In my early days of parenting, when I was nursing every 2-3 hours, I spent a lot of time watching TED talks and browsing random parenting magazines and articles. One of the TED talks I watched was this one from Babble editors Rufus Griscom and Alisa Volkman. The part that stood out at the time was Taboo # 4 (about eleven and a half minutes in), when they start talking about moment to moment happiness. At the time, I don't think I really got it-- my parenting lows came when Liam would wake up to eat at 2:00 in the morning, and the highs were the three hours of sleep I got in between feedings.
Tonight, I was reminded of it again, though. I was feeding Liam dinner (black beans and frozen chicken strips), and my little boy, who used to be such a careful eater, started smearing his black beans all over his high chair tray. Just when I started thinking, "Did the terrible twos come ten months early? Because, seriously, it can't get any worse than this," he turned his head and noticed the Chicka Chicka ABC board book sitting on the counter behind him, waiting to be put away; grabbed it; and started "reading," hands still covered in black beans.
"Liam, your hands are dirty," I said, "you should probably put the book away for now."
"Huh? Mama. Huh?" he responded, as he looked up from his book, so shocked that I would ask him to put a book away.
I couldn't resist. I cracked a smile, heart melting.
Then, as we were reading a few books before bedtime, I said, "Liam, do you have kisses for mama?"
He started smacking his lips and leaned in for a big open-mouth kiss.
That's the thing about parenting a toddler. Just when you're ready to throw in the towel, thinking you've exhausted all of your resources, they turn around and do something cute and make it all worth while.