Michael has an arsenal of stall tactics that would put shivers down the spine of any four-star general. Recently added to this list is the equivalent of toddler gold - the call to go potty. What mother in the world wants to call this bluff, especially when training is going so well? Of course after three or four giggly five-second stints on the throne, it gets easier to ignore. But still, you hate to tell your child that he can't go potty when you just spent the whole day following him around with treats and stickers trying to make sure any attempts end up in the right place. Especially when this child has recently started removing clothing and diapers in favor of the breezy feeling of naked skin, and you don't want to find any deposits in dark corners. (Of course yesterday he peed in his potty, and then dragged the potty out to the living room where he slopped it down on the floor. Thanks, Michael).
I'm telling you, toddlers are too smart for their own good. Lately Michael has started asking sweetly, with a devilish sort of smile, to be sent to time-out during sacrament meeting. As time-out consists of standing in the corner facing the wall, we are usually willing to give in to his request. You have to feel bad for a kid who is so bored that some quality wall perusal time seems preferable to the toys and books he can have if he stays in the meeting.
Michael also enjoys a healthy amount of well-planned naughtiness. The other day I was brushing my hair and he was begging to have a turn. After prompting him to say, "Mommy, may I use your hairbrush, please?" I handed him my brush, glowingly proud of his parroting ability. "Thank you," he politely said, and plopped my hairbrush directly in the toilet. While most of our household goods end up getting rudely dunked at some point, Michael still manages to catch me off guard with this at times. Okay, so I'm a little slow.
Michael has endless energy to burn, so I often allow him to run next to me down the sidewalk when we aren't walking far. The only problem is that setting him free on the sidewalk immediately adds about twenty minutes to any outing. Every fire hydrant must be touched, every stair must be climbed up and jumped off, every wall must be examined, and every puddle must be attacked with a full-speed, two-footed leap. It is rather like walking a dog, only a dog is significantly more obedient to requests to stop, come, and sit.
Of course, having a toddler is also very fun. Michael has owies that are instantly healed with magical kisses, finds many things completely hilarious and is often helpless with laughter, takes delight in things like trains, buses, sirens, and elevator buttons, loves to play hide-and-seek and will scream with excitement each time he finds you, loves to say his prayers and sing the words to "I am a Child of God", and most of all, is an expert at reminding you why you still love him immediately after you have sworn to banish him to a desert island for the rest of his days.
Um, Michael just walked up to me with a tube of Desitin, which he had helpfully wiped all over his bottom (and who knows where else? I better investigate).
What was I just saying about toddlers and desert islands?