Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Simple Rules for Living with a Toddler

With every burgeoning relationship, it takes time to navigate the terrain of cohabitation. You have to learn, sometimes painfully, what the other person likes and dislikes, what will set him or her off, what will make him or her happy.

It's taken some time, but we're starting to figure Sean out. Although at times it feels like we are living with someone who is completely unhinged, there are certain rules that, if followed, ensure a reasonable measure of domestic peace.

First, we must respect the clarion call "I do it!" Sean MUST do the following himself:

--Open and close all doors and drawers
--Wake Daddy up in the morning
--Turn light switches on and off
--Open up the container of diaper wipes (and then put the lid up to his face and say "Look! I have a mask!")
--Get undressed
--Get "dressed" (by which I mean cram both legs into one pant leg and then exclaim "I stuck!")
--Put on his shoes (actually quite a timesaver when he gets the shoes on the right feet, about 75% of the time)
--Climb in and out of the carseat

Second, we must note the following exceptions to "I do it!" Sean apparently cannot do the following:

--Pick up his toys ("No! I can't! You do it!")
--Share with his sister ("No, that's mine! You can't have it!")
--Remember that water belongs in the bathtub and not all over the bathroom floor
--Eat anything other than ramen noodles or oatmeal for dinner
--Recall our rule against jumping on the couch
--Use the potty other than right before bathtime

Third, we must be aware that any previously established agreements are subject to dissolution at any given time without any warning.

All perfectly reasonable, right?