This week, I posted a picture on Facebook of my daughter opening the cupboard with my mixing bowls in it. A few days before, I had posted a picture of her standing on the top step of my two-step kitchen stool, grinning like crazy as she ate her older brother’s chocolate chips. My mom commented that she reminded her of me at that age. I was suddenly remembering all the stories of me as a small child. They were not so funny, now that I may be experiencing them all again, from the perspective of the parent.
According to my mother, when I was not much older than my daughter is (she is turning 1 tomorrow), I insisted on picking out my own clothes. She tried giving me a few options, but I would throw them on the floor and pick something completely different, and often it did not match at all. My boys so far have not cared what they wear, other than my oldest occasionally insisting on wearing a Thomas the Tank Engine shirt, so if she starts selecting her own clothes that will be a new experience.
I remember seeing pictures of me as a baby/toddler climbing the changing table, climbing the shelves in the pantry cabinet and dumping the boxes of cereal, climbing on the dishwasher door (noticing a trend?), and they always seemed rather amusing. Now, as I survey my kitchen, and all the things that she can get into, it is rather less amusing. My husband built the walnut cabinets, so he has been reluctant to put in child latches on the wood he worked so hard to make pretty. He also has not had time to make shelves for the lower cabinets, so removing a baking pan is like playing a game of Jenga. At any time, the whole tower may come sliding out. Until a few days ago, my daughter had not noticed the cabinets much, but now that she has discovered the wonders that await her behind all those closed doors, she will not be content to leave them closed. We also have open shelves in our pantry, and the door has not been put in yet, so she can just self-feed. She wants a potato? They are in a bag on the floor. I’m sure a bag of flour would be fun, or maybe the jar of honey. With her new climbing skills, nothing is safe.
Even more daunting are the stories of my behavior in public. My mother was a believer in the leashes for children. Once while we were shopping, I used the Velcro wrist strap she had on me to velcro her to a carpeted post in the store. She was so embarrassed when she realized this that she says she considered leaving me there, but she did manage to find me, in an enclosure with a Big Bird mannequin, that I was rocking so that it almost fell on me. Or maybe that was the time she found me when she skidded in a puddle of pee from where I peed on the floor so that I could get new clothes. Not to be confused with the time I gagged myself so I could get a new outfit. I’m not sure why they let me leave the house.
As I read my mom’s Facebook comment all these stories ran through my mind. It was hard to look at my baby girl the same way. I guess I will have to wait and see if she gives me as many stories to tell that won’t feel funny now, but may in 10 years, as I did to my mom. For now, I am busy keeping her out of the cabinets, off the step-stool, and from climbing the stairs every chance she gets.
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