Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Red Light, Red Light, Red Light

My latest parenthood epiphany is called "Red light, Green light: My Life in the Passenger Seat of My Toddler's Car".
Friends, I love my children. (And you know it's going to be bad if I feel the need to say that up front). If you've ever experienced a 2 year old - going on 3 year old child up close and personal, away from the safety bars and moat pond, you will know what I'm talking about. For the rest of you, listen here and don't ever say no one told you it would be like this.

My life is a constant game of Red light, Green light. The actions I would like to do or accomplish on any given day are the ones that get Red lighted and the actions said 2.8 year old would like to do are unfailingly Green lighted. A.l.l. d.a.y. Every day. Now that you know the rules, let's see how you do on a test run...

Game score: 0-0. You are peacefully slumbering away in the dead of the night like all functioning and happy people should be when your opponent starts hollering from his bedroom that he would like some milk. A "big, tall milky. Huge like my hands" to be exact. Your sleep - red lighted, so you try to red light his request and return to sleep. Only in my house, this would only be achievable if you either moved out of the country or went instantaneously deaf so as not to hear the screaming, crying bedlam that is coming from his room now. You wearily get up to fetch the master his milk... Score: You - 0, Toddler - 1.

Next up, you struggle to collect a few more moments of sleep until he wakes up for the day when in fact, he wakes up for the day. Signaling you are now waking up, you try to book it to the bathroom before he melts down so as to relieve your already bursting bladder. Red Lighted. His bladder is also bursting and since you just got your crap together enough to potty train him 2 weeks ago, you must put your bladder on hold (getting dangerously close to buying your first box of Depends) and help him back and forth to his potty. Score: You - 0, Toddler - 2.

Don't even get me started about meal time. Score: You - 0, Toddler - 4,278. And you will never need to diet again because to diet you'd have to be able to eat.

Outdoor adventures. You use every piece of creative enterprising you have ever possessed to get him ready to go run some errands with you. You make it out to the sidewalk and instead of following you the 4.5 feet across the street to the dry cleaners, he's halfway to Brooklyn without even a glance in the rearview mirror. What? How does that happen? Dry cleaners, Red lighted. Grant will learn to build his own washing machine before he gets those shirts back... Playground, Green lighted. Score: You - still 0, Toddler - we gave up keeping track because it was depressing the scorekeepers.

Lately, our game has taken a pleasant turn, however. There is no longer a score, there is no winner and loser. Peace reigns for the time being. How, you may ask? Because I f-ing gave up. My ambitions have been taken over by a 2 year old. I now want nothing more than to throw toys and eat hot dogs. But hey! We're not arguing anymore! Success?!