And whoooosh, there it goes…

Time, that is.

The small one is now 16 months old, and he’s not all that small anymore either.  He runs, he says an assortment of one syllable words (plus cracker, which comes out more like krah-KAH!), he climbs, he throws tantrums when he doesn’t get what he wants, he giggles when he does… all of which is to say we are in the throes of late infancy-early toddlerhood.

And it may break us.

The work from home dad is finding that he’s severely lacking in the work department these days, what with the small one’s insistence on pounding the computer keyboard and uncanny ability to open drawers we didn’t realize a) he could open or b) contained medicine/knives/sharpies/makeup/you name the implement of destruction.  And so we’re trying some new things, not all of which we’re proud of.

1. TV

Yup.  We broke down.  It started innocently enough, with a gift of Your Baby Can Read videos this Christmas.  And while I’m all “I don’t believe in baby training blah blah blah” we popped in a video one particularly difficult morning and the child was memorized.  And now, I’m embarrassed to report, most mornings, after he eats breakfast, as I’m leaving for work and my husband is attempting to sneak in some email time, the small one is parked in front of whatever’s on PBS kids.  I feel so dirty.

2. Help

We knew it was time to call in for reinforcements when I realized that I was in more trouble for making it home from work a minute after 5:30 than I ever was for breaking curfew as a teenager.  At first we talked big – looking for part time care 5 days a week to tide us over until preschool this fall (PRESCHOOL – I feel like I need to pump in some Handle and gaze to the heavens when I say that word we are just so excited… I kept joking with friends that I should have put on our application “we need to get in because our marriage depends on it, and you don’t want to cause this little boy’s mommy and daddy to get divorced, do you?”)  But nothing seemed like a good fit, so we cobbled together some help from a friend (Z) on Mondays and Fridays and so far it seems to be making a world of difference.  Well, that or the fact that the argument that led to our looking for help left us both being a little bit nicer to each other these days, but I still give the credit to Z.

3. The Discovery Museum

Hitting late infancy during the worst winter in my 10 years in Virginia made this one a particularly life-saving find.  Dad and the small one probably head to the Discovery Museum 3+ times a week (a bit less this week as the snow has finally melted from the back yard).  They have new toys he can pick up and move to some place they don’t belong, tons of bigger kids he can follow around and the best part is that he’s allowed, heck supposed to touch everything.  I didn’t know how amazing it could be to have a full hour where I didn’t need to say “Don’t touch that” even once.  Well, minus when the small one kept trying to take the checker pieces from the board where two older kids were engaged in a game.  But that’s still a record these days.

I don’t mean to complain.  The small one is a hilarious, adorable, sweet and playful little boy.  I just didn’t expect this stage to be harder than having a newborn (of course, the small one was a pretty easy newborn).  I guess I thought I had more time before he was so, well, toddler-esque.

(and people keep telling me 3 is the worst – I’m starting to get scared!)

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