My eleven and a half month old must find it so frustrating, having to follow me around, undoing all the tidying I’m doing and recreating his previous mess.
Just earlier he barged into the bathroom where I was, repeatedly banging the door open, despite there being a stopper that hasn’t moved, and therefore the door has never opened further. Nor has it ever stayed open without the door wedge, until his iron little fingers tear it out for his chewing pleasure.
Anyway, after enough bangs, he decides he will enter and forget the misbehaving door. This time, he pulls the hand towel off the rack, shaking it vigorously at the floor for a minute, then drops it there before suddenly remembering something else he was going to do. He leaves just as I pick it up, dry my hands and hang it back up. I accidentally bang the door against the stopper amid this motion. He stops his waddle, looks back at the commotion, sees the towel going where it shouldn’t be. As I am leaving the bathroom he is banging back in, snatching the towel and throwing it on the floor again. He admires his work for just a moment, then he too leaves the bathroom, moving towards the bib drawer I have just refilled, where he will have no choice but to take quite another few minutes, emptying them out and spreading them around the floor, tasting some, hiding others. And then it’s unfolding the laundry time.
It must be exhausting for him, having to keep all my work in check. I could almost imagine the exasperation in his first words, “Just, leave them, on the FLOOR!”
But somehow he’s not like that at all. Just like that Oprah show where a toilet cleaner was featured as one of the happiest people in his job, tornado here runs around with a wide grin, loving his work and actually only complaining when I suggest that maybe he takes a break from pulling all the lamps down, not least because they might land on his head. At this his irritation becomes clear; the job is more important than his safety – that’s how it is when you’re following your calling. “Oh forget it Mam, you wouldn’t understand. Yes, lunchtime, but I’m sorry, I don’t have time to sit. Just pass me those few bits and I’ll clutch them on my journey, rubbing them against this and that, smearing the lovely oils and colours over what I can. I might eat a crumb, but probably I’ll just spit it back out. Oh gosh it’s just all too exciting,” he tells me, pulling the books to the floor and looking back up at me with delight, clapping enthusiastically at his own brilliance.
I couldn’t agree more.
Want to read more? Why not check out my novels and stay comfy on that couch.