It wasn’t so very long ago that I used to be able to get a lot of stuff done in a very short amount of time. I mean, when particularly motivated, I could tidy up of the house, cook meals, run errands, write, spend some time chatting with friends either on the phone or on Facebook, do a little reading, and even find time to watch a movie or play some video games–all within a 24-hour period. Give me an entire weekend, and I just might be able figure out time travel or find a cure for cancer.

When you have kids though, time management is one of those things that changes drastically. Suddenly, something as simple as running to the Post Office to buy stamps begins to resemble a scene from Mission:Impossible, only instead of guns and gadgets and hidden surveillance equipment, you arm yourself with toys and sippy cups and an assortment of bite-sized snack foods.

The funny thing about having a toddler though, is that sometimes just staying home ends up being far more adventurous than trying to go out anywhere. Toddlers are into everything, all the time, without stopping or standing still or giving you a break, even for a minute. Hell, some days I feel like I deserve a medal just for finding a way to take a shower with Cadence in the house. It has gotten to the point lately that I have to bribe her into sitting in her high chair (where I can lock her in) so I can shower without having to worry that she is going to climb on top of the refrigerator or manage to demolish the house in my absence.

Usually, if I give her some paper and a pen or some crayons, I have about 6 minutes of free time before she begins to demand release. And even there, in the confines of her high chair, it’s amazing what a toddler can accomplish when you’re not looking…

When I got out of the shower and I saw this, I asked, “Cadence, were you chewing on the pen?”

She just stared at me.

“Cadence,” I said again. “Did you put the pen in your mouth?”

Still no answer.

“Cadence, were you drawing?”

She nods.

“Cadence, did you chew on the pen.”

Annoyed at my persistence she shakes her head violently back and forth. Then she grabs the paper, crushing it in her hands.

“Nah!” she hollers. “Nah! Nah!”

Translation = No. No. No.

Hmmm…I don’t think I believe her.

“Cadence,” I say, pointing to the big black glob of ink at the corner of her mouth. “What’s this?” Did you chew on the pen?”

She looks up and smiles sweetly. I bite my lip to keep from smiling back at her. I furrow my brows and put on my best stern face.

“Cadence LaRue,” I say, staring her down. “Were you naughty? Did you chew on your pen?”

Finally realizing that she has been caught in the act, Cadence does what toddlers do best–she turns on the charm, knowing that the only way out without getting in a whole heap of trouble is to remind Momma just how adorable she is. So, she puckers up her lips and asks for a kiss.

Damn. That face is like kryptonite–it works every time.

“You know kid,” I say, as I shake my head and scrub the ink from her cheek with a wet washcloth. “You’re lucky you’re cute.”

Today’s 365 Project is dedicated to the kiddos who keep us on our toes and keep us laughing through the chaos. Some days, all you can do is just hang on and enjoy the ride.


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