I don’t know how many times in the last month I’ve stepped on a toy that was around a stair, near the corner of a piece of furniture, or buried in the carpet. Toddlers have an amazing talent for randomly dropping toys that end up strategically placed where only the arch of your foot can find them. It wasn’t until I had kids that life problems included Light Bright pegs that lay in wait for their foot target to approach. I mean, I’m not even safe in my own home.
I try to pick these little toys up as I go about my day. Mostly because I want to live to see 40, but it’s a big job and I can’t always find the tiny plastic cow before it finds me. Oh sure, my kids pick up. But they don’t look for the Polly Pocket accessories on the stairs because they’re helping clean up by moving blankets from one couch cushion to another. No one ever listens to me when I give sound advice like: “If you don’t pick that Lego airplane part up, it’s going to end up in between your toes.” They look at each other then burst into fits of giggles, because the only person that ever happens to is Mom.
On the rare occasion when my kids do step on their toys, and it does happen, there are about a million things I want to say them. Ten of those are:
1. I told you so.
2. It hurts doesn’t it?
3. Woot! Woot! (This one includes a victory dance).
4. Ha! Take that!
5. Neener neener neeeeener.
6. Wow. Sucks to be you right now.
7. This happens to me at least six or seven times a week. Just walk it off.
8. WHOA! That’s GOT to hurt.
9. Suck it up, sister.
10. That’s not even buried in the carpet. You could have totally avoided that one.
Of course, I don’t say any of those things.
I sympathize, because who better to understand their pain than the woman who experiences it on a weekly, sometimes daily, bases? I know what it’s like to have the arch of my foot ambushed by a metal Dusty Crophopper. It hurts. So, I hold them. I rub their feet. I wipe their tears, and I help them put the offending toy away.
All the while in my head I’m saying: Neener neener neeeeener.
Like any good parent.
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