Decorating the Walls with Spaghetti Sauce

My kids are, as usual, the subjects (and unlucky victims) of my first-person parenting articles and blogs.  Since a mortified Anika begged me to stop writing about her after “The Great Spinach Lasagna Mutiny” was published a couple of months ago, I’ll write an update on my little fella Owen, who made his magazine debut at the tender age of 12 months. I’d written about him in the December 2008 issue of Fayette Woman in “Addicted to Baby Love,” describing the intoxicating charm of a 10-month old baby.

Sweet baby? News flash: That popsicle is actually a green missile about to go airborne.

Sweet baby? News flash: That popsicle is actually a green missile, and it’s about to go airborne.

Oh, what a difference a year makes.

For those of you who read “Addicted”—remember that image of the happy playful mom crawling around on the family room floor with her sweet baby boy, playing with toys and having a great time? Yes. Well, I still do that with my sweet toddler boy, and I still love it—it’s pure joy like no other.

But let’s add another snapshot to the big picture: same mom, thirty minutes later, not so happy anymore. She’s crawling on the kitchen floor, picking up a thousand shards of a bowl (formerly filled with tortellini and sauce, which is now splattered all over the walls) that her darling Owen has just frisbee’d.

Remember sweet Owen in his stroller, smiling his “five star grin” to passing strangers? Let’s correct that picture as well, shall we, with this one: Owen in the basket of a shopping carriage, twisting around and reaching behind him to grab whatever he can  (apples, cheese, and yikes!—eggs) to fling on the ground… and then smile his so-darn-cute-you-could-eat him-with-a-spoon grin.  (Folks, if you see a lady in Publix with an exasperated look on her face and all her groceries pushed up against the back wall of the shopping cart, that’s me. Stop and say “hi” and/or offer your commiserations.)

Exhibit A: The Floss

Yes, Owen is still adorable and sweet; in fact, as far as the Terrible Twos go, he’s pretty good. He doesn’t throw temper tantrums or bite the other toddlers in his preschool. (Let’s pause here as I knock on wood.)

His Terrible Twos have emerged as a really, really mischievous streak, more than I’ve ever experienced with his older siblings. Nowadays, I’m grumbling under my breath as I pick up the assortment of toys he’s just thrown down the stairs (“Owen, no!”), re-rolling the white fluffy mountain of toilet paper in the bathroom, re-winding the dental floss on its spool, “Spot- Shot”ing the juice stains on the carpet (yes, I use “Spot Shot” as a verb these days), picking up more toys thrown down the stairs (“Owen, I said NO!”), and arriving just in time to stop my darling toddler from pushing a few Goldfish crackers into the game slot of the Wii console.  And that was just last Tuesday.

Well, you parents and grandparents out there know how it goes. It’s a phase, he’ll outgrow it, he’s exploring his world, he’s testing his boundaries. Yup, I know. It’ll pass, and someday when he’s grown I’ll tease him and tell his girlfriend about how he used to give me five new gray hairs every day as he licked the electric outlets (covered, thank goodness) and threw the remote control at the cats. In the meantime…

Um, you’ll have to excuse me. I think I hear something breaking downstairs. Gotta run.

Anybody seen the Spot Shot?

Kristin Girard

Kristin Girard is the editor of Fayette Woman magazine.

January 31, 2010
February 4, 2010