Nothing is as frightening as a toddler running with a pair of scissors . . . unless he’s running with a wet toilet plunger. And you know why it’s wet.
I’ve come to realize that toddlers are the true terrors of the world. Sweet, hilarious, and darling, they can turn any ordinary event into something unpredictable, and anything somewhat challenging into a true trial. (Think: tents and campfires and forests and Yellowstone National Park and . . . toddlers. My heart rate’s already up, and we’re not going until August.)
I call my current toddler “The Motivator.” If any of my older children are slow to get a job done, I release The Motivator. He can find the butcher knife in the open dishwasher in two seconds flat, can dump a laundry basket in three seconds, and what he’s able to accomplish with an overflowing garbage can in four seconds is Al Qaida worthy. When my kids see him coming, they know they better work FAST.
I should rent him out to those who think their lives are dull. After half an hour, they’ll be cured.
Do you find replacing bathroom plumbing boring? I have a remedy for that. Painting a bedroom? Fixing the starter motor in your car? Reorganizing a cabinet? Simply sweeping the floor? Oh, I have the motivation to make all of those jobs far more exciting.
And if you have a kitty litter box, you’ll really wished you didn’t.
And if you have a sewing box, you won’t much longer.
I write a bit about toddlers in my book, and I visited memories of my own nine children as toddlers (my last is 18 months old) for realism, because as Utah’s Poet Laureate Lance E. Larsen has said, “Writing is often more a matter of collecting and eavesdropping than inventing.” I discovered there’s no way I could “invent” toddlers. They’re just far too inexplicable.
I adore toddlers. They’re the most exciting, terrifying, adorable, terrifying, kissable, terrifying creatures on earth. That’s why I’ve taken so many pictures of them over the years, and why I say a prayer of thanks each time they drop off to sleep.