Life With a Toddler

Things aren’t easy being a single parent currently. The Squire (what I call my son on-line) is an interesting character. We are going through that annoying phase where he will only eat certain items. Thankfully grapes are one of them so he’s getting a fairly balanced diet considering. As well, he’s just starting to talk words and get some of his issues mentioned by him. Late talking runs in my family so it’s not really an issue.

So life and fun. Last week was a funny time though. We had gone to the local drop in for pre-schoolers that we have been going to for over two years now. He’s grown up with some of the other kids that go as well. This is not about that though, this is about after. One the way home we stopped at the local grocery store to pick up some sustenance for the two of us. Walk from their to our apartment and I get to the front door and realize that I had left my keys behind.  The weather is going through that phase where one day it’s winter, and the next it’s spring. I knew exactly where my keys were. The winter coat that I had worn the day before. Which was currently in the front hall closet behind two sets of locked doors.

Yes, we were locked out and lunchtime was thirty minutes away. Luckily I still had my phone. Called the landlord and explained the issue and was told thirty to forty minutes before he could get there to help us out. Understandable, he’s a busy man apparently. Building is small so there’s no superintendent on site either. Luckily it wasn’t raining or snowing, and the temperature was rather mild. Front of the building has a fenced in area and a park bench so the Squire was playing around while waiting.

One of the items I had picked up was a bag of two bite brownies as a treat for the two of us. Got his attention and told him to sit down on the bench which he did with enthusiasm. Opened the grocery bag and pulled out the bag of brownies. He  sees it and his eyes light up. He points to it and in a questioning voice goes, “Cookie?”

Yes, cookie is one of his words. I open the bag and hand him one brownie which he gobbles down in no time. I give him one more which disappears into the maw that can only belong to a toddler. He’s smacking his lips and I put the bag of brownies away.

“Cookie?” He points to the grocery bag hopefully.

“No, no more cookie. Lunch time soon.”
“Cookie!” points at the bag demanding now.

I shake my head, “No, no cookie.”

Well he leans back and lifts his head up to the sky and howls like the world is coming to an end, “Coooookkkkkiiiieeeeee.” Much wailing and gnashing of teeth as the great tall daddy has denied him his rightful spoils. He sobbed for a bit and complained to Brown Bear, who he had dragged along with him that day for the adventure of course. I tried my best to ignore him. Carefully moving the grocery bag out of his reach every time he tried to grab it. Yes I can be a cruel man at times. At least I wasn’t eating them in front of him while denying him his dues.

Landlord arrived after about forty minutes and inside we went. Got him out of his coat and boots and started lunch. No more brownies until the next day. I don’t think I would have been able to handle a toddler hopped up on sugar and chocolate.

I think, next time, I will discuss why I think he’s part cat. Seriously….


I Hate Winter

God I hate winter these days. Didn’t used to be the case. A few years ago it just rose to a mild case of “loathe”. Now though it’s risen, or fallen, to the level of downright rage inducing hatred. Oh the winters aren’t worse then before. Weather is still the same. It gets cold, snow falls, temperatures rise, temperatures fall. More snow, maybe some freezing drizzle, the usual. So what has changed?

It’s not because I have gotten older, although sometimes the cold just bites deeper then when I was younger. I can deal with that. What has changed is that I am now dealing with winter and a toddler. Yes parenting is a whole other animal when dealing with little ones. It’s not because the toddler is being abnormal it’s just an entire production just to go out for groceries. Heaven help you if you have run out of the most favorite must have snack. So the production begins.

First you have to track down the socks, then the foot wear. Check the weather forecast to find out the temperature. Grab the snow pants. What the hell did I do with his hat and mitts again? Next stage is chasing down the little running terror and trying to get them to cooperate while you put on said snow pants. Done, next the boots. Come on, work with me here kid, left foot goes in the left boot. No not the right foot the left foot. Okay, boots on. Next if you haven’t done so you have to get yourself prepared for the outdoors.

Most times that proposition is a little easier. Then you have to track down your green re-usable grocery bags. Keys, did I remember my keys? Oh right, already in the pocket. *Smack* Palm to forehead. WALLET! Need the wallet to pay for groceries. Right dressed and ready and stroller good to go. Chase down the little escape artist and try to get him to put on his jacket. Here’s where I wish I had mastered the lariat and hog tie technique in my youth. Finally, got the coat on him. Next hat. Hat on, no not off, on. It’s cold outside little one. Trust me you will thank me when we get there. Now into the stroller and out the door. Checking for the umpteenth time that you have keys and wallet. Get to the apartment foyer and pause to put the mittens on the little pain in the neck. If you are lucky he still has his hat on. If not, reapply. Now out into the snowy blowing wilderness to fetch items from the grocery store.

Great it’s snowed outside. Amazing how an inch of snow feels like six feet snow drifts when you are pushing a stroller down the sidewalk. Seriously, the amount of effort to get any forward momentum is akin to Sisyphus and his boulder. Bright side to this, unlike Sisyphus’s boulder the stroller doesn’t roll back when you let go. So that whole trek to the grocery store. You know the one? Yeah the one that’s ONLY a block away that you can march to and back in less then five minutes. Now? Fifteen minutes just one way. Then there’s the dodging of the crowds (i.e. more than five people, give me a break. I am not a people person anymore), grabbing the items and of course since you are here, more than you needed originally. Because god help you, you are not going back out into this horrible blizzard that sprung up on your walk to the store (Blizzard: modern definition, light fluffy flakes falling gently onto the road and sidewalk which would have been at one time a wonderful time for a lovely walk).

So you make it back and you are holding on to your sanity with one trembling hand. Why one hand? Because you need the other hand to deal with the groceries, stroller, and hyperactive toddler (It was just one candy! How can one small piece of chocolate cause so much destruction? **insert tears here**). You maneauver up the walk way to the foyer, fish keys out of your pocket, man handle the door open and make the way through the building sweating like it’s the middle of summer out. Yes it’s a lot of effort and Yes it’s a light winter coat (down filled of course, purchased on sale years ago and it’s still holding up thank god.)

Now comes the dance once again. In the door, leaving the stroller in the hallway for the slush to melt off the wheels before putting it away. Proceed to undress the little hell spawn that you swear to yourself that can’t be the charming little toddler that woke up that very morning. Finally coat off, boots off, snow pants off, and there he goes..rummaging through the grocery bags. You can’t stop him because if you don’t get your winter gear off you are going to be puddle on the floor. And you can’t do a damned thing if you are just a small little puddle right?

Finally! Clothes away, groceries rescued from curious little hands and that hungry, hungry maw, (Seriously! Where does he put that food?) Groceries away and time to check the weather again to see what you just survived.

Current temperature? Minus two degrees Celsius wind from the WNW at ten kilometers per hour. Light snow fall.

God I hate winter. And this is just the middle of December. There’s a whole four more months of the worst yet to come. I need a drink, or a straight jacket. Maybe I will flip a coin.