I am about to state something so profound that your ears might ring after you read it. You may hear a heavenly choir of angels.
Having a toddler is exhausting.
Okay, maybe I should qualify that statement. Having my toddler is exhausting.
I love William with all my heart. I would jump in front of a speeding car for him. I adore him so much that I almost can't imagine having another child and loving him or her half as much.
But. And there is a but. But he can wear me out like a dozen personal trainers. He should come equipped with a towel, a water bottle and an energy bar.
Today, I took William to the downtown library for their storytime and puppet show. Two weeks ago, we went, and William was an angel. He sat in my lap and laughed and enjoyed the show. I was awestruck by his good behavior. Today, however, it was like someone had surreptitiously pumped him full of sugar. He could barely sit still. I spent most of the storytime either jumping up and chasing him or hauling back into my lap or at least to our spot on the floor. I offered Goldfish and Craisins, two of his favorite snacks, in the hopes that food would keep me sedentary for a few minutes. Ha.
Remember that old expression "ants in your pants"? That described William today to a T. Or to a W, I guess, as the case may be.
I felt like I had run a half-marathon by the time the storyhour ended. I was wrung out! I was jealous of the mothers nearby, the ones with the sweet little sedate girls in their pretty dresses, sitting quietly in their mothers' laps. Their mothers didn't have to get up once! They didn't have to do any wrangling at all! Meanwhile, I felt like I had earned my own World Wrestling Federation nickname by the time it was over. Gah!
Just so you know, this isn't an unusual occurrence. I have to chase William nearly everywhere we go now if he's not contained in a stroller or shopping cart. That's fine at the park. But have you ever considered what it would be like to take him into, say, the post office? Or into the store to buy just one thing? Yeah. Not such a good idea. God bless all the people out there who are so patient with us and who smile benignly when I bellow, "William, come back here NOW!!" across the room. I especially love the people who say kind things like, "My child was just like that. Oh, isn't he cute?" Thank you, nice people.
I am grateful, however, to have a lovely and lively little boy, one who never hesitates to hug and kiss me. I can't even tell you how I felt yesterday when I was going to pick William up from the church nursery and ran into him and his teacher in the hall. His little face lit up underneath his hat and he drew in his breath in happy surprise and said, in the most delighted voice ever, "Mama!" Oh. Oh my. Is there any better feeling on earth? It sounds so cliched to say "my heart skipped a beat," but you know what? It just might have.
Speaking of which, I can hear the little prince calling "Mama?" from his crib. I am being summoned. He's been asleep for about two hours, and I think I have managed to build up some of my lost energy by now.