The picture I just saw on Facebook of a toddler who opened a box he shouldn’t have and quietly distributed the contents on the floor pales in comparison to a memory of another toddler who celebrates the Golden Anniversary of her arrival this week.
On one particular morning with our first grader in school, I hit the ground running with two at home under two years old. The baby took his nap, and Anna was busily quiet while I congratulated myself on all that I was accomplishing. That is, until it occurred to me that I might better check on why Anna was so quiet.
She had just learned to walk so I was unprepared for the idea that she could also open dresser drawers. I was astounded when I opened the door to the bedroom where I sewed. One drawer was open, and the bed was strewn with bias tape, rick rack, hem tape, and lace. Anything that had previously been wound on a card in the drawer was now across the bedspread. A prolific sewer, I had an abundance of cards!
Anna took one look at my face, handed me the last card she was holding, and said, “Thank you.”
With a mixture of laughter and chagrin, I spent more time rewinding cards than I had saved with her quiet busyness, but I received a lesson in checking when things became too silent. Though this has remained one of my favorite stories from her toddlerhood, and I think of hers, I will say in her defense that she has spent much more of her time in the years since putting things back where they belong than of strewing them around.
People often said to me during those years with two under two that I would one day wish for that time to come back. Funny stories aside, I have never made such an irrational wish!