Oh my….I’m going to throw myself under the bus here. I SUCKED as a toddler mom. I mean it. I was horrible at mothering the little
heathens beauties. They won, on a daily basis. It makes for lots of good stories now, but back then, I wasn’t sure we were all going to come out the other side. Why, then, would I have had the three of them so close together, so as to have three toddlers under my roof at once? I wanted it over with, as quickly as possible. Hah! Not really…our family happened the way it happened. I may have spaced them out a bit more, but God had other plans, and once the older two were so close together, I didn’t want a huge gap between them and Little Man. He was going to have an uphill battle as it was. But I digress, as usual. Squirrel!!!
So, yeah, I sucked as a mom of toddlers. But those two…Big Man and the Princes….good golly, they were like the Wonder Twins. I couldn’t mentally keep up with them. The things they would come up with to get into, destroy, and just cause general chaos…I would never have even dreamed those things up as possibilities. And yet they did come up with it all. They did the usual stuff…pulling all the Tupperware out of the cabinet, climbing the pantry shelves to reach the cookies, eating frozen waffles underneath the dining room table while I was upstairs feeding their brother, hiding candy on the little shelves created by the leg tops of the pool table, writing/coloring on walls/doors/every other solid surface available. They also did other things that I cringe yet to think about. They “fingerpainted” with baby shampoo on the carpet. Yeah, guess what happens when you try to clean up baby shampoo? It keeps bubbling. When we steam clean the carpet in Big Man’s room, to this day, bubbles will come up. No lie.
They used my porcelain Nativity pieces for target practice, throwing poor Mary over the baby gate into the middle of Big Man’s room, then taking aim at her with the rest of the pieces. Why, you might ask, did I even have a Nativity set made of porcelain out with toddlers in the house? Well, it was set up in the upstairs hallway, up high. Their playroom and toys were all downstairs. They weren’t supposed to play up there at all. I did manage to rescue a sheep, Joseph, Baby Jesus, and a donkey. The rest of the pieces went the way of the vacuum cleaner to the trash.
They seemed to have an obsession with toilet paper. Once, after a trip to Costco, I left the huge package of toilet paper (you know, the one with like 36 rolls in it) in the upstairs hallway. When you have toddlers and hear silence, and then hysterical giggles, you need to be VERY afraid. I went upstairs to find they’d unraveled at least twenty rolls, all through the hallway, into one bedroom, through the jack-n-jill bathroom to the other bedroom, back down the hallway to the third bedroom…..I’m sure you can picture it. Another time, they filled up my jacuzzi tub and threw as many rolls of toilet paper they could grab into the water. I’m pretty sure I may have had a breakdown after that little event.
The worst all-time, however, was the day Big Man cut the Princess’ hair. Now, I know nearly every kid cuts their own or their sibling’s hair, but I’ve never seen nor heard of it being anything like what these two got up to. Because they were so close in age, and just close in general, they didn’t really realize they were of the opposite sex. But Big Man had short boy hair and the Princess had long, spiral-curly, blond girl hair. He changed that for her in the span of about twenty minutes. I was at the grocery store, so it wasn’t on my watch (there I go throwing Spouse under the bus today too). I came home, put groceries away, made lunch, and called them to the kitchen. I turned to see the Princess sitting at the counter and my brain couldn’t really process what I was seeing. I turned back to the fridge, then back towards her again. Her hair was gone. ALL of her hair was gone. Big Man had cut it off….all of it…..to the scalp. And she had sat there and let him do it. I was speechless. And then I started to cry. Neither of them had ever seen me cry before. It freaked them out. But all of her gorgeous hair was gone, left in piles on the floor of Big Man’s closet. Spouse found me sitting up there, crying, with her hair in my hands. I think I’m still traumatized.
When I took them to preschool the next day, I walked in with the Princess behind me. The director’s desk was right at the front door, and she knew right away something was up, so she asked me what was going on. “Big Man cut Princess’ hair” I told her. She, sweetest woman in the world, told me every kid cuts their own or their sibling’s hair. I said, “They do, but not like this” and I pulled P out from behind me. I just heard a swift intake of breath, and I think I started crying again. She was called a boy so many times in the months that followed, I finally got her ears pierced. I had her in dresses every day. People stopped me to ask how her treatment was going, assuming her hair was that way because she was sick. It was awful.
Six months later, he did it again. And a year after that, he cut his brother’s hair off (and yes, all the scissors in the house were locked up high after the first time – he worked really hard to get to them). See, they won, and I sucked as a toddler mom.