It’s been so cold lately that all there really is left to do is bake. Today we made blueberry muffins and little A. “helped,” which is sort of code for him standing at the counter with an apron on while I try to keep him from dumping an entire box of baking soda into the mixing bowl.
When the muffins came out of the oven and had cooled a bit, A. carried a couple to the table. I told him I was going to go make some tea and that I’d get him a glass of milk while I was at it. While I headed into the kitchen to put the water on, clean a few dishes, and eat an entire bag of potato chips, my 2-year-old sat at the table, staring at his blueberry muffin. It occurred to me, as I stood shaking chip crumbs into my mouth while my son carefully touched the muffin wrapper with one finger, not even daring to peel it back, that I needed to work on patience.
2-year-olds get some pretty bad press, and ours has earned his stripes in the predictable categories of tantrums and whining sessions, but in that half-sweet, half-humiliating moment where I realized my self-control had been trumped by a toddler’s, I started thinking about some of the other things my son does better than I do. Here are just a few:
1. Spontaneity. Hey. I feel like eating one of those soft pretzels from the bakery. Let’s go down and get one! Now I want to kick a soccer ball. That’s good too. Hey mom, can we sing “Jimmy Crack Corn” for 20 minutes straight? Of course. Because really…why not?
2. Enjoying work. Washing dishes and vacuuming: mundane tasks, or hobbies? Hobbies, definitely hobbies. Soapy water on the floor and socks caught in the vacuum suction are small prices to pay.
3. Finding fun. My kid is so imaginative. For up to an hour at a time he’ll stand at the windowsill with a couple of lego cars and some dolls, creating elaborate skateboarding, ice skating, and diving board scenarios. He’ll crawl in and out of a cardboard box or sit at the bottom of my closet rearranging my shoe pile. Sometimes I think it’s funny how many toys are marketed to toddlers when it doesn’t actually appear they need many.
4. Skateboarding. People raise their eyebrows when they see him toting his skateboard around, but seriously, this kid is talented.
I love that boy!