“Toys are children’s words and play is their language.” ~ Garry L. Landreth
My wife and I recently binged the show “Little Fires Everywhere,” and though I spent most every episode loathing almost every character I thoroughly enjoyed the show. But I did walk away with a few questions, one of which being: When did Elle Woods become such a witch? If endorphins make you happy, and happy people don’t kill people, she better start exercising more because she is going to become a serial killer with how unhappy she is. Second: How did Pacey Witter end up with her? I thought he was into older women and later Joey Potter. Then that turned into a rabbit hole and I started to think, Joey Potter and Harry Potter’s mothers were both named Lily (spelled differently, but stay with me) and both are dead. Is there a Dawson’s Creek/Harry Potter universe out there where Joey’s mom didn’t die of cancer but in actuality had lived a double life and was killed by The Dark Lord, aka He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, aka You-Know-Who, aka Tom Riddle, you know, Lord Voldemort? Some people have anxiety that keeps them awake at night. Me, I have questions and thoughts like these.
But I also got to thinking, is this show supposed to make me afraid that one day our boys are going to get so frustrated with us that they will set little fires everywhere throughout the house? Because the only thing that concerns me at this point in life are all the little toys everywhere. And I mean everywhere! Their bedrooms, their bathroom, the living room, the basement, the garage…EVERYWHERE!!! I am sure there are Lego pieces in every single room of our house and in both of our cars. And books! We have a library of books in our house but unfortunately we don’t have a librarian to go around putting them away where they are supposed to go, and our attempt to teach the boys the Dewey decimal system turned out more like the Dewey v. Truman election of 1948, a complete circus. Our 8-year old’s bedroom looks like it was mating season for Legos and books and instead of giving birth to just one other Lego and book they are like rabbits on IVF and all of a sudden the floor is covered in Legos, books, and apparently due to interbreeding books about Legos.
As a stay at home parent I sometimes feel like one of those people in a parade, the one’s that walk behind the horses and scoop up the poop. Because that’s my life, I essentially walk around the house behind these kids picking up the toys that they leave behind, and occasionally poop. People always tell you when you are expecting what you have to look forward to. They warn of how the toys will seem to go all “Toy Story” and seem like they are moving throughout the house on their own. But as a naïve soon-to-be parent you always think, ‘It will be different for us.’ Then once you have been a parent a while, and you can’t stand the noise and the mess any longer, others will say, “You’re going to miss this one day.” And that’s where I am right now, I’m wishing for the days when I will miss these days. These days of the constant yelling, wrestling between two rambunctious boys, floors littered with Legos, books, cars, blocks, old spatulas and whisks (because we are a Highscope household so old kitchen utensils eventually become play things).
So, yes, one day I will miss these times. I will miss the moments when the little one, every time I pull out my phone, yells MA! or whispers Papa, because he thinks we are going to FaceTime my parents. We still don’t understand why Ma (grandma) is always a yell and Papa (grandpa) is always a whisper. One day I will miss toweling up the tidal wave of bath water caused by Kid Kong trying to sink the war ship that was attacking the giant dilophosaurus. Or reading the same two books 43 times in the span of 48 hours. I will miss these times, just as I miss the stages of life they have already grown out of. But right now, what I wouldn’t give for one day of not stepping on a Lego Darth Vader, or being yelled at because they need you to wipe off the dollop of yogurt on their hand – that they put there, mind you. Just one day of where the only butt I have to worry about wiping is my own. One day I will miss all of this. Unfortunately, today is not that day. And actually, that makes me pretty happy.