Most days during this pandemic, I start by calling my mom and telling her all the things her granddaughter did to me the day before. More often than not, she laughs at me without remorse. After she regains her composure, she tells me I should write about PJ’s antics. Toddler shenanigans have delayed those efforts but I have been piecing this post together bit by bit.
Her and I have been completely homebound this past year, and it has had a few unintended consequences. She has bonded strongly with the critters on the homestead. Our poor chickens are endlessly patient with her, despite her constant pestering and occasional chicknapping.
The other day, I left her in the coop to bring eggs inside and get another bag of food. When I got back out, she had tuned the empty feed can on its side and had five chickens corralled in there. When I asked her what she was doing, she snapped her head in my direction and then motioned to them as if it was a mystery to her. “Bopbos, in der?” (chickens in there)? She said with a shrug; implying she had nothing to do with it, which I doubt very much. I have no actual proof of how this configuration of kid and chickens happened, but I suspect fowl play. (I’m not sorry, it’s been a long year. This is me now.)
She torments our cat, Luna in a similar fashion. Luna ties with the rooster for Most Tolerant Animal of the Year. Luna cannot be within 100 yards of the ‘affectonator’ without being picked up and carried everywhere.
I could have foreseen her attachment to the critters, but I was a little surprised when she became borderline obsessed with our robo-vacuum, Dobby. She responds to its beeps of distress and is constantly flipping it over and trying to “fix it.” This winter she has combined her love for feminine hygiene products (basically padded stickers) and care of Dobby, who as it turns out is a female.
I stopped her the other day, on her way to “help” with a fist full of unwrapped tampons. I can only imagine what she had in mind.
She is very attentive to a Dobby’s needs, including making sure she stays physically active. A couple months ago, I realized I couldn’t hear Dobby in the living room anymore. When I went to figure out what had happened, I found PJ had taken her for a walk outside. It’s lucky I found her quickly, she had turned the machine on. I’m not sure what happens to a robot vacuum when it sucks up a bunch of snow and I don’t want to find out.
We have lots of conversations that leave me feeling like I’ve missed some important subtext, namely that I’m being bested by a two year old.
Me: “give me that binky”
Her: *turns back on me started to pick her nose.
Me: “you can’t have that now it’s not bedtime.”
Her: *finds booger “mama!!! I find nose?!”
Her: *comes over (binky still in gab) wipes booger on my knee.
“Bye mama. Have fun!” *Waves, gives me the thumbs up and walks off. Still with binky firmly in place.
Me: *realizes I got played, hard.
She comes up with some interesting conversation topics around her favorite shows and movies.
*PJ comes in with headphones, talking with someone on the other end.
Me: “who is it”
Her: “the Ninja Turtles”
Me: “oh what do they say?”
Her: “Lion King”
Is that a toddler joke?!
This year brought a record number of extended power outages for us. The first big storm of the season went from torrential rain all day, straight into heavy snow and considerable winds the whole night.
It stuck to everything and nearly cowed the whole forest. It bent most stands of cottonwood trees to the ground, like wooden snow covered rainbows. A record number of trees came down, and left us without power for more than two days.
I am ok with not having power. I completely overestimated my ability to explain to a toddler what having no power means for her daily movie.
Her: “I watch Monsters?”
Me: “We don’t have power, the TV isn’t…”
Her: “Umm, how bout, Lion King?”
Me: “We can’t watch anything without power”
Her: “Mama, I fix it?”
Me: “you can’t”
Her: “mama you fix it?”
Me: “I ca….”
*repeat 689,656,237 times*
Adding to the fun, she is tall for her age and can now climb on every counter so nothing is safe anymore. She is obsessed with getting to light switches and reversing their current setting. We got a new refrigerator and she now has a habit of turning the thermostat to ‘off.’ She gets out whole gallons of milk and insists on pouring her own cups. Sometimes she leaves deposits in the refrigerator that make me question my sanity. Did I put the clay raspberry in the butter compartment?!
Last week, I tried to use the toilet while she was in the bathtub and she told me to “Leave my bathroom.” I would love to have a moment to myself while she is in the bath, but I cannot leave her in the bathroom without something becoming bath toy, that is not technically bath related. Like this Fall when she added two whole rolls of toilet paper or as she calls it “paper toilet” to her bath.
I stopped her before she could get back in, to become what I would assume would be life sized animated paper mache monster. I decided to use the pulp to make paper, and created a book to give to her when she gets older.
All in all, we are very fortunate to have gotten through this past year as we have. Our daughter is incredibly self possessed, capable and curious. I am endlessly entertained and tested by her antics, and ever grateful for our many blessings. I am learning more about myself and the world with each passing day. Children’s resilience is awe-inspiring, in times like these it is a profound example of living in the moment. They can teach us a lot about adapting to a world forever changed, or that one should always refrigerate whistles when not in use.
Now you know.