . mine are teens now, but parenting continues to be a total mystery and a total crap-shoot. Your line about PTSD made me spew coffee on the screen (not really, but only because I finished my coffee hours ago, because I had to go to the high school at 7:15 this morning. . .never mind!). At our house, after trucks and trains came dinosaurs and volcanoes, at least for the older one. The other was stuck with whatever his brother obsessed about.

  • Oh yes, mine also had those kind of nights, but now he sleeps around 11 hours (he is 2 years – 3 months old).

  • God I loved this post so much–it just brought it all back…and even though every child is its own being there are similarities!

    I remember with our youngest when our son was 5 and we had tucked him in for the night and my husband looked at me and said, “He didn’t cry today.” and it wasn’t like he was some kind of jag-crying youngster, but you know the day to day things that piss off kids make them cry. But this glorious day there had been no tears. No Tears after 5 years! I think we high-fived each other and drank wine.

  • Happy Birthday, B-Dub. And congrats on the sleeping thing. No sleeping is the absolute worst!

    Also, on the alphabet thing, my daughter went to a Montessori pre-school and they teach them the name of the capital letters and the sound of the lower-case letters. A = Ay, B= Bee, C = See, a = ah, b = buh, c = kuh. Then they start blending the sounds together until the kid can sound out their own words in lower case. By kindergarten, they’ve learned to combine the two, but they have most kids sounding out words/reading by 4. Something to think about.

  • Best post. True facts abounding. I think of an older post of yours about all the possible wrong things you can do while parenting, and how much I’ve mellowed out since I first spawned my own little dude. Also, seriously, what is the fascination with trucks?!

  • Happy Birthday, B-Dub! You’re a cool kid dude, and your parents seem to be pretty decent too.

    Chuck, thanks for this, it got my day off to a good start, loved reading it. I remember fondly going through the same sorts of things with my three even though they’re now scattered around the planet (literally) with their own evil plans of world domination. B-Dub’s fondness for trucks rings especially true – the first time my son wandered off and panicked us (he was 5) we found him a few blocks away following the trash truck on its rounds, happy as a clam, like a duckling following his mother.

    Enjoy all of the upcoming adventures!

  • Happy birthday B-Dub! What a wonderful post. Our 22-month-old has also just begun to sleep through the night, and we can’t be sure anything we did had anything to do with it – it’s like something just goes ‘click’ in their brains and ta da, they can sleep.

    Our little guy has only been speaking for a few months, and regularly delights us with ‘ank-goo’ (‘thank you’), but lately he has taken to solemnly deploying it immediately after snatching a toy from another child..!

  • Love your post!! I have two boys – 5 and 6. Completely different children! Only one truck-lover. The other one is into superheroes and the aggressive posturing that goes along with dressing up as such. Go figure! What comes next? I would say it’s continually mind-blowing. My kids ran a 5k race with me yesterday, and that impresses the hell out of me. It’s this constant feeling that they’re like me but they don’t do it exactly like me but it’s ok because they’re still cool. Enjoy! :-)

  • I love these posts, Chuck, because it reminds me of what it was like. Both the adorableness and the gladness in some ways that it is over! And also, because #bdub is adorable and the girl of whom he reminds me loves bdub pictures!

  • I’ve got one of those! Currently trying to read through my galleys while Kamikaze Toddler is launching random attacks. I wouldnt have it any other way.

  • Toddlers, man, TODDLERS. They’re like living with a tiny bi-polar dictator. Parenting is awesome fun, isn’t it? I have three children, 10 months, 4 years and 6.5 years (and don’t forget that half, dammit). It’s like a perpetual tornado of questions and learning and awesome. I like them.

    Glad B-dub is sleeping for you. That’s awesome. All of mine have been sleepless and the only thing that fixed it was age. Not that they sleep better now – they just don’t scream for me so much. Except the baby. She’s all about Mummy and the boobs.

  • Awww… Happy birthday (a day late) Little Man! What a cutie. I really loved that age.

    We’re in the midst of the (last ever) 4 year old years, where they morph out of the toddler phase and turn into little kids. It’s similar, but seemingly without as much as the Hulk rage. Apparently that comes back slightly changed, as the too cool for school attitude of a 10 year old.

  • I’m going to tell you what no one told me: there exists something called 6 year molars. Even in my ignorance I’d have assumed that a SIX year old would verbalize, “hey my mouth hurts for some strange reason” before turning into a whining puddle of mess.

    Nope.

    It becomes easier when you can reason with them a bit, though they hit that milestone at the same moment their manipulation skills become of the cult-leader-variety.

    Happy Birthday to the B-dub!

  • I enjoyed that a lot, Chuck. My little girl is now Two-and-a-quarter, so I can relate to this article. I did not ever expect to be quite so smitten as I am with my daughter. Watching her do new things ever day makes my heart melt. Yesterday she randomly started singing “Frere Jacques”, which is amazing in itself since I didn’t teach it to her, but then she started adding in her own words and personalizing the song. It blew my mind.

    As well, she can use my iPad better than I can. I hate to break this to you, Chuck, but she is the most brilliant two-year-old on the planet. I have already begun plans for her supervillian lair, complete with swings, two slides and monkey-bars of evil.

  • Awesome post. Happy birthday to your little would-be-all-powerful-deity. :) My kidlet turned 2 in February, and it is a ride. Not easy, but definitely interesting. Have a good one. I hear we’re supposed to cherish these days (yep, even the meltdown scream-all-the-way-home ones).

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