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“What’s this? I’m 2? Clear the floor! I’m about to fling myself upon it in protest of Mama taking too long to fill my sippy cup! Commence wailing!” July 11, 2010

Posted by Erin F. Wasinger in Kind of unreasonable.
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You know when you have a baby on your hip and another one pulling at your leg whining “Alcie HUNGY,” and you’ve just worked all day and all you want is a bowl of spaghetti and for it to be 8 p.m., and you grab a stack of mail from the box and it doesn’t look “that” important, so you shove it in the only open space on the counter in the kitchen, between the mixer and the cupboard?

Then a month later you say “What’s this? A dentist bill? But I haven’t been there in … Uh oh.” I call that Tuesday around here. What’s new. I’ll tell you what’s not new: Those dentist bills. Wah-wahn.

Beside the point.

Alice apparently does that with her toddler mail, because she obviously found the envelope last week that was postmarked her birthday, June 3, and had the “open immediately” sticker on the outside. Inside was a reminder card that — hey! Alice! Yoo hoo! You over there, all quiet and content on that couch! — she had turned 2. And what does 2 mean? Oh you KNOW what it means.

Mama — You know. You knew this day was coming.

Insert scheming toddler cackle here. Oh, you don’t think toddlers have cackles? YOU HAVEN’T MET MINE.

OK, so that’s not fair … She’s yet to set fire to anything, or even kick the dog. That’s the good news: She’s probably not evil. Always a relief to know I won’t have to go on “Dateline” 20 years from now and lie about not knowing my daughter always was a little off? You know? Just a little … Psychopathic. Just a little though! Dab eyes, cue close-up.

No. She’s not psychopathic. She’s just 2. (These afflictions share some similar traits.) And she just realized what 2 means.

Evidence: Before church this morning I’d told her to start her 10-minute trek upstairs so I could brush her teeth. I was picking up dirty clothes from the living room floor, where I’d changed the girls 14 hours earlier (shame). Well, my appreciation for a chaos-free living room floor turned Alice’s world upside down, because she was at the top of the stairs before me and OH MY WORD MOTHER. She yelled, and I quote: “EH-WIN. COME. UP-STAY-UHS. NOW.”

Wait, what? Oh, uh-unh: She called me by my NAME? And ordered me? And used that all-capital-letters “NOW”?

Oh. Uh-UH. NO SHE DID’UHNT.

And later: The whines. The perpetual whines. And the “no”s. And the little not-mischief-but-obviously-someone-forgot-to-turn-on-their-listening-ears toddler pranks like hitting us — but never hard, just enough to know she knows Mama’s starting to get that crazy look in her eyes — and suddenly I’m dropping lines like “WHAT DID I JUST SAY?” “DO YOU WANT TO GO TO BED?” “DO YOU NEED A TIME OUT?” And yes, I speak in all-caps.

YOU try speaking in calm, lower-case words lined in sugar and gumdrops after 12 hours of someone saying “MAMA rweeeead boooks! NO MAMA. NO WREEAAD BOOOOOKS.”

WHAT. PICK ONE. Just please stop making that whining noise, please, I beg you.

Where, oh where, has my sweet baby gone? I look down at Violet in my arms as I type this and I want to squeeze her baby cheeks and beg her not to pay attention to this screaming sister (“MAMA SAID NO! OH nooooooooooooo! End times are here! WORST MOM EVER!”) and to love me and never make me say “WHAT DID I JUST SAY?” because it’s not very becoming.

But I know now. Two is inevitable.

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