And now for a new blog feature, in which I vent about a frustrating experience that only a child could cook up, but then wrap up with something redemptive that only a child could cook up.

The most frustrating thing for me currently is leaving the house when husband Wally isn’t home. Not only do we have to do the shoes and coats thing times 3, but we have to get all of our many bags (diaper, purse, spare pants, and other depending on where we are going), and Wally Ben may or may not be willing to cooperate (and on a scale of may to not, this inevitably tips toward not).

The other day we were having our carpet cleaned so I had to spend the 10 minutes before we left moving toys from our family room to the tile at the bottom of the stairs. Vivi was ready for a nap, so she was sitting on the ground crying. Wally was on the not end of the scale, refusing to find his shoes, finding them and laying on the ground saying he can’t put them on, using them as trains on his train table, etc. I finally got the carpet clear, all coats and shoes on, did my 2 trips to the car to bring bags out, brought Vivi out and strapped her, convinced Wally to get in, and the last thing I had to do was strap him. I was thinking—that wasn’t that bad. And as I reached for his straps he said the worst possible words for that moment: “I gotta go potty!”

At that moment, I collapsed to my knees, threw my hands to the sky, and screamed to the heavens, Hollywood style, “Noooooooooo!!!” That was all in my brain. I unstrapped him, and in as kind of a tone I could muster (which on a scale of kind to not leaned toward not), “Let’s go!” and I grabbed Vivi in her carseat because I didn’t feel like unstrapping her fussy, tired little body. We ran into the house, pushed through the pile of stuff at the bottom of the stairs, me saying, “Just go!” and him whining, “I can’t climb it, I can’t do it!” Then he proceeded to scream at the top of his toddler lungs that he didn’t want to go like a big boy standing, but that he had to take his pants AND SHOES all the way off. And then, he proceeded to take his sweet little toddler time going. Because kids do not understand the concept of late. Sometimes I could go crazy.

And the redemption, which is simple. Wally Ben has a Mr. Potato Head. He likes to assemble and disassemble it, but he also likes to do what I liked to do as a kid: wear the glasses. He takes it a step further though. He wears the glasses, and then walks around the house holding the potato head arms, one in each hand. Like they are a little extension to his own hands. This, to him, makes him like Mr. Potato Head, to be wearing the glasses and holding the hands. This makes you want to crawl into his little toddler brain and feel what it feels like to be him and find joy looking at your new tiny toy hands through your tiny toy glasses. Sometimes I could eat him up.

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