Watch Your Kid, Lady!

You know that look you get when you take your two-year-old to the store and they leave their halo at home? Sometimes it’s a simple eyebrow lift, sometimes it’s a scowl; and sometimes the disapproving expression comes with a loud whisper you’re fully intended to hear: “Watch your kid, lady!”

What are you talking about? I do watch my kid! I just watched him pull a box of crackers off the shelf. When I moved the cart so he could no longer reach, I watched him throw both his binky and an impressive fit. In the past week, I’ve watched my Alex do all sorts of things!

I watched him throw his food on the floor while I did the breakfast dishes my other kids left as a going away present. If I don’t get them in the dishwasher before chucking waffle pieces under the table loses its thrill, I get to watch him load himself in with the plates.

I watched tears fall down his cheeks every single morning after his hero kissed us both goodbye then left for work. Then I watched Alex press his sad face up against the window and beg, “Daddy! Daddy! More hugs!” It’s okay little guy, I’ll let you jump on my bed while he’s gone.

I watched Alex get a hold of the fly swatter and start whacking everything in his path. Nasty, germ-infested square of plastic mesh coming through!

I watched climb out of his crib when I lay him down for a nap, then watched the minutes pass as I listened to him lie on the floor and cry under the door. “Mama! Dada! Maaaaaama!” I tricked my mind into thinking he’d eventually give up, but I knew better than to underestimate the lung capacity of a headstrong half-pint.

I watched Alex hit his brother with a Zumba stick, which is really just a $50 toddler weapon since the good intentions I had when I bought the workout died about the same time I realized if I wanted it to work, I would also have to.

I watched him break a just-opened granola bar in half and throw a perfectly good, untouched piece into the trash. “If you don’t want it, give it to mom,” I said. Then I watched pull it out of the garbage can hand it over. Um, thanks?

I watched Alex run excitedly toward me and pull me by the shirt to show me the skill he mastered while I was folding clothes: removing the lid from the flour bin. Reason ninety-four not to do laundry!

I watched him slide down the slide at the playground adjacent to the soccer field where his brother had practice. Then I watched him wander over to the swings and give one a push, only to have it come back and hit him in the mouth. I scooped him up and kissed his forehead, then watched blood drip out of his mouth, down his chin, and onto my shirt.

I didn’t watch him pee on the carpet after his bath, but I did step in it. And I did watch my five-year-old laugh at the face I made when I knelt down to smell the wet spot, hoping it was water but having no such luck.

I absolutely do watch my kid!

Do you want to watch my kid, lady?

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