Ethan's Age

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Toddler Town- 3rd Edition

Every couple of months, my in-laws attempt the task of watching Ethan for a weekend.  I'm pretty sure it's like labor, where you forget about how harrowing it was... because they continue to ask to watch him.  I can't figure out any other explanation.  So, before he goes, I write a guide to the operation of a toddler, called Toddler Town.  This edition is written by my toddler himself.  He's obviously reading Honest Toddler a bit too much.


Typically my parents write this letter.  I feel that they miss the mark sometimes all the time with what is truly important to me while I stay away from home.  Hopefully, I can clear up some misconceptions.  I’ve broken it down to my basic needs.

I have a large affinity for learning about the weather.  Sometimes mom puts on the weather channel. I’ve decided my destiny is to be a meteorologist, since most of them don’t have a clue.  It’s either sky wet, or sweaty bright.  It’s not rocket science. Why can’t they get this right?  So while my mom loafs around the house doing stupid things like putting clothes in that wet clothes spinner, and crashing plates together with water, I’m thinking of more lofty goals.

Secondarily to that, I’ve taken it upon myself to take on a weather internship.  My office is in the living room at mom’s house.  My favorite phenomenon in weather is a tornado. (I call it a nanado.)  I recreate what I think wind would do, and use my toys to represent the destruction that might happen from a super cell. 

Take note of the following discoveries, soon to be out in several, if not all, peer reviewed scientific journals. 
1.  The blocks.  You can see several marks on the wall where the blocks impacted.  This shows the velocity of the nanandos in the NW. 
2.  You’ll also note the wide spread animal relocation caused by nanandos. Note the bear in the bottom right corner.  Bears live in China.  And in large stores in the mall.  (Those ones talk, which is creepy, and you have to stuff them yourself?  It’s like a horrific taxidermist.)  Obviously all monkeys are green.  My parents took me to this place where there were a bunch of animals behind baby gates and in jails like the one you have me sleep in.  They filled me full of vicious lies, saying that monkeys are all brown, and my monkey is green only because it’s fake. Since you bought the zoo pass, I can only assume you condone these lies.*
  *You can make it up to me by feeding me cake.

3.  Do not try to clean up my nanando.  This will only bring about justified anger. I plan out and re-enact several types, severity and compositions of nanandos an hour.   This is my life’s work we are talking about.  You want me to be smart and win lots of Nobel and Cracker Jack prizes?  LEAVE MY EXPERIMENTS ALONE.
4.  As is evidenced by all things I do, perspective is everything.  Mom hasn’t any perspective, and tends to make me do stupid things, like wear socks, zip up my sweater or not wear my diaper on my head.  Try not to make the same mistake.  Genius can’t be forced. Along those lines, I like to get a clear view of my destruction.  Obviously, I need to get up to your head level to see.  Don’t freak out when I climb on the counters.  I’m the expert, let me do my work.

Contrary to popular belief, I actually like sleeping.  This baby jail thing though seems cruel and unusual.  Mom says Green Monkeys are unusual, but she is full of lies.  I counter with “who puts their precious pride and joy in a netted, oversized grocery bag and expects them to sleep there?  Give me some blankets with buttons to eat, at least.”  She shakes her head and talks about playing with my poop to make sure she finds the button I stored there.  She’s gross like that.

I tend to sleep from 8:30-8:30… but will plot my escape from jail from around 7:15 pm until I drop from exhaustion, and when I finally regain consciousness until I start yelling for help in the morning. Take your time though; I’m really having quite a fine time with being alone.  It helps me gather my thoughts and strength. 

Lately I’ve also been less than thrilled for my mid-day captivity.  Sometimes I stay awake the entire time, plotting how to escape during daylight hours.  On these days my mom gives me extra time in jail at night, putting me to bed an hour early.  This is not what I intended, and is totally unfair. 

Let’s preface this with “Mama’s an idiot.”  I talk and I talk all day about the physics of atoms and the possible outcomes of the big bang theory.  She keeps telling me to go get the block with the banana on it.  First off, MAMA, who do you think I am?  Here I am, pouring out the breadth of my wisdom and you want some stupid block? Why don’t YOU find it?  Plus, NANANANAAS are for eating (no more than 3 bites though) and for visiting with.  Nana comes and visits me once a week* now that school is out.  She is not a block.  Mama needs to go back to school. 
*Side note: nana doesn’t give me cake.  You have a real opportunity to get ahead in the standings here and be the best peopleotherthanmyparents. Take this challenge seriously.)

Where was I? Talking!  So, I have plenty to say, and if you’d just listen you’d maybe even learn something.  I drop some knowledge every couple of seconds.  Pay attention.  Ask questions.  I say the word ‘car’ realllly well.  It’s because that’s the only word y’all repeat back.  I feel like that’s the only thing they understand.  It’s like talking to a cave man. ”Yes. Car.  Very good mama. “ I can only hope your conversational interludes are more stimulating.

I was in that huge store where mama buys 94857934875 toilet paper rolls and decided I was hungry.  I yelled out “CRACKER!!!!!!!!!!!!”  Mama’s face got a funny color.  She looked around a lot, and still didn’t give me food.  What gives, Papa?

Emotional Expression
There are times when talking just isn’t enough.  When mom is obviously missing the mark in understanding what I’m talking about.  As you’d imagine, it’s incredibly frustrating when someone is not hearing what I’m saying.  Often, I emote to help the tall people understand me better.  Here is a bit of a key to my emotional expressions.

1.  Emphasis (mom calls it whining) is often the way I express myself.  You can find me putting emphasis on my vocals when I can’t fit the gallon jug in my play kitchen’s microwave.  I continue to try, and am convinced it is possible.   Don’t make me give up my dreams like mom does.  She makes me sign help (did I really need to spell it out, Gaga?) and then finally helps me.  (Also, hiding the gallon jug is like hiding my dreams away.  Not nice.  But for her, I pretend I forget about it for a while then try again.  I’m persistent.  Mom calls it stubborn.)

2.  Dramatic Flair (mom calls it crying) is when I get to the tipping point of lack of understanding.  Typical circumstances for dramatic flair are when I’m asking for the 498745th cracker, wanting the other sippy cup (color matters) or when I sense you are going to put me into the baby jail all by myself in the office of doom.  Mom tries, she really does, but when she tries all the solutions and I still feel unheard, she puts me into the toddler crate.  After more dramatic flair of frustration, unconsciousness will happen. 


Like all toddlers, I’m obviously starved of the major food groups.  Cake (cakes in cups are also acceptable), Juice, Ritz Bitz and liquid smashed apples. Feel free to remedy this.  Other options that may be acceptable, but I just don’t know how I feel about until you make it and put it in front of me may be: Hotdogs, Potatoes, Chicken Nuggets, Fish Sticks, Yogurt, Pasta, Apple Sauce, Waffles (Don’t get confused with this being on my acceptable list… I could throw you a curve ball and hate it.) and anything that is not green in color.  Try your luck with one or all 600 foods in your fridge.  I enjoy a challenge.  I like to eat at all times.  My favorite meals are ones that last for hours and involve only one bite every five minutes as I run around perfecting my nanado. Officially, I only really tolerate being wheeled up to the table for breakfast and dinner. Otherwise, I can’t be bothered with your primitive restrains.

My servant at home also gives me a sippy cup of coolness, filled with melted unflavored ice-cream in the morning and at night. Feel free to skip a step and just give me ice cream.  Milk is a hoax, they are just trying to sell the defective ice cream. Don’t waste your money, go straight to the ice cream.  (Mom note: Don’t listen to Ethan here.) I recently went to the dr and they told me I’m starving to death.  (They used the adult code “He’s in the 25th percentile for weight.”)  They don’t feed me here.  I like crackers that are filled with chocolate or peanut butter.  Or cake.  Frosting from a jar will work in a pinch, since your fridge is already full of the 600 foods I might eat.  Sheet cake is large.  I will tolerate this until you purchase a third fridge exclusively for cakes and ice cream.  October is coming fast, Papa, start saving.

In the middle of the day I drink waterjuice.  Mom thinks I don’t know when she “forgets” to put juice in there. Don’t be like that.  Give me a hefty splash of juice, and we will be best friends until bedtime when I will hate you again.   Don’t take it personal. I also test my sippy cups by banging them on various objects.  You can thank me later, I’m like a home inspector, testing out the strength of your vases, glass tables and Palm Springs watches (why are you spending your money on those? You need to be saving for that cake fridge.) Keep your receipt so I can eat that too.

I walk everywhere.  I take fitness very seriously, Michelle Obama and I are working on a 10 point fitness and wellness plan for toddlers.  I tend to throw in bouts of full-out running.  In the toddler fitness world we call this interval training. Mom calls it insanity*.  But being that she eats plants and doesn’t like it when I color with crayon on the mantle, her opinion is as good as the dog’s.  Be prepared.  I don’t even know when I will be asked by the voice in my head to run.  So, be ready to think on your feet.  And by think, I mean run.

*Don’t give me the choice to walk then throw me in the metal cart with wheels in the store.  This is torture, and outlawed by the Geneva Convention (Paragraph 5635 subsection 2, Toddler Bi-Laws and Proper Treatment There-of.)  Gooooo-gle that.

Thanks again, Gaga and Papa.  I appreciate how you feed me and make me the center of attention.  Maybe you can teach mama and dada to love me.