The definition of toddler is one that toddles. Toddles means, to walk with short tottering steps in the manner of a young child. Toddlerdom is the period when one is a toddler, apparently 12 months up to five years.
Our son as a toddler, ignored the toddles part of the definition, and went straight to sprints, escapes, and teenage rebellion.
For us, toddlerdom is Chaos Theory coming to life before our eyes. I have invested highly in bandaids and Home Depot (gonna have to buy a lot of tools to fix everything), and I am setting aside large sums of cash for the future therapy that WE will need. Like most humans, we strive for some sense amongst the chaos of toddlerdom. The random frustrated tears and fits that have us wondering if he stepped on a tack, was bit by a snake, or lost a limb right under our noses have us scrambling to find out the cause. Within minutes the thought that we suck as mothers for not discovering what led to his tears runs through our heads, and so we succumb to his emotions and do our best to calm him.
Our son is striving to set new heights as a toddler. He has escaped out of his room at daycare more than once through the backdoor, forcing them to get a gate for that door. He has also attempted to escape through a window at daycare IN FRONT OF THE DIRECTOR. He's generous with his escapades, and invites his classmates to join him. His influence over other kids is quite impressive as well. Just last week I saw a 7 year old regress behaviorally and join our son in a game of "let's see if our Moms can prevent us from running into the middle of downtown Main Street." I now have three gray hairs.
There is one way to guarantee our son will get upset and throw a fit--being in and near our cars. He loves "driving" our cars. I know, you're thinking, Cute! He has an imagination! I agree, it is cute...until he throws a fit because we won't let him "drive" the car all the time. I will NOT admit that we MAY have let him sit on my lap and "steer" while we drove around the campsite at 10MPH this past Summer. I won't admit that. Let's just say he's got an excellent imagination, and leave it at that. So his imagination of actually driving is why he loves it so much, and therefore he gets very upset when we don't let him "drive" and we ask him to exit the vehicle (like a Park Ranger would ask him IF we ever let him drive at a campsite and get caught). Unfortunately he throws a fit, which involves tears, and him doing an excellent impersonation of a quadriplegic.
A friend of his grandparents had the joy of witnessing Sawyer upset because we wouldn't let him "drive" this past Sunday. His tears and sadness pulled on his heartstrings, so that friend helped us coax him to the crosswalk so we could make it to the restaurant only six minutes late. As we said good bye to him, he said that it was great to see us, and that he was now going to go home and immediately make a donation to Planned Parenthood. No joke. Our son inspired someone to donate to Planned Parenthood. We laughed, because it was the perfect comment for what we had just gone through, but I'm hoping that our son doesn't inspire others to donate to Planned Parenthood for too much longer. Toddlerdom is hilarious, but also quite exhausting!!
P.S. Just to clarify, we still want people to donate to Planned Parenthood--they need it! We just hope that our son doesn't continue to inspire people to donate because of his...well, for lack of a better word, "toddles." (My wife wanted me to type, "assholery," but I refrained.)