Monday, September 26, 2016

Yes, you can bring your toddler to the woods, but Malloy will probably tax him



I'm sorry I was gone for so long. Summer disappeared in a blink. There was nothing lazy about it, which makes me a little sad, but we did manage to log many hours outside. Except for the few weeks in August when Connecticut turned into a rainforest of humidity, heat and grossness. If there was ever a time I thought of taking the scissors to my hair and chopping it all off, that would have been it.

At 19 months, our third child, Cam, is more work than I remember his older brothers being. He scales walls, rides the dog, leaps off couches and levels rooms in two seconds flat. He's hot tempered and impatient. I've picked him up and carried him (screaming) out of places more in the last month than I ever did with either of his brothers...combined. I've never felt more of a "geriatric mother" than now.

The toddler years are exhausting.

Of course, there's a silver lining. Because he's my third child, I know this won't last forever. I know I need to take a lot of deep breaths and schedule time for myself. I know I need to walk away if I get into the red zone with my patience. I know I need to stock the cabinet with vodka. I also don't care if he doesn't eat all of his vegetables.

The best part is I could care less what people think. I wish I'd know that with my first. I would have saved myself a lot of unnecessary stress.

Speaking of stress, the picture above was taken while on a family hike. While I stood off to the side and soaked my toes, Chuck showed Junior and Everett how to skip stones. Cam sat next to me in a shallow pool and threw rocks. He was ecstatic.

It sounds idyllic, but we'd bickered in the car on the drive to the river. Chuck didn't think we should take Cam to the river. Everett had wanted to bring his Nerf gun. Junior didn't feel like hiking. I wanted us all to get some fresh air as a family. Etc., etc.

As it happens though, everything fell into place once we got into the woods. The sounds of traffic grew more faint. Fishermen scattered when they heard us approaching. The kids stopped bickering and instead noticed the leaves changing.

That's why I took that picture. Not for stupid Facebook or social media. But for myself. So I could remember that there are moments of peace and harmony. That we should spend time together as a family. That even if we still live in this ugly, overpriced state, we can still find tranquil places of beauty. And yes, that if I find a wading hole far enough into the woods, no one will hear my toddler screaming when it's time to go.

Not that I'd care anyway. 

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