3/52 – This Makes Me Wish I Could Freeze Time
Every childhood age comes with a somewhat unequally distributed tally of joys and tests of your sanity. For a while there, each month got a little better – 13, 14, 15, 16, 17 and 18 months were all a little sweeter that the month that had just come to a close. These were times you could sigh and say, “Isn’t this age the best?” or “I totally love this age.”
A few months passed, however, and we didn’t say those words. The frustration during these months outweighed the charm of an earlier age. It wasn’t bad, or horrible, it just wasn’t overly enjoyable. We were looking forward to the next developmental stage so we could once again say, “I think that [insert month] is the best age ever!”
I can’t really recall why 19, 20 and 21 months weren’t such lovely ages in our house. I think it’s mostly because our toddler was extremely frustrated.
As the littlest human being in a family of five, her physical, linguistic and mental competencies are quite outstripped by the capacities of her much older siblings and mothers. The Doodle struggled with not being able to express herself adequately in words and signs, she wasn’t able to keep up with her older siblings as her body constantly betrayed her intentions, and when those two facets are combined with the early onset of the terrible twos, life becomes a sequential series of meltdowns alternating with an intense clinginess. Everything in the Doodle’s life was met with staunch opposition and a defiant “NO!” quickly followed by an urgent request to be picked up and cuddled.
Nearing the next shift of 22 months, I spend more time trying to laugh alongside my spirited, joyful, mischievous and stubbornly independent-minded daughter. The Doodle is a total spitfire.
Every photo I take is in an attempt to freeze time — to capture an exact moment on digital celluloid. This is the Doodle at 21 1/2 months. Pajama clad in the early morning, she puts on her winter boots to stomp around the house and dons her backwards E.lmo toque.
The Doodle still doesn’t sleep through the night, and the last few weeks have been worse than usual. Perhaps it’s all of the change in her life – new room at daycare, potty learning, never-ending sickness, and teething – but she’s restless in her sleep and up for a good portion of the night. When she’s ready to go to sleep, she snuggles into one of us, and demands “arm” because snuggling is a two-way street.
She’s obsessed with “rosie” (ring around the rosie), pokey (hokey pokey) and her dump truck. She loves to potty her baby doll Souri, nurse her, and put her in a diaper. She incessantly asks for E.lmo, D.ora, games and Babies (yes, the documentary) on the iPad. The iPad is her favourite thing. She can also recite a long list of Se.same Street characters.
She’s a little parrot and you have to be mindful of what you say. Yesterday, I said “Hi Tina” to her Nana, and she then walked around for an hour repeating “Hi Tina.” That was cute. It wasn’t so cute when I slipped and said “Fuck” and then my toddler so kindly repeated that.
She will sit in her trip trapp chair at the table to paint and colour, but will only sit on our laps to eat dinner. She kisses you with an open mouth. She loves to be chased and tickled. She’ll curl into your lap for a good book, but will toss that book to the floor at the half-way point, and demand a new one.
She dumped a potty full of pee on her head last night.
Oh squishy Doodle, we love you so. You’re adorable, exhausting, and always entertaining.