Being the full-time parent of a toddler has its ups and downs. Lately, it’s been a battle of the wills for me and Griffin. I usually win, but my sense of humor flies out the window as a result (so is it really winning?). I’ve learned that patience is generally a prerequisite to maintaining my sense of humor, and the Battle of the Wills drains my fairly large supply of patience rapidly. Take, for instance, yesterday in the late afternoon: after a day filled with temper tantrums and plans gone slightly awry, I logically knew it was funny when Griffin pulled my pants down and gave me a raspberry on the butt while I was bending over to wipe up the juice he deliberately spilled on the floor. But in the moment, all I could think was “Andrew, please come home soon, or so help me, I am going to throw this kid through the window.” Toddler parenting seems to be the ultimate test of whether you can go with the flow. I find my most successful days are ones where I’m not married to my ideas of what should or shouldn’t happen and I pay close attention to Griffin’s hunger, energy, and mood; my least successful are when I have a rigid agenda despite Griffin’s mood or think Griffin is going to love doing x. y, or z, but instead has absolutely no interest what-so-ever.
So this morning was a success as the stars aligned to allow for an impromptu project with my kiddo. After Andrew left for work, I noticed that the back door in our kitchen has a good one-to-two inch gap with the floor and is a huge heat-loss problem. I decided it was time to make a draft snake! I had several old sweaters just waiting for projects, as well as a buckwheat-filled bed pillow that proved to be not as comfortable as I was hoping, so I had the supplies. Griffin was fascinated watching the rotary cutter (from afar, of course), and under careful supervision, he actually really enjoyed sticking pins into the sweater material while I pinned the seams. He became my helper at the sewing machine, putting the pins back in the box as I pulled them out. The best part of the whole project was making him in charge of filling the snake with buckwheat hulls. I let go of any anxiety with making a mess (that’s what vacuum cleaners are for, right?), and just let him have fun. The end result was practical (no more leaky door!) and fun for both of us. And now every time he walks by the door, Griffin says, “sssssss!” and gives the snake a hug.