My Toddler's Mischievous Behavior
There she sat, in our walk-in closet, her back facing me. My daughter seemed to be quite involved in whatever it was that she was playing with ... which would explain the questionable silence that sometimes accompanies a toddler making mischief. Before interrupting her, I watched. Her elbows moved to and fro, up and down. Occasionally, her head would tilt to one side, then the other, her pigtails gently dangling.
As I watched her, I thought to myself, "I never even left the room. All I needed was two minutes to do a rush makeup job on myself and now, here you are, in that awkward silence that all parents fear." You see, before she had the opportunity to "get into" anything, I kneeled down to her level and said to her, "Honey, Mommy is going to put on some makeup. You sit right here and play with this," handing her a small box of old makeup containers I had super-glued shut.
The box of glued containers was a new thing I had fixed up for her the night before. As I glued, I pictured my little darling playing with the items I had selected especially for her: lipstick, a tube of mascara, some makeup brushes and a small mirror—all toddler-proofed.
While I quickly applied my makeup, I watched the top of my daughter's head in the mirror's reflection as she ran back and forth a couple of times, then nothing. I simply dismissed the stop in movement. After all, I was "right there."
I soon snapped back into reality as I approached her contented position in the closet. As I got closer, the theme from Jaws started playing in my head. I kneeled down behind her to see what was keeping her so quiet. "Sweetie ...," I began. She quickly dropped what she had in her hands, turned her head and said, "Liddle-liddle-li," which translates to, "I didn't do it." To my horror, she was covered in mascara. Nowhere near her eyelashes, mind you, but all over her lips! The only thing I could think of is that she thought it was lip gloss, the kind she'd seen mommy put on her lips so many times before.
There are times when you just can't keep both eyes glued to your toddler. Sure, you know where your kiddo is at all times (pretty much), but there are moments when you have to say, "OK, Sweetie, Mommy will be right back," or, "Play with this while Mommy wipes the counter," and so on. We, as parents, seem to think that these phrases give us the freedom to, say, go to the bathroom for two minutes and that nothing can go wrong. What we don't realize is that for our harmless little offspring, these words mean that they have exactly two minutes to get into whatever they can, and then resume their innocent position before you return. Smart little boogers, they are.