By popular demand. Ok, so by popular, I mean by demand of 1, but still there was a demand, so! By my popular demand, the "toilet story". I should preface this story with a warning that laughter WILL ensue!
It's amazing how being a parent changes you. You believe you know who you are. And then you are a parent. And months into it, you find yourself the parent you ACTUALLY are, without the books, and google searches and 800 person poll as to what you should do. You just are. And you look around, and realize, THIS, is who I am. And this is the parent I am. And boy, I am NOT the parent I thought I would be. And this can be good. It can be bad. And heck, in a lot of ways, it just can be, without being either.
Somehow, this really explains the toilet story.
You should be hearing the fading twinkle music, that brings us to a historical date in time. Look around you, the computer/phone is fading away, the room around you is becoming fuzzy, and as it begins to refocus you are struck by the smell of ever green, the sound of yule tide good cheer, and, well, when the dust settles, it's 2 months ago, and it's Christmas.
So! Christmas. Lots of family gatherings. Schedules thrown out the window. Cute little dresses. Did I mention lots of family gatherings? As we sailed into Christmas evening, E had already experienced a peaceful Christmas Eve with a church service and meal with her Grandpa, Grandma and Great Grandma. A Christmas morning, full of more toys than a 1 yo could possibly appreciate, and a long afternoon nap. We were sailing through this first "real" Christmas no problems! So off for Christmas dinner we went. To Daddy's side of the family. To see Uncle A and Aunt J, and be spoiled by Nonno, and doted upon by her older boy cousins J(6) and A(4).
As with any family gathering in OUR family, there was wine. There was dinner. There was coffee. There was sambuca. And there were J, A, and little E. Have you ever noticed when you are surrounded by family that somehow your senses are heightened by a slight distrust, or they are dulled, because the trust is very deep, and you finally feel like you can let your guards down and relax. In this case, as with all of our family gatherings, our senses calm. And Mommy and Daddy relax. And it's especially easy with J following E around and providing a running commentary as to their adventures, activities, and most importantly their where abouts. Once you've heard for the twelfth time "MOM! E is in the living room!", and have had your 3rd adult beverage over the course of the evening, you start to get that warm family holiday feeling of security.
And then it hits you. Something you hear, that your mind just can't process.
"MOM! E is in the TOILET!"
My favorite part, is that nobody moved. In fact, Uncle A, repeated it, while continuing what he was doing, without missing a beat. "E is in the toilet." Matter of fact. Uncle A is a cop. He is very matter of fact.
As if slow motion, to this day, I see Aunt J, and Daddy go flying out of the room. This little call had come from upstairs. I hear the thumping of feet on the stairs. And frankly, in the split seconds there after, I decided to finish my sambuca. It was a small bathroom. There were already 2 adults on their way. And J had NOT sounded concerned.
Aunt J rounded the corner to see E, leveraged up on her belly, on the rim of the toilet, with both hands splashing with delight in the toilet. Her hair was soaked, her clothes were wet from top to bottom. As Daddy rounded the corner on Aunt J's heels, E turned and gave a grin! And of course tried to make a rapid B-line for the door. Lest any of the adults have the intention of ruining her fun.
E was returned to me shortly there after. In cousin A's PJs, although big, at least dry. With a head full of damp curls. I would love to tell you she snuggled down and turned into the sweet baby I had spent the previous Christmas with. But she didn't. She wriggled down, and was off.
It was eye opening.
A) You can't control everything, heck, with a toddler, you're lucky if you can control ANYTHING
B) Roll with the punches, it's considerably more enjoyable
C) Playing in toilet water isn't the end of the world
D) Our future was going to be full of chaos... and we would learn to love every second of it
And in that moment. As my daughter played in the toilet, and her Aunt and Daddy cleaned her up, and I chatted with her Uncle, and Nonno, and sipped my sambuca, I saw it. The kind of parent I am. And I loved meeting her. And was ready to follow her into the life that was ahead of us, whole heartedly. Especially if she'd pass the sambuca!