The Peanut’s been engaging in some odd behaviors recently, all part of an elaborate test of the basic rules of society. Like, for example, wearing clothing.
Two weeks ago, I sent my brother, who has a one year old son, a text message.
Peanut’s new trick over the weekend was to take off all of her clothes.
This to say, enjoy this time while you have some control over G. You’re only 18 months away from parenting a nudist berserker.
That weekend, if you left her alone for a minute, the next time you turned around the Peanut would have stripped completely naked. This phase has lasted a little longer than I originally thought it would. Last weekend, I poked my head in the Peanut’s room to check on her during nap time only to find her singing “Happy Birthday” and halfway through taking her pants off. Nice.
When I told D, he just hung his head in his hands and said, “Tell me she’s not going to be a stripper when she grows up.” Oh, she’s TOTALLY going to be a stripper. Let’s have a panic attack about her future RIGHT NOW! Her Granddad’s gonna have an aneurism.
The Peanut does this thing when she gets out of the bath. You help her out of the tub, set her feet on the mat, and she immediately says, “Night night!” and drops to the floor (naked, naturally), balls her knees up under he chest, and expects you to cover her up with a towel (head, too). You can walk away. She’ll just lay there on the mat, going ‘night night.’ Never mind that when you actually try to put her to bed forty minutes later, she’ll protest. Can anyone explain this behavior to me? Anyone? Anyone?
If you are able to eventually convince the Peanut to get up from the bathroom floor and walk around the corner to her room, she will then drop her towel, run, and dive (naked, naturally) into this castle tent her Nana gave her. If you poke your head through a window to try to pull her back out, she’ll inform you, “I taking a shower!” In your tent? After your bath? Of course you are, honey. Can anyone explain this behavior to me? Anyone? Anyone?
Last night it was just the girls and me for dinner, so I asked them what they wanted to eat. The Peanut cheered, “Let’s eat donuts!!!” It was said with such exuberance, complete with jumping and clapping. I kind of felt bad telling her that, as with taking your clothes off in public, it’s generally not socially acceptable to eat donuts for dinner. If it was, I would totally be with her on this whole donuts thing. But, as it stands, we need to decide on a ‘real’ meal. It’s tough life lesson time.
The Peanut’s second choice, after donuts, was quesadillas (pronounced in Peanut as just “dee-yas”). Quesadillas I can do, and it’s her choice so I figure she’s bound to eat it. (Foolish error. The Peanut doesn’t eat, silly). So I fix one up, with chicken, black beans and green onions, the way I know she likes it, put it on her favorite monkey plate, and set it before her.
“No dee-yas!” She yells, and I snatch the monkey plate just as she’s about to toss it. Apparently she had forgotten that this was the dinner she ASKED me for TEN MINUTES AGO. (This was also a meal where the Peanut was insistent that she should be able to drink from the wrong end of her sippy cup, so, as you can see, she was operating at the height of rationality).
“I’ll eat it!” Ms. B. pipes up (Of course she will. Ms. B. always eats, silly). So I slide the monkey plate over to Ms. B. This is also not acceptable to the Peanut. (Probably because Ms. B. always makes this big dramatic show for the Peanut every time she gets something that once was the Peanut’s. She’s bound to start saying something like, “Ooooh, Peanut, I’m eating YOUR ‘dilla.” She stops just short of saying “Neener neener neener.” Ofcourse this winds the Peanut up. I’ve told Ms. B. to stop. She still does it every damn time. She’s thirteen. Can anyone explain this behavior to me? Anyone? Anyone?)
“MY dee-ya!!!” The Peanut immediately starts to cry. Honestly. Who can keep up? You don’t want it, then you do. It’s like trying to appease someone with borderline personality disorder. I don’t want to trust her. She’s told me she wants something before just so that she can throw it as soon as it touches her hands. You gotta be quick around here. I catch most of the plates. But she’s like a rabid squirrel, constantly throwing herself at the electric fence, hoping that one of these days the power might be off. Just by sheer odds, some full dinner plates will soar through.
As I’m writing all of this, I’m thinking, “Gah. What sort of whiny bitch am I?” I’m making this sound horrible. Like my life is this revolving door of chaos and I’m this haggard mom who just doesn’t know how to deal with it all. And that’s not true.
I mean, the revolving door of chaos is. That’s totally true. I hear these people talk about their perfect children, their angelic toddlers who can actually sit quietly through a four course meal at a restaurant and enjoy knitting sweaters in their spare time, and all I can think is, “You’ve GOT to be bullshitting me. That canNOT be your reality.” And, candidly, there are some nights when I find the thrown monkey plate less amusing than others.
But, generally speaking, I’m laughing on the inside while I’m saying “No no” on the outside. As I chase the Peanut’s little naked butt while she scampers through the house, I embrace the chaos as proof that we are a real family with a real infectiously joyous two-year old who is figuring it out the only way she can: through excessive amounts of trial and error. I mean, how else are you supposed to learn what is and what is not an acceptable level of public nudity?