I served baby bok choy and salmon for dinner the other night. The bok choy was merely cooked in a little bit of olive oil; no seasoning of any sort. Jamie, as I knew he would, soundly rejected it. Eventually, he acquiesced to eating the dark leaves but not the light green crunchy part. Charles ate his whole serving. Freddie attacked the bok choy like a T Rex ripping flesh off of a Triceratops. Huge bites, stuffing his mouth, asking and reaching for more before he’d finished chewing. It was the damndest thing.
I was playing floor hockey in the garage with a repurposed croquet mallet for a stick and a Bakugan Battle Brawler for a puck (as one does) a couple weeks ago when I heard shrieks of intense joy coming from the den downstairs. Shrieks of joy are all well and good, but these went beyond the realm of normal and set my mom-sense tingling. I opened the door to find Freddie standing on the coffee table, shaking a Costco-sized Pirate’s Booty bag in the air, giggling madly as the snack rained down around him and Onyx leaped to catch them in midair. There was Pirate’s Booty EVERYWHERE. My floors would probably still taste like cheese if one had a mind to run a tongue over the carpet. I don’t recommend that, though.
Evenings are total chaos in my house; between dinner and bedtime, kids go crazy, dinner has to be cleaned up, reading homework has to be finished, lunches have to be made, and kids have to be told to get their pajamas on at least a thousand times. Freddie is usually in the thick of things, pushing his trucks at top speed through the kitchen, hiding behind the curtains and calling, “Mama! I see ooo!”, trying to ride the dog like a horse, riding his rocking horse like a motorcycle through the kitchen (with enough rocking, it will move forward, a fact which delights young Fred to no end), dancing on the piano, or systematically dumping out the art box, the car box, the train box, and all the puzzles. Given the state of our house post-dinner, and the fact that it is usually the first time Tony and I have a chance to talk all day, it’s not entirely surprising that Freddie was able to slip off by himself for awhile a few nights ago. I looked up from whatever I was doing, said, “Where’s Freddie?” and proceeded to get blank stares from the rest of the family. I followed the suspicious silence up the stairs to the locked bathroom door, behind which I could hear water running. I yelled for Freddie and he didn’t respond. I yelled for Tony, my heart in my throat, and he came running with the bathroom door key (one of those weird picks with the flat end WHY DO THEY MAKE BATHROOM LOCKS THAT WAY I ALWAYS LOSE THAT STUPID PIECE OF METAL). We found Freddie in the bathroom, sitting on the counter just cool as a cucumber while the water ran full-force into a stoppered sink and flooded onto the floor. My panicked pulse finally calmed down once he was safe in my arms for a solid twenty seconds (that’s near the world record for a squirmy toddler hug).
Two-year-olds, I tell you. It’s all jam hands and surprises.