9 Things I Can Do With My Toddler Now That His Brother's In School

by Leigh Anderson

Since my older son started school last week, I’ve been spending a lot more time alone with my 2-year-old. And frankly, I didn’t realize that I barely even know this kid, because from the moment he was born he was tossed in a carrier and dragged along for the ride. Fortunately, he’s a cheerful, friendly child, and doesn’t complain much, or if he does I don’t hear him because I’m so distracted by his older brother. But now that #1 is at school all day, I can finally, after 2 years, spend some quality alone time with #2. Below, the nine things I can do with my toddler now that his brother’s in school.

1. Talk to him uninterrupted. It turns out #2 actually has some stuff to say. I’d thought he was just a quiet child, but no, it’s not so much quiet as “drowned out.”

2. Look up what his middle name is, because it’s escaping me right this second.

3. Try new foods. Poor #2 doesn’t get a lot of say in what he eats because #1 is pretty quick to holler YUCK at dinners he’s eaten a hundred times before. Turns out #2 is fine with a sandwich cut any old way.

4. Notice that his eyes are blue.

5. Let him wake up from his nap in his own good time and not because Green Lantern crashed into his crib screaming TIME TO GET UP.

6. Play with him in peace and not have Batman smash through the train yard we’ve carefully assembled.

7. Find out if he has any friends of his own. We went to the park, just the two of us, and it came as something of a surprise when he climbed into the sandbox with another child and said “Hi, Sadie.”

8. Ask him who taught him to use a fork. Sometime in the last year, while #1 has been dominating the dinner table conversation like a mini Donald Trump, #2 somehow got a fork over to his high chair and learned how to use it.

9. Give him a bath without him being nearly drowned by an overly affectionate bath-mate. (He does his share of mauling, too, to be fair.)

So yeah, it’s nice to get acquainted with this kid who patiently sat in the bouncy seat while I argued with #1 about, say, if he could have a third afternoon snack, or, you know, whether it was Sunday or not. Turns out #2 is pretty awesome. And he’s got a lot to say, at least until, oh, 2:30 in the afternoon.