There are certain assertions of independence my son exhibits at this point. At eighteen months he will grab his shoes from the closet before we leave on an excursion. In the morning he will repeatedly open and shut the shades, of course, he is seeking the ideal length for them to rest for the day… He can climb on and off the sofa, and just to prove his deft skill, recklessly runs the length of the cushions amidst the joint cheers of admonishment from his parents.
Recently he has unsuccessfully attempted to climb on our kitchen chairs; probably so he can eventually sit on our table, inevitably plummeting to his death shortly after. Little Man expressed interest in washing his own hands, as well as intermittently eating with his utensils from a dish before launching both items into the stratosphere. Gazing at food all over the floor, he has the decency to hover over the various spots of grime and point…You know, in case I run the risk of missing something cleaning it up. I suppose I should consider this behavior a blessing; he usually decorates the floor in an effort to choose his dining experience.
While on the subject of nourishment, Mr. Man enjoys grabbing his own drink from the fridge shelf. In actuality, this is just a means for him to engulf a puffed mouthful and spit it out all over himself and the floor; subsequently, running away with said drink chuckling mid chase…It’s quite endearing, really, and I will remember it fondly gazing at his memorial photos that our future children will curiously look upon as we share stories of the prototype that just didn’t work out.
But, sometimes he is helpful. Cleaning up before bed he often helps restocking his toy shelves…in the most inefficient way possible, but his father and I get to sit, so who’s to complain? As we journey to go upstairs…a process that takes exceedingly longer than is required for the task, Little Man takes great pains that the gate is closed behind him. I suppose this is to ensure his parents break their necks in the morning after forgetting that he haphazardly latched it.
Little Man’s latest independence leap is brushing his own teeth, which amounts to him chewing on his brush bristles and refusing to allow me to tend to his mouth that must be really rank by now. I’ve been a bit more successful by allowing him to brush my teeth with my toothbrush. He’s been willing to take turns provided he can gnaw on my toothbrush handle and periodically graze his lips with my bristles. But, honestly, after spending as many as twenty minutes in tooth brushing hell, a little kid saliva likely won’t kill me.
My new favorite, however, was tonight just before bed. I’m folding some laundry while Little Man plays quietly in his room…Did I mention he was quiet? True, this is a scary sound, but I told myself that I haven’t heard a crash yet, so it can’t be all that bad. Then my husband’s child comes barreling into our room weeping and pointing down the hallway for me to follow. Mind you, this isn’t the “I’m hurt” weep, so I saunter after him…Perhaps I’m instinctually gathering strength for what I might find. I reach his room, and apparently my son can open doors because almost the entire contents of his walk-in closet storage is strewn across the room with his riding car sitting in the middle of the masses of stuff. In that moment I recall the comment my husband made several days ago that we must remember to call our friend in gratitude…at two in the morning…who gifted us this blessed car. At this point I’m not sure if I should be impressed or what, but I start laughing at a loss of another reaction and just clean-up. Little Man contributed by pointing at the various piles so I did not forget an item, and didn’t give me an argument when I stated he would not be going for a ride on his car. With the refusal he quietly climbed on his rocking dog and patiently waited for his next opportunity for mischief and mayhem.