I love being a mom and, for the most part, feel like I'm pretty much on top of things. However, whenever I start to feel too prideful, "something" usually follows to strike me down. Lately, "something" = "Ella." Here are some of the lessons learned:
A two-year-old little girl LOVES all things pink, sparkly, messy, and OFF-LIMITS. I hurt my back a couple of weeks ago and, while I am feeling better now, I was pretty much "down" then. Jon was offshore, leaving us land-lubbers to fend for ourselves. Ella had been asking me all day to polish her nails (her phrase). At the time, I wasn't able to bend over, let alone do an intense toddler mani-pedi, so she was made to understand that it wasn't going to happen. I turned a Barbie movie on for her (which usually cements her bottom to the couch) and laid down on my bed. All was quiet, too quiet, and as my little brother Joey taught me much earlier in my life, silent is deadly. About the time that Barbie discovered that she was really a princess that had marooned on a beautiful tropical island with animals that she could speak with, I started to notice that my house had the aroma of an Asian nail salon. I slithered out of bed and followed my nose only to disover this:
Back in the day, the pharmaceutical industry was forced to implement tamper-proof lids on all meds so that little children and arthritic little old ladies wouldn't be able to access any of the medicine inside the bottle. Someone please explain to me WHY the child-proof nail polish lid has not been invented and utilized?
An eternal truth: when you don't want them to fall asleep, they will. And with a smile on their smug little face knowing that they are thereby destroying any hope of being put down for a "real" nap that will enable you to clean up all that they have soiled in the course of the day.
You can buy world peace for a quarter... or at least a peaceful trip to Wal-Mart. I am not above bribing a child with a merry-go-round ride if they are a good shopper. ("Good shopper", of course, means sitting in the front of the cart (with the strap buckled), maintaining proper footwear at all times, remaining fully clothed, leaving the store with hair in roughly the same condition that it was upon entering the store, not eating any of the items placed into the cart, and keeping all noises (verbal and bodily) at an appropriate level.)
She's happy, I'm happy, and the Wal-Mart checkout lady is... well... maybe not exactly happy, but at least not cursing at me inside of her orthodontia-lacking-head for having the gall to bring a CHILD into a STORE, of all places!
Ahem, some lessons bear repeating: Silent is deadly. Of COURSE she's not playing quietly with her dolls and pretend food. She's found the rogue marker, buried in the deepest recesses of the couch, placed by the sofa manufacturer in the hopes that a random two year old will discover this blue wonder and destroy said couch, thus forcing the consumer to purchase more marker-implanted furniture. HaHa, Emerald Home Furniture, co. fat-cat. Jokes on you, er, or all over Ella...