Monday, April 26, 2010

A Two-Year-Old's Attention Span

How quickly they forget.

I'm talking about two-year-olds, yes. They want everything they see, everything everyone else has, and they want it right now, but they can also be so easily distracted and redirected.

But I'm also talking about myself -- how quickly I can forget what it's like to mother a two-year-old.

We had five extra kids at our house while the kids' parents attended a weekend retreat. The teens? Barely knew they were here, other than the empty chip bags.  The seven year olds and the five year old?  Busy playing with dolls and PlayMobil, being queens and princesses, and asking for more milk.

The two-year-old?  In a no-longer-toddler-proofed house, I was on alert for dangers. What's in my unlocked cupboard under the kitchen sink? Why are those matches in that very low drawer?  Could that bookcase fall over if he climbs it? (And let me tell you -- this boy can climb, especially when there are doughnuts on the counter.)

Don't get me wrong -- he was great. He's a superbly well-behaved little guy. He went to sleep beautifully and dutifully when he needed to, and his big sisters and my girls were all a huge help with everything this weekend. But, the physical duties of caring for a two-year-old are more demanding than what I'm currently used to.

How quickly I forget. And how quickly I remember, too,  what it's like to sit and rock a little body to sleep.

It was a gift to re-experience a certain kind of exhaustion, and to be forced to speed up and slow down and fall in love all over again with my rocking chair.

How was your weekend?


Skysaw said...

Thanks for putting in the exhaustion so your friends could go on retreat!

Theresa said...

How was my weekend? Similar. And punctuated by much Advil.

Margaret in Minnesota said...

Remember when Ramona was 11 mos old? And you were pining for a nap pretty much always?

That was my. weekend. :)

Abigail Badillo said...

Thanks for the reminder that life won't always consist of chasing my 11 month old all over the house. The thought that little ones require less vigilance as they grow older (or a different kind of vigilance, anyway) is a strange one, until you've experienced it - almost as strange as realizing that my baby won't always be the cuddly little nursling than she is now... :(

Karen E. said...

Yes, Abby, it moves too quickly, even though it doesn't seem so at the time .... :)