I was annoyed. It was past her bedtime, she was “summer stalling”, Mama had already read three books, now she wanted me to read the final book, but first she wanted socks, but not any of the three options I gave her, she wanted to pick, and then she wanted to go show mama. As I stood at her door with my arms crossed waiting for her to return from sock-show-and-tell, I remembered she was only three. I uncrossed my arms, waited patiently for her to do toddler things, and eventually she came stomping back to complete the evening ritual, because toddlers always stomp.
September 22, 2013, was a pretty special day.
For those of you unacquainted with that particular day over two years ago, it was the day Isabel was born. It was the day Mama and I officially became Mama and Papa, and the day that our lives changed forever. And while we both have a ton to thank Isabel for, with Father’s Day around the corner, I am going take the mic for a bit.
It’s a well known fact that we Californians are suffering terribly because of the drought. My grass is turning brown and I live in constant fear that the water patrol will fine me for my errant sprinklers. The “record-shattering” El Niño that was hyped by nearly every weather expert also wasn’t nearly as “record-shattering” to us in SoCal as it was to our friends up north, nonetheless, it did keep my grass looking sharp this winter (and kept a few more dollars in my bank account). But, if the powers-that-be really really want to conserve water, they’d do one thing – figure out a way to explain to toddlers the perils of wasting water.
I remember waiting in anticipation as Isabel began showing signs of movement. I mean, who knew how exciting seeing your kid roll from back-to-front would be? Then came the sitting-on-all-fours-rocking-back-and-forth that would eventually become crawling. And then we waited. And waited. And waited. Her first birthday came and went, and no walking. Little did we know, walking is one of the biggest tricks in the toddler rule book.
Before becoming a parent, there are certain parts of life that you know for certain will change, like sleep patterns and coffee intake. Then there are the other, more unexpected changes, like car rides, house departure rituals, and dinner excursions. And some changes are inevitable, but forgotten until they actually happen, like radio and TV choices.
Whenever I pick Isabel up from school I always do the same thing before she can see me. I stand inside and peer through the window, watching her as she plays outside. I look not to make sure she’s ok, because I know that if she wasn’t they would have called me earlier. I look to see if she’s alone.