What toddler pleasures are made of

Photo by greenchangetrade

My bottom was couched by tree bark as I sat on the grounds of the play area in my son's school. Every Monday, as we take leave of his teachers, we walk by the children sliding and swinging away with the untamed enthusiasm of cannibals readying for a juicy feast. Invariably, R always asks the same question: Mami parque? Mami park?

I'll tell you that all his mirror practice has really paid off. The kid has mastered the I'll die if you don't let me look so well, that he'd get a standing ovation anywhere for his tour de force performance. I'd have to be rock dense in my ability to feel in order to withstand his silent pleading. Only if it's raining do I ever put my foot down and say no. So today, it being sunny and warm, he runs off once again to join his pack and, since there are no benches close by, I trudge on over to my usual patch of bark.

Depending on the day and my mood, watching over my kid as he plays can be highly entertaining or downright exasperating. On a good day, I'm the mother whose child gives way to the smaller children, who beams approvingly at him for minding my words, who is not forced to apologize to another mother because her own child took so much of his sweet time going down the slide that my kid thought he'd hurry him up by pushing him in headfirst. That's a good day.

On a bad day, I find myself resenting the sand that gets into my shoes and eyes when no voiced enticement serves to make my son leave the sand box area without an all out wrestling match taking place between him and I. Or when, coasting on the adrenaline of physical exertion he is limber and agile enough to evade my octopus-like grabbing arms as I try to get him down from the slides. On days like those, I swear to myself never again to stop at the playground after school. I tell R as much as I strap him red-faced and sun overheated into his car seat but he is already gone in that little head of his. I can tell he has tuned me out like one turns off a switch. He lost this skirmish and that's OK by him. Mami will do what mami always does and next week, the face, the look, the longing in his little piping voice will all work their magic on me again. I'm no rock. You'll probably find me sitting again in my normal spot while my son runs off to enjoy what his toddler pleasures are made of.


  1. How true... For me it is the sweet voiced minion suggesting "a cuddle mommy?" and how can I resist? I know it will turn into a dog pile on me, my glasses being unceremoniously torn from my face, a knee catching the side of my mouth, a hand gripping my ear and yanking it nearly from my head in order to climb over my head to the top, king or queen of the mountain (or as the case may be, MOMMY)And no matter how torn up I get, or that someone will get hurt, I still find myself on the couch "cuddling" at least once a day...

  2. Little boys sure know how to work over their mommies! I must admit, I'm a sucker for Bear's "peeees!" (that's "please")

  3. Baby Island: What you describe happens to me with R all the time. I've had more split lips and knees to the ribs experiences than I would care to count. And yet, I don't think I would ever forgo the experiences. My kid is a little boy and no matter how sweet he is, he can sometimes plays rough. That's OK. Eventually they won't want to climb all over us or pull the glasses off, they might also not be so free with their kisses and the open showing of their love. I complain I know but, I wouldn't have him be any other way.

    Robyn: They sure do. I miss R mispronouncing his words like Bear now does. Enjoy the peeees!


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