It isn’t because I had nothing to do on the eve of your 18 month birthday that I looked up the word “toddler” in the dictionary and found the meaning to be disproportionate to the event in real life. It said that a toddler is someone who toddles, a young child learning to walk. I think that this is equivalent to saying that water is wet – sorely lacking in the rich and finely wrought details that embody the idea.
If I was going to define toddler I would include particulars like the definitive way you’ve been letting us know when you are finished with a specific toy or food these days – and of course, like with all things there is room for refinement here – a screechy cry, and then vehement head shaking followed by throwing that particular item on the floor will not always be acceptable forms of expressing your censure. And just on a side note, your Dad spent a lot of time and effort making those chicken nuggets, meatballs and perogies you so easily brush off of your highchair without so much as a courtesy nibble. You have no idea the lengths to which he went to puree the vegetables he concealed within them. I, for one, thought they were delicious. I’m just saying – would it kill you to take one bite just to humour him??
And speaking of my opinion, I’m not sure that you are old enough to be graduating into the Toddler Room at daycare this week. I mean if we go back to the dictionary definition of this point in your life, how can they justify moving you to a class with one less educator if you are just learning to toddle???
On the other hand they just might know what they’re talking about because their cribs have high enough sides to prevent you from climbing out. This issue has recently come to our attention at home – something else missing from Webster’s scant definition of toddler-hood. You are now sleeping in a big boy bed because last week we noticed that you are a monkey-climber and can balance your entire little body on the ledge of the crib making it possible for you to break your little neck which panicked me to the point where my worst fears flashed before my eyes and I had to sit down just to catch my breath but not before I demanded that your Dad take down one of the sides that very minute.
And so Deaglan it isn’t that I’m frustrated with all of these recent changes that just happen to coincide with this first rite-of-passage (which hasn’t been properly defined by Webster’s Dictionary if you ask me), the one they say is when a child first learns to leave the safety and comfort of his primary caregivers. It’s just that I’m watching you grow taller, stronger, smarter, braver, definitely and heartbreakingly cuter and my worry (and this is most likely just first-time-mother anxiety in me) is this. That you may someday outgrow me.