June 15, 2011

The Adventures of DeSTruCTO Girl

The last few weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind at our house as my two year old approaches the two and a half mark. Just as I was starting to relax because she's not so tippy when climbing and she plays so well with her sister so I can get something done, she changes it all up on me! The last few days, I've been spending all my time chasing that kid around and creating new resolutions for how to keep her safe. I figured I should capture some of her adventures here before I forget them!

Since I don't post pics of my kids on the blog, you'll just have to imagine the personality of this little woman. Her darling chubby cheeks, expressive eyes, astounding vocabulary and self-possessed manner remind me very much of Shirley Temple. On the other hand, her determination, reckless risk taking and wacky sense of humor remind me of Margaret O'brien's character, Tootie, in Meet Me In St Louis. Remember her? She's kind of like a charming Tazmanian Devil. But her nickname (besides Destructo Girl - which my father-in-law protests) is Monkey.  Here's a small window into what part of a day with her is like.

Monkey climbs into my bed around 4:30 am and we snuggle and sleep till she wakes around 7:30. She opens her eyes, makes several silly faces at me and says, "It's morning time, Mommy!!" Me "Don't you want to snuggle a little longer?" Monkey "Nope, Mama. Let's have breakfast! How about porridge?"

Waiting for breakfast only results in crazed, wild Monkey so we head downstairs to breakfast. As I prep the food, I find myself hollaring, "Monkey, get off the table!" "Monkey, stop playing with my candle."  "Monkey, QUIT hitting your sister!!!" By the time she reaches the breakfast table, she's worked up a healthy appetite. She eats porridge, toast, an egg and some fruit. She wants yogurt too but I tell her to take a break. After eating she plays with big sis (the Princess) while I clean up the kitchen.

In the midst of playtime/cleanup, I see the girls coming down the hall together, giggling hysterically. In a seemingly impossible lack of acrobatic skill, Monkey slips and knocks her back against the corner of the wall. Big sister Princess looks at me, horrified. I reassure her the accident isn't her fault and check out Monkey's back. Great. A giant welt has instantly appeared. I apply arnica cream and we get dressed to leave the house.

In the car, we turn on the radio and Monkey asks, "Oh, is that Baby Gaga?" I laugh and answer, "Sort of." Non-plussed, she remarks, "I like her. She has a good singing voice." My oldest and I exchange amused smiles in the rear view mirror. We pass a Starbucks and Monkey says, "Oooo, Starbucks! How about a Whoopie Pie, Mom? Those are my favorite!!" I don't know where she gets these ideas. Of course, I've NEVER given her Whoopie Pie. Well, maybe once. Or twice. Look, I'm desperate for distractions sometimes, people! But we don't buy one today.

We visit Grandma's house to tend our little garden and Monkey vaults out of her carseat. She races through the house looking for Gram (who isn't home yet) and settles for the toybox. Since the house isn't too large and fairly open, I take a moment to talk to my husband's Aunt in the kitchen, keeping Monkey in the corner of my vision. Suddenly, I can't see her so I run to the den where the other toys are stored. No Monkey. I run through the house calling her.

Then, I notice the front door isn't fully latched. My heart lurches into my throat and I quickly call to my Aunt for help then race out front, calling Monkey. Within a minute, my aunt calls me. Monkey has been found, playing in Gram's bathroom. It takes an hour for my heart rate to return to normal and about one second to make a new resolution. All outer doors must be latched at the top from this moment.

Later in the day, Grandpa takes "Monkey duty" and they play with the toys in the den while Gram and I chat in the living room. Within about 8 minutes I realize, it's quiet. Too quiet. I call to my father-in-law who says Monkey is MIA.


I go straight to the bathroom this time. Laughter and horror fill me at the sight that greets my eyes. Monkey is sitting on top of the bathroom counter (ah!) with her feet and part of her bootie in a full sink of water. Her diaper (not a swimmie) is about to burst and all gram's special beauty creams are floating in the sink too. Thankfully, most are closed. As I step into the bathroom, I hear a squish and my feet are wet.

"Oh no! Monkey!!" I start throwing towels on the floor as fast as I can while my baby proudly says, "Hi Mama. Look what I did!" I wrap her in a towel and chastise her while cleaning up as fast as possible. Gram comes in about that time and helps me clean up the mess. I'm happy to say my inlaws have a sense of humor and most thankfully - that they don't have a tub in their bathroom. We finish cleaning up before Grandpa sees the worst of it but his reaction is classic. "Ok. Monkey needs to be watched every moment from now on."

Um, ok. Good idea.

Wait - who had her last???

The rest of the day isn't much different minus any more missing incidents since we return to our much smaller (thank God!) townhouse. When I finally get my girls ready for bed a few hours later, my oldest asks. "Mom, are you going to go to bed at the same time as us tonight or later? I weigh the likelihood of getting a lot done without Monkey around to distract me (HIGH) against the realization that if tomorrow is anything like today, I'm going to need as much rest as possible (also HIGH).

Monkey says, "I want to sleep with you Mama."

She looks at me sweetly out of the corner of her eye and gives me a guileless smile. The list of chores seems rather less important suddenly.

Then, I say, "I think I'll go to bed now." And I lie down, wrap my arms around a Monkey and a Princess and fall fast asleep.

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