Toddlers are human rollercoasters. They bring you down with a bang and a crash when you're screaming for them to stop but when you're not expecting it, they lift you up and make your heart soar with their certifiably insane antics, their ridiculous comments and their random affection. Their uncontrollable laughter. Their silliness. Their utterly free spirits.
My boys seem to know when they've gone too far. If I put my head in my hands, it's like a red flag for my three-year-old. He realises his chances of scoring an icecream before midday have reduced significantly and one more bad move will incur the worst punishment of all - being sent back to bed. He is overcome with remorse for a millisecond before frantically circling the room, desperate for something (anything) that might cheer me up and restore lost brownie points. These are not things a normal grown up would turn to for respite under normal circumstances of course and have included the following;
- A dead fly, presented to me with utter excitement only after I agree to close my eyes first
- A dried-up dead flower found on the ground outside (notice a theme here?)
- A tacky lollipop stick covered in crumbs, most likely found behind the couch
- Balloons at all stages of the balloon life cycle (i.e. deflated, wrinkly and dirty is fine)
- A half drunk strawberry milk
- Lego in all forms, usually resembling a collapsed building or tower
- A fridge magnet (taken off our fridge)
- A jelly bean, again most likely found behind the couch and then eaten by said toddler
- A flower, stolen from the neighbours' garden - A toy car.
Earlier I experienced a head-in-hands moment after my one-year-old spilled milk for the third time in five minutes by holding it in his mouth and spitting it out with great force. He found this hilarious. I looked at my empty roll of kitchen paper and wondered how many trees I'd killed just cleaning the floor that morning. Cue three-year-old: "What's wrong Mum," he asked me. "It's Harvey (baby). He's just so goddam messy". "Okay Mum, okay, okay, don't worry, don't worry, I'll help," he said in all seriousness and off he sprinted, picking up every single piece of baby debris on the floor in a flash. Round and round he went. It was akin to witnessing a miracle with my very own eyes. The best bit? He wasn't doing it because of something he had done. He was doing it simply to cheer me up. When he was finished, he came to give me a kiss and a hug as he asked me, "Mum, are you happy now?"
"Yes, I am, you sweet thing," I replied and squeezed him tight.
It was a good morning.