It’s Not All Mary Poppins

Five minutes of Nissa

“Nissa! FREEZE! Tyler’s fingers are in that door! Don’t shut it!”

“Spit that out. What is it? Eeew? Where did you FIND this?”

“Out of the doggie’s house, you. You know you’re not to go in there.”

“That’s Tyler/Noah/Emily/Timmy’s book/toy/game/puzzle/article of clothing/body part. Give it back, miss.”

“Indie doesn’t like it when you sit on her head. Off.”

“Noah doesn’t like it when you sit on his head. Off.”

“Tyler doesn’t like it when you — Nissa! Stop sitting on people’s heads!”

“What on earth is Tyler’s boot doing on the dining room table? … What’s that, Emily? Nissa did it? Did you see her? … Well, unless you saw her, we can’t really… oh, never mind. I’m sure you’re right.”

“Did you fall off the bench, sweetie? I will kiss it better — and YOU will stay off the bench, silly girl!”

“Those are not your shoes. Put them back in Emily’s bucket, please.”

“Blocks stay in the kitchen, sweetie. Back you go.”

“Off the stairs, young lady.”

“We sit on the couch, we don’t jump on it.”

“Nissa, if you keep swinging on the sheers, you are going to pull that whole curtain rod down on your head. Let go.”

“I am reading THIS book to everyone. We will read that book later.”

“No, THIS book. I will read that one next.”

“OW! Nissa! That hurt. Books are not for shoving up my nose. I am holding that book now.”

“We are playing Sleeping Bunnies, baby. You can be a bunny, or you can play a different game over there, but you cannot drop blocks on their heads.”

“Where is your other shoe, Noah? We can’t go out until we find your other — oh, thanks, Emily. Where did you find it?” (Three guesses, first two don’t count.)

“LOOK at this puddle! How you can get so much water out of a leak-proof cup, child, I will never know. Here’s the rag, baby. Wipe it up.”

“Goodness, Tyler. How did you get that red mark on your forehead? Did you bump yourself? You did? On Nissa’s head? When she was hugging you? Oh, look, Nissa has a red mark, too…”

“Did you pinch your fingers? Well, that’s what that elastic band is for hon — to keep your fingers out of that cupboard. Away you go!”

“Oh, Emily, what a fabulous block tower! Did you do that all yoursel–oh, Nissa!”

“You SIT on the tricycle seat, baby. SIT on it!”

… Or maybe that was just three minutes. I tend to lose count…

July 30, 2009 Posted by | health and safety, Mischief, Nissa | | 9 Comments

They call this “busy”

1084925_abstract_tree_2I sit at the dining table, chatting with Timmy. Across from me, suddenly, the lights on the Christmas tree go out.

How odd! Oh, but that’s okay. They just came back on.

They go out.
They come back on.
They go out.
They come back on.

I duck my head under the table. Baby Tyler sits on the floor, pressing the pretty red light on the power bar. On! Off! On! Off!

He catches my eye and gives me his full-voltage “I’m-a-charmer” smile. Isn’t that COOL, Mary???

I have a low, handmade babygate across the door to the kitchen. It is low enough that the three-year-olds can step over, but high enough to keep under-threes out. (Homemade, and very sturdy. I once tripped over it, carrying a basket of laundry. My back blew up. The gate held firm.)

I set the gate in place when the three-year-olds need a place to play with their non-baby-friendly toys. The one-year-olds sometimes stand at the gate and talk to their friends on the other side, but they do not cross the gate.

Until Tyler. Who made it across the gate, and into the kitchen. On his face. Ouch.

My iPod is snapped into its spot in the top of the amplifying unit, wafting Christmas music throughout. It only lasts a couple of hours, though. I need to put more music on there.

Except when I go to do that? It’s gone. Gone, gone, gone.

I know who I’m blaming, and I check in all the likely spots. “If I were a busy year-old boy, where would I drop an iPod?” Some of the possibilities are not heartening: down a heat vent, down the back of the couch. Maybe if I follow him around for a day?

The dog has a collar that lights up. (No, really. It has little LED lights on it, so that when we take her to the off-leash park after dark, we can find her. Little LED lights in red, white, yellow, and blue. Lights that blink. Blink in turn, round and round her collar. Red, white, yellow, blue, red, white, yellow, blue. The other dog owners are calling her “Disco Indie”. My husband bought it. Ahem.) It stays turned off in the house, obviously.

Only not these days. Every time I turn around, there is a blinking dog wandering about.

He obviously likes the dog. (A little background for you non-winter types, so I can finish this story: Tiny tot winter boots often have an elastic drawstring at the top, secured with a toggle, which enables a parent to snug the boot up to the child’s leg and prevent snow from getting in and soaking a small foot.)

He obviously likes the dog, I say — emulates her, in fact. Like the dog, Tyler is fascinated by the toggles on the boots. Like the dog, Tyler crawls around with the toggle clenched firmly between his teeth, the boot dangling below his chin, dragging on the floor as he goes.

Tyler’s Boot Relocation Service, I call it. I like it better than his iPod relocation service.

Despite my best efforts (and occasionally due to my lackadaisical ones), our small front hall, over-crowded as it is with winter footwear, is often awash in salty, gritty puddles.

Despite my best efforts (these efforts are never lackadaisical), Tyler will insist on exploring the front hall. Tyler crawls. At least once a week, I have to change him mid-morning because he has soaked up a puddle or three with the knees/shins of his pants. And his slippers. And sometimes, heaven help us, even his socks.

I work until 1:00 today, when I will feed the parents a civilized glass of mulled wine, prior to sending them off to their own festivities. And then, oh, the bliss! I will have a week and a half off. A week to decompress, to clean the house. (Really. It’s a treat to do that with no toddlers underfoot, undoing your work as you go.) A week to let down my guard, to relax the eternal vigilance that caring for Tyler requires.

And when I begin in the New Year, refreshed and invigorated, ready for the next few months of toddler delight and mayhem?

Tyler will be (I would bet good money on this)…

Tyler will be (it’s virtually assured)…

Tyler will be…


Heaven help me.

December 24, 2008 Posted by | Canada, Christmas, health and safety, individuality, Mischief, the dog, Tyler | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments