It’s a Wednesday morning rush hour inside my house. After shoving my husband out of the door for work, my son and I gear up for the day. It’s the ‘library’ day which comes every week. We both love it because that’s where we get to stay away from each other and get our much deserved space. Or so I thought.
Anyway, I throw the diaper bag over my shoulder as I scream to my toddler to wait for me outside the door (once they turn two, they simply CANNOT stay still). A few minutes later, we shove ourselves inside the car that has arrived for pick up. The UBER driver makes small talk with me, asking the same question I have answered a million times to different people – How old is he? I beam with a smile as I glance at my son who was once a tiny baby but with the miracle of time has converted himself into a wiggly- adorable toddler. I simply tell the lady, two.
Is it fun? The lady from the driver seat probes me further. My instant answer is YES. It’s so much fun now after the initial years of struggling through sleepless nights, bottle washing, the whining and constant crying and the clinging. I said the struggle period is finally over and I am looking forward to breezing through the rest of parenting years.
To this, the lady smiled defiantly, telling me – He just turned two, right? The real show begins now. I wanted to ask her what exactly she meant but by then we arrived at our destination and we were already bidding our goodbyes.
Once inside the library, where we usually come to attend the toddler session, my son is all smiling and happy. So am I. We sit for thirty minutes listening to stories and rhymes and some music and dance. Towards the end of session, my son is already dragging me to the door. Apparently, he needs to run (I will never understand the endless fascination that they have to be on toes all day).
We are out of the toddler room, into the library area which connects the children’s area to the section where big people come to read and research (that’s how it looks but I wouldn’t know what they do!). After another thirty minutes of jumping and running on tables and desks with a few furtive glances from strangers, I signal to my son that we have to leave.
For some reason, my toddler didn’t get the message or maybe he did. He decided to boycott me, right there by stretching himself on the floor. At first, I smile at him, trying to keep myself cool. I try to lift him off the ground and he wiggles and wiggles back to the floor. I smile a little more, I try to offer a candy (against my rules that I break so often) and I offer him to watch a YouTube video (another of my rules broken). But nothing works!
The scene for the next ten minutes is as follows – I am running like a mad woman behind this toddler who gets immense joy in having me chase him while I carry a heavy backpack on my shoulder and a heavy car seat as well. All this in the midst of a library, where silence is a priority. But now, my son and I have managed to turn it into a circus.
I try to rationalize my thoughts because this is the first time my son has thrown a tantrum such as this. I yank and grab him which leads to screaming and yelling and hitting. By now, I am throwing nervous glances to see if I am being watched. It feels like the entire world is watching me and all I want to do is curl into a ball and hide. But I cannot escape.
And then, something good happens. A man (who had probably witnessed my helplessness in capturing my jumpy son) offers to carry my stuff so that I could focus on carrying just one thing – the toddler. I looked at him, my thoughts filled with relief – wow, you are truly God sent. And off we went, out of the building, putting an end to the chaos. Within minutes, we are buckled to our seats as we wait to reach heaven which is home (the only place where I don’t have to worry about a screaming, jumping, yelling and a cranky toddler).
Fingers crossed for the year of terrible twos. Perhaps, three might be a breather stage.