Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Toddler Years

For the first 10 months of Scarlett's life, I was convinced I had an easy child. She would sit on the floor and be content to play independently for a short amount of time.  I never had to worry about her putting things in her mouth because she wasn't interested in that.   Even when she began crawling at 6 months and could access drawers and cabinets that were before unreachable, Scarlett really didn't have interest in them.  She would be content to crawl around the playroom and only reach for her toys.

Tiny and sweet baby Scarlett

One day, everything changed.  Right around 11 months, all hell broke loose.  Scarlett was pulling herself to stand for months, but near the one year mark she began to really notice her surroundings.  She would crawl over to cabinets or drawers, stand up, and open them.  Inside lay treasures that she had previously no interest in, but now they were all she wanted.  She couldn't resist DVD's, CD's, papers, notebooks, and so many other household objects that made her eyes light up.  The items would go flying across the room like Scarlett was a part of some sort of toddler frisbee team.  When we had to baby proof parts of the house, she would bang on the locked cabinets and scream.  I had one mad little girl on my hands! 

Don't be fooled by that face.  She's plotting her next move. 

Mealtime turned into a chaotic mess that made me cringe.  Scarlett would slam her hands down in a fit of maniacal laughter on the high chair tray and send the food flying.  My dog Lynnie won the food jackpot 3 times a day everyday. My kitchen floor looked reminiscent of Gallagher when he was done smashing watermelons.  

What happened to my sweet and innocent baby who used to just smile and cuddle with me? I was now presented with a new child who wanted to hit the dog in the face with my phone or TV remote, or pull her tail endlessly. Poor Lynnie knows she gets food from her which is the only reason she stands the abuse.

I thought the baby years were hard, but it looks like we're just getting started. Scarlett is now 13 months old.  She tests me on a daily basis and pushes the envelope as far as she can.  Just when I thought I had her personality figured out, she continues to surprise me.  Since I'm a stay at home mom, I get to enjoy the surprises on a daily basis whether they are negative or positive.

Before I was a mother, I never would have dreamed that daily life would include uttering such phrases as "please don't lick the window", or "don't drop my phone in the bathtub!" 

We've now entered the throwing stage.  Everything gets thrown whether you're ready for it or not.  It's normal to walk into my house at any time and see a pacifier or a toy whiz right by your face.  Make sure to duck! Tonight Scarlett celebrated bath time by throwing her pajamas into the water-filled tub.

Moments before this picture was taken, Scarlet threw her pajamas into the bath

 Even though the toddler years are trying and leave me exhausted on a daily basis, I wouldn't trade them for anything.  To see Scarlett grow and develop is priceless. I feel extremely lucky that I have the opportunity to stay at home with her and not a miss a second.  The hugs and kisses and smiles are worth everything. One day, the toddler years will be long gone.  



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