As most seasoned parents will tell you, having a newborn is actually the easiest part of parenthood. Once you get past "the total and complete destruction of your wonderfully care-free childless lifestyle", of course.
It was hard to believe at the time, but now that I am the mother to a squealing, whining, stubborn, unbelieveabley fast/strong little terror, I know this to be the truth.
I know what all you parents of teenagers are thinking. "Just you wait! You have no idea!"
To you, I say, "LALALALALALALALALALA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!!!!"
Two weekends ago, at Grammy and Sammy's sedar (that's what Mazzy calls my Mom and my Stepdad), I succeeded in scaring the crap out of a very nice married couple with a four-month-old baby girl.
The crazy thing is, I didn't even have to say a word. Merely being in the presence of my (relatively tantrum-free!) two-year-old was enough to bring these poor people to the brink.
The parents in question are college friends of my sister. The mother reads Mommy Shorts regularly so she has been more than briefed on my wildly precocious little girl. Unfortunately, I don't think my blog properly prepared her for what she was about to see.
Put simply— Mazzy does not possess the ability to sit still.
In fact, the girl cannot sit AT ALL.
Food is of no interest to her, so sitting Mazzy at a table with turkey and potato kugel is like sitting her in front of the television and putting on Bill Maher.
In order to keep Mazzy at a table, one must supply endless amounts of toys and activities. Animal figurines get bathed in water glasses, linen napkins get covered in crayon, and various dime-store toys get thrown under the table for sport because there is nothing more fun than watching Mommy bust her ass to locate a magnetic letter "N" that somehow ended up halfway across the room.
Judging by the action-packed nature of the events described above, you may think the "table activity" portion of the evening lasts a good 35-40 minutes. You would be INCORRECT.
After 3-5 minutes of tableside shenanigans, Mazzy usually screams "UP! UP! UP!" while simultaneously trying to fling herself from whatever apparatus that is holding her captive.
Once down, she runs wildly about the house, tortures whoever's pet is present (in this case my sister's dog, Roxy) and begs random relatives to relinquish their smart devices.
While she is running around, she is talking a mile a minute in this loud animated fasion, like she's Robin Williams on speed. Except instead of a comedy act, she's making various demands on everyone around her including the dog. "Mommy! Where's my milk?" "Grammy, let's play!" "Roxy, COME HERE!"
Watching this all go down can be TRAUMATIZING for parents of an infant who are still in the "baby as accessory" phase of existence.
As Miss New Mom sat stroking the back of her angelic baby's head, I saw SHEER TERROR on this poor woman's face.
"Wow. Mazzy is really scaring you, isn't she?"
"YEAH……." There might have been an audible gulp.
"Well, get ready because in a few short years—"
Then something unexpected happened. I was abruptly cut-off by my sister (a person who actually knows what she's talking about) who said, "Don't worry. Mazzy is way more active than your average child."
She is? I thought all toddlers acted like uncaged animals. Like Curious George in a chocolate factory. Like Rachel Zoe in a room full of vintage Chanel. Like a coked up Charlie Sheen in a whorehouse…
Nope, Dr. B officially diagnosed Mazzy with an extreme case of "ANTS IN THE PANTS". A common, though not universal, toddler affliction.
For the next forty minutes, I listened to my sister and Miss New Mom compare notes on the many children they know that are actually relatively docile and more than happy to sit quietly at a table.
Now I'M scared.
Does your kid suffer from ANTS IN THE PANTS? Do you have any words of advice on how to get them to sit still?