Sometimes I think my almost-3-year-old is in charge of me, versus the other way around. Today were in the parking lot at daycare, after loading ourselves and all our Stuff up. I climbed into the driver’s seat, started the ignition, put on my snazzy new sunglasses and buckled up. As I pulled into reverse, I hear Punkernoodle One from the backseat, in a semi-delighted, semi-outraged tone: “Mommy! YOU FORGOT TO BUCKLE ME UP.” Holy *&@#. I did forget to buckle her in. What am I thinking? Long day. I get out, buckle her purple-flowered Britax in all its complicated glory, and tell her she did a great job reminding me. Silly Mommy, I say, mocking myself with an exaggerated eye roll.
Then this, on the ride home: “I want a snack.” (Nothing new here). “Do you have any fruit leather?” Nope, I say, no fruit leather, and besides that’s not a healthy snack so close to supper. I tell her I have an apple in my lunchbox. No, she says. Are you sure, I ask. A pause. “Ok, eat the outside for me, then I eat inside.”
Excuse me? Are you telling me I am to basically peel this apple with my own teeth and eat the refuse so you can then eat it sans skin? Of course I start gobbling away. Then I pass it back. She munches happily for a few minutes. Then, barking over my NPR broadcast: “Eat more.”
Yes, she’s a bossy one. But too cute to get mad at much. She’s still relishing in her sun-soaked beach weekend. We rented a little cabin overlooking the most spectacular spit of sand, rimmed by a stunning driftwood logjam, on Camano Island. Both Punkernoodle One and Two had a blast, scooping sand, hunting for shells and crabs, and eating their first roasted marshmallows. It was a bittersweet weekend, because Punkernoodle Two turned 1, technically meaning the end of babyhood in our home. She’s taking to it with gusto, perfecting a new scream that emanates every time frustration strikes and a new back arch that would rival a Seattle rioter. We used disposables, 7th Generation, to make the weekend easier – plus the car was so stuffed I don’t think we could have gotten a cloth diaper in there. Hopefully we made up for it carbon-footprint-wise with all the walking and playing locally.
And now it’s back to real life. And taking orders from my not-quite-3-year-old. Here’s to toddlers – now I have two.