Remember when our house was just a house? You were there. Cupboards stayed shut, and food stayed on the shelves, and power outlets were helpful dispensers of electricity for my lovely, intact floor lamps? It was great, wasn’t it?
Ok, one more: remember when Desi was an infant? Sure, he was sometimes loud and sometimes gave off a slight odor, but for the most part, he was just very cute and posed very few threats to me and you and our very normal house. Most importantly, he stayed where I put him.
Diary, I had no idea. I should have been thanking my lucky stars every single morning that my kid had the weak legs and miraculous lack of ambition of a normal baby. Because Diary, everything. Has. Changed.
I no longer live in a house, as previously described. We now reside in a multi-floored danger zone, complete with potentially hazardous items behind every hinged enclosure.
Those power outlets we were just talking about? The ones that gave light to our light bulbs? Every one of them needs to be surrounded by traffic cones and caution tape (also have you looked at a power outlet lately? It’s like a little concerned face. The power outlet and I have the same expression every time Desi crawls by.)
I make that concerned face all the time now. Even during routine trips to the kitchen. Diary, I have lived over three, long, full decades without worrying about accidentally stepping in a puddle of olive oil. Like, it’s just not one of those things I’m watching out for.
Sure, I used to check my shoulder for spit stains and made sure I wasn't leaking through my bra. I learned those new, essential-habits-of-socially-acceptable-moms. But have I been checking for oil spills?
NO BECAUSE I’M NOT A MECHANIC OR A BIRD IN THE GULF OF MEXICO (sorry, southern birds. We both deserve better.) But now that I evidently have a strangely dextrous toddler with a need to saute his teething toy, I’m going to be checking for oil spills. It was all over the floor, Diary. In fact, I think Desi was going beyond a mere saute. I think he was looking to deep fry.
(Although my left foot did have very soft skin for a week. Thank you for that, baby boy. Maybe you should start a skincare company.)
Another thing, Diary, and you wouldn’t know this because you have very poor arm strength, but did you know that almost everything in our house can tip over? Yeah, I know. I hadn’t tried it, either. I usually don’t pull myself to a standing position using a bar stool or a bag of groceries, but our new housemate does. And now, everything in our house that can be tipped over, will be tipped over.
It’s like Murphy’s law, but for unanchored furniture and unsupervised centerpieces. If ever I had a reason to cut back on clutter, ‘tis now. But OH YEAH I HAVE A TODDLER so we have recently reached stuff-level 11.
Below is a picture of my living room. A few weeks ago I decided to fully lean into the disaster and move my coffee table to the back wall. Do you see it back there looking sad and forgotten? I used prop my feet up and set hot drinks on it. Gone are the days...
And so, Dear Diary, our previously adult-ish home has been transformed. We have put corks in all of our electrical sockets and masked their worried faces. We have chained all of our furniture to the wall, lest it attempts to leave the house for fear of grubby hands on its upholstery. And we have locked and gated so many cupboards, doors and drawers that I feel like just moving through my house normally is a test of my own fine motor skills (and I don’t always pass.)
I should start advertising my residence as Chicago’s hottest new escape room.
This is my new life. Because people tell me that once your kid starts moving, they don’t really ever stop. It’s another one of those scientific laws, right? Objects in motion stay in motion? Well I have amazing dreams that I’m the other object – the object at rest that stays at rest.
But Diary, I have a feeling that this time, Physics isn’t on my side. Physics has joined Team Toddler, and if I don’t stop writing this and go find him, their team jersey will likely be soaked in the cup of ice water I left on the floor since I no longer have a coffee table.
I don't have time to sign off affectionately this time, Diary. Suzy out!
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