My kids can go from adorable and well-behaved to faking an injury in the speed of being told no. Injuries have always been spotlight grabbers and kids are smart. We go through band aids like paper towels because let’s be honest, band aids are just princess stickers that come with sympathy and attention. Could there be anything better to have for a toddler. So yeah, I recognize that when I hear, “I NEED A BAND AID” it rarely is warranted and often the location of said boo-boo can mysteriously relocate in the time it takes to get the wrapper off of the
sticker band-aid. That’s because keeping tabs on the locale of imaginary injuries can be a tough job.
There is a real benefit to those little bumps and bruises though, both real and imaginary ones. It gives me a chance to kiss something and make it better. Even though my lips have no magical healing abilities, as long as I am dad and they are little, kisses get to be better than medicine because they make everything feel better. There is definitely some magic in that. When we grow up tears usually have so much stress fueling them that kisses and hugs seem to lose their luster. I try to remember how lucky I am to be able to provide the kind of comfort that a parent gives their child and though some level of that will always remain, this is the time that it is really special. For example, go find an adult that is crying and start to tickle them and see what happens. One of the greatest things about being a parent is being able to make everything better in their eyes even on days that you can’t seem to get anything right in yours. Seeing a tiny little smile begin to blossom out of a face puddle of tears is totally sweet.
There Will Be Tears
Speaking of face puddles, toddlers are crazy good at crying. In their defense, if I was just beginning to learn and understand that I was a part of a whole big world instead of the whole big world being a part of me I may get a bit verklempt as well. I’m not suggesting that our little one isn’t still the boss of us in a lot of ways but she is starting to figure out that the whole baby thing where the world and everyone in it revolved around her was only temporary. That is probably a tough pill to swallow and for the most part she is handling that kind of life changing realization rather gracefully but every now and then the reality slaps her cold in the face and she isn’t in the mood to deal with it.
She doesn’t know how to do a ton of stuff yet but for as far back as she can remember tears got results. Granted back then she was crying because she needed a clean diaper and now the tears may be because butterflies won’t talk to her or her mean parents won’t let her mix Skittles with Cheerios and milk for breakfast. When she was a baby the only reasons her cries weren’t tended to immediately was If they went unheard. Well, Captain Lung Capacity has no struggle with upping the volume and if that doesn’t work, then the real exasperation begins to set in. I’ve even had her suddenly stop mid sob to look up at me and say, “DADDY, I’M CRYING!” Like anyone in our house or on our street didn’t hear her. There should be a game show where parents of toddlers have to guess if the cries of a 2-year-old are the result of an appendage stuck in a piece of running farm machinery or if they got an orange Popsicle when they wanted a red one.
Toddler-hood is the gateway into a brave new world and I need to remind myself that it isn’t all roses and sunshine for them either. I should also keep in mind that If I am going to call them a jerk under my breath I had better make sure it is way under my breath because the lady at the grocery store doesn’t understand but is happy to offer her parenting critique. Like apparently suggesting that your kid can use the tears streaming down her face to wash down the two more bites of carrots (that basically make up 79% of her entire lunch) you are begging her to eat is not good form.
I am lucky that these times are less and less frequent and love them no matter what causes the crying but when it is because they aren’t allowed to paint the TV, it is totally weak.