Sometimes we moms lament and wish that we had a few extra arms and hands. Like the other day, for example, when I took the kids to the library and on the way out found myself holding a stack of books (forgot the library bag), a diaper bag, and trying to hold Jazzy’s hand the despite the fact that she was desperately trying to free herself from my grip and started to lay down in the middle of the parking lot. “I could really use an extra set of hands here.” I said out loud as I tried to balance the books, the bag, get the van unlocked, and pick her up without pulling her arm out of the socket. Isn’t it amazing how a toddler can make their bodies become limp as a noodle when they want to get away. How do they do that anyway?
Jazzy is as sweet as they come, but make no mistake, she thinks she can do anything. She has no fear. She doesn’t mind pain. She loves to climb and slide and jump. All this put together and you really can’t leave her alone. Ever. She gets herself into such trouble. Sometimes I just want 30 seconds of peace, well ok, make that more like 30 minutes, and I wish I could just escape for a little bit of time to do things like shower without being scared out of my mind that she is using the kitchen chair to reach up to the Cutco knives to cut herself some grapes or something. (Yes, she learned that from her older brother.)
The girl is on the move. We have a basement and the builder of our house, bless his heart, probably didn’t have children because he designed the stair case to be totally open on one side with a slide-like low railing which was built with a child magnet inside. One little tip to the left and you will fall several feet hitting your head on the desk below. Jazzy likes to sit at the very top and slide down to the bottom of the steps. She has done it countless times and it doesn’t always end well. She has had her fair share of bloody lips in her short 20 months of life. I caught her in this slide act several times, but the problem is that if you yell and say “NO JAZZY!!!” she gets this strange adrenaline rush and it makes her want to do it more. So, you have to walk quickly and quietly and remove her from the danger. Then she kicks in that wet noodle trick so you really have to hold on tightly so she doesn’t fall right out of her arms. The point is, she loves a thrill and she hardly ever sits still.
The other day, I had a revelation. Little Miss Jazzy DOES sit still especially when I pull out our friend Curious George and slide him into the DVD player. She instantly becomes still and sits watching as if the Curious George magnet is much, much stronger than the slide banister magnet. In fact, she sits so still that I can actually trust her to be there when I run up to take a quick shower, throw on some clothes, and even blow dry my hair. It’s amazing. It’s like I have hired a babysitter to watch over her.
Then it hit me again. Maybe Curious George is the answer to my need for extra hands and arms. In fact, George offers an extra TWO sets! Nice. God bless Curious George.
I know all the parenting books strongly warn against letting TV become a babysitter, but personally, I think they got this one wrong.
And so it begins!