I remember a year ago you were just a baby. You were crawling, taking first steps and saying a few words. You weren't a little potato baby anymore. You were growing to be more independent. How proud and anxious I was to have you become your own individual. To be able to feed yourself, dress yourself, even no longer use diapers. I was prepared for you to become a toddler. I was naive.
Like a werewolf on a full moon night, I began to see how you were creeping into the creature you have now become: a toddler.
As you're second birthday approaches, more distant is the innocent little girl I once knew. No longer do you wish to be held, kissed and pampered. Now you are independent. Like a song by Whitney Huston mixed with Destiny's Child, you believe you are a strong, independent woman. A very tiny independent woman. You don't want to be held. You push me away if I kiss you. The moment I try to hold your hand, you behave as though I am poring acid on you. I look forward to the days you are sick or injured. Even if I am holding buckets of vomit and blood, I know that's when you will finally want to snuggle with your mama again.
I remembered how you used to enjoy simple songs such as "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star," and "The Itsy, Bitsy Spider." Now you demand that I magically become Idina Menzel and belt "Let it go," and as I sing this song you must wear your Elsa dress that very moment. It doesn't matter if it's being washed from weeks of use; the one time it's not available, you must have it and it must be now. Again, the flood of tears pour out of your tiny toddler eyes.
I remember holding your hand when we would walk into a store and you would wobble and walk with me, enjoying being at mommy's side. I was your anchor and support. Now I am your heavy chain. The moment we walk into Target, you immediately become The Flash and bolt to wherever you set your heart. I, of course, am trying desperately to catch up so that I can pin you down to a cart and begin our errands. Suddenly the Flash transforms into the Hulk.
I use to think diapers were a hassle and couldn't wait to have room in my garbage can at the end of the day. Now I realize I am at the mercy of another beast. If I don't send you to the potty in time, I will surly have to mop up what you leave me.
Of course, the only time you will tell me that you have to go, is if you want out of your chair or stroller. I rush you into the restroom only to find you have played me and suddenly can't go. You sneaky child. When you cry wolf again, I ignore you, so you leave me a puddle as my reward. I never win at potty roulette.
I remember when the worst you could do was stick your fingers near a socket. It was a simple fix to cover the outlet and move on. Now you have shown me a new terror. You have mastered the ability to climb, open and jump into what ever you please. A simple plastic cover will not protect you. You know exactly how to maneuver a piece of furniture to where the cookies are -- on the highest shelf surrounded by glass and irreplaceable items -- and you especially know when to do this. Every time the phone rings, I am looking for duct tape.
I remember when you were younger, if you didn't like eating something, you would spit out the food and fuss. Now I am at an opera where the leading soprano is played by you; singing of your sorrows of how I made you eat cheese, even though you eat it everyday and asked for the offending cheese two minuets ago. Dinner time is no longer family time. Your father and I put on our warpaint and prepare for battle. A battle where we cannot win. Parents of toddlers never win. They survive.
I love you. I really do. Even with your tangled hair (that you refuse to let me brush), your smelly Anna gown and your fits of rage, I love you. I know this too shall pass and one day you'll be driving. That terrifies me more than the terrible twos. Until then, I love you, toddler and all.