There is no hill

This birthday thing that happened last weekend got me thinking a bit.

I have to confess that I mentally eyeroll (just a little bit, I promise) at people when they go one about turning 30 oh noes. A big part of that is that my 30s have been hands down the best decade of my life so far. So very many good things have happened to me over the last 10 years that if I had to pick a decade to relive, it would be this one. Because as I look back, I realize that my 30s have been hands down the best decade of my life so far. So very many good things have happened to me over the last 10 years that if I had to pick a decade to relive, it would be this one.

For most of my 20s, I was still in college, with all these unrealistic dreams about where my life and career was going to go. I let the guys I was dating have too much influence over my life decisions. I won’t say that I made bad choices, because I didn’t really, but I made a lot of choices that embarrass me a little when I look back at them now. I didn’t realize how much growing up I still had to do. On my 30th birthday I had a party with a couple dozen friends, and I thought my life was stable and that it would be this way for the next forty years.

But then things began to change. I’d made more friends at work, people with no connection to my husband. I was the sole income-earner and I think it did a lot for my self-confidence. I started making some real significant contributions at work, started spending time with a different group of people who introduced me to a lot of things I hadn’t tried before and never thought I would. I started looking at my life with a more critical eye, noticing that there were a lot of things that weren’t going the way I wanted them to, and finally realized that I really did have the power to change things… if I could just find the courage to risk it.

In my thirties, I realized that my marriage wasn’t beneficial to me, and found the strength to ask for a divorce.

In my thirties, I dove into the world of puzzles that I enjoy so much, and from which I’ve made so many friends.

In my thirties, I re-evaluated the conviction I’d had that I would never had kids, and realized it hadn’t been my own but my ex-husband’s conviction. And that maybe, just maybe, I felt different now that I was off on my own.

In my thirties, I lived on my own for the first time since the college dorms. I became a solo homeowner. I weathered some ups and downs at my job, and when that job became toxic, I somehow found it in me to walk away from that as well.

In my thirties, I found that I really could stand up for what I believed even when it wasn’t popular; that I could say what I was really feeling without worrying that my friends would laugh at me for it; that saying “Why not?” instead of “Why?” could lead to some fantastic experiences.

So when I see people talking with some trepidation about turning 30, or sounding like it’s the beginning of the end, I just… I don’t quite get it anymore. I expect I was probably the same way when I was 29, and now I laugh at myself a little bit for it. I had no idea of anything that was about to happen, or about how my 30s would be more about opening windows than closing doors. Lots and lots of windows.

And you know what? I’m sure my friends who’ve already passed that 40th birthday milestone see me eyeing it warily, and they probably do a little mental eyeroll as well. Because I have no idea what the next ten years are going to hold, and for all I know they’re going to leave my 30s in the dust.

You’re not over the hill until you’ve been buried on one. And it’s all uphill from here.


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A peek back in time, part 3 (conclusion! finally!)

And thus we finish my pre-birthday look back at what’s been going on around my previous 20 birthdays. Not a whole lot that affected people beyond my immediate friends and families, but then that’s probably true for most of us. (By the way, if you missed the first installments, here they are: Part 1 & Part 2.)

One thing that I find interesting is how the sections describing the longer-ago times are relatively short, while the past eight years or so have been so milestone-filled that they had to be broken off into separate chunks. This could be because my college and early work years just weren’t all that memorable because I was just getting started with this adulthood business. But perhaps it’s because events that seemed so significant when they were recent become less important with the perspective of many years’ distance.

At any rate: here’s the final segment. Enjoy!

Three years ago, our January 2009 involved a lot of breaking the news of my pregnancy to our friends.

A few months later, to celebrate our anniversary and our impending parenthood, we’d fly to Washington D.C. for a week of touristing. While we were there, my sister’s daughter would be born and we would officially be aunt and uncle on both sides of our extended family.

July would find us celebrating the birth of a tiny little Kiddo. And then learning all the challenges of parenting a newborn.

Not quite two months later, Husband and I and a handful of friends hosted Seattle’s first instantiation of DASH, a multi-city on-foot puzzle event. I impressed myself with how easy it was to do things with a child attached to me. That would change. Oh, how that would change.

Two years ago it was 2010 and life had settled into a pattern for us. Baby, baby, baby, and then baby.

Things hadn’t gotten really bad at work, but the downhill slide would start later that year.

We would buy our first new car in years, and drive it to Lake Chelan for a week with my parents and siblings.

Kiddo would learn to eat “real” food, and to walk–both skills that continue to challenge us.

I would join Twitter after declaring for years that I didn’t see the point, and also start this blog.

One year ago, 2011, and it was going to be another big year for us.

In April I would walk away from the company to which I’d given almost 12 years of my life. Six weeks later I’d start over at a new job, which is less stressful and more enjoyable.

In August we’d take a two-week family road trip that took us across the Continental Divide half a dozen times, reunite me with some of my high school classmates, and get the whole Smith family together for some summer family time.

In November we’d host Thanksgiving. I’d also attempt to keep up with the blog-every-day NaBloPoMo. I fell off the wagon shortly after the holiday, but I learned some interesting things – one of them being that if I take the time to write in this blog, people take the time to read it.

And that brings us back to here. It’s been an interesting trip so far. Here’s to the next twenty years.

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A peek back in time, part 2

Here’s the second part of my pre-birthday look back at how the past 20 years have gotten me to where I am now. You can find part 1 here; part 3 will be up soon.

Eight years ago it was 2004, and a lot of big stuff was about to happen that year.

I surprised even myself by volunteering to join the small core of PuzzleDay leads. Guess who else was on that core group? Hint: I’m married to him now.

Come April, Office 2004 for Macintosh would finally be released to manufacturing. I’d been pouring a lot of effort into work that spring, and it was reflected in my performance reviews. Just for fun, I put a big gold star on my office door like a Hollywood starlet.

That summer I’d face for the first time the tough decision to put one of our two ferrets to sleep. I’d never lost a pet before, and it was very, very hard on me. On both me and my then-husband, I think, but instead of bringing us together, it was the first step of the eventual end of the marriage.

In the fall, a few of my friends and I would form a team to play in my first driving Game, Shinteki:Untamed. The four-person team we assembled is still together, with the addition of a few others to come later.

In December, I would make another tough decision: I asked my soon-to-be-ex-husband for a trial separation.

Seven years ago it was 2005, and perhaps one of the most pivotal periods in my life to date.

For my birthday, one of my PuzzleDay co-leads invited me to join him and some of our friends to play remotely in that year’s weekend-long MIT Mystery Hunt. Sometime late Friday night, I walked out of our conference room for a few minutes and returned to find he’d arranged for a birthday cake for me. I got an inkling that there might be some mutual attraction.

I moved into my very first all-my-own apartment. My ex and I filed for divorce. It would be officially a done deal just eight months later.

I started dating the aforementioned PuzzleDay co-lead.

That summer I would run one leg of a marathon relay, along with my sisters and mom. My new boyfriend and I ran Bay to Breakers too. That ended up being the last time I did any significant running, either competitively or just for myself.

In August I would play in my first full-length Game, with my teammates from Shinteki and two other guys. One of them later moved to Germany, and the other is the fifth member of our current Game team.

In October, I’d sign the papers and hand over a great big change, in exchange for the keys and deed to a cute little condo in Kirkland.

Five years ago in 2007, I kicked off the year by moving out of that cute little condo and into my boyfriend’s house. I had some reluctance doing so because I sure loved that condo, but it seemed like the right move for us at the time. I would eventually sell it in November for a very nice profit, just as the housing bubble was starting to collapse.

While sorting through papers, I found my friend Julia’s email address, and wrote to her hoping to rekindle our friendship. One of the first things I learned was that she’d been diagnosed with an aggressive form of lung cancer the previous December in spite of never smoking a cigarette in her life.

In April my boyfriend and I would go on a Carribean cruise. It had seemed like the perfect opportunity for him to propose marriage, and I found myself a little disappointed when he didn’t. Little did I know that in May, he’d scheme with the organizers of another Game to make the first event a marriage proposal instead of a puzzle. I remembered to say yes.

November would find us running Microsoft Puzzlehunt 11.0. This wasn’t just for interns, but for anyone who could put together a 12-person team that contained at least six Microsoft employees. I wrote a choose your own adventure type installation puzzle that sent people roaming through a huge underground parking garage. It was awesome.

Four years ago it was 2008. In March, my moments-away-husband and I would stand up in front of dozens of our friends and family members and vow that this time around, we’d do it right. (So far: success.)

My friend Julia wouldn’t be able to make it to our wedding, as her cancer was getting the upper hand. I’d find out at the end of May that she’d died a few days earlier. How can it be possibel to miss someone so much when you haven’t seen then in twenty years? Even now I still get a little teary-eyed remembering her.

In October we’d get a little plus sign on a little pink stick. (So would my sister, although hers happened a couple months earlier that year.) Life was about to change again.


A peek back in time

My birthday (ahem) is fast approaching, like the lights in the tunnels that turn out to be oncoming trains, only without the impending sense of doom. This one has some special significance, as it will be the last one I have before I turn 40. This means I’ll have only one more year to plan my 40th Birthday Party Grand Extravaganza. I haven’t decided yet whether I’ll need to prebook the flying giraffes, or if I should just stick with the dancing unicorns. Thoughts?

Semi-seriously though, as it’s both the beginning of a calendar year and a chronological year, it seems like a good time to take stock of where I am and where I’ve come. Apparently I’ve come quite a way, because this got so long I had to split it into three separate posts. Parts 2 and 3 will show up tomorrow and the next day, respectively.

Twenty years ago (good lord) in January 1992, I was a college freshman at The University of Montana, majoring in Journalism and minoring in Spanish, having been talking out of a Latin minor by the assistant dean of the Journalism School.

I was dating a guy six years older than me who was wrong for me in so, so many reasons. But he was my first boyfriend and I was in luuuuuuuurve. I still was in touch with some of my high school friends, but since I hadn’t had many close friends in high school it’s no surprise that some of the friendships I’d had were already fading. One that wasn’t, though, was a connection I’d made a few years earlier with a girl named Julia. We’d met at a choir festival during our junior year that both our respective high schools attended. Julia and I wrote letters to each other for the next ten years or so–she more faithfully than me–and I was sure that we’d be one of those pairs of friends who reunite after 25 years of never having seen each other in person.

I hadn’t yet met my eventual first husband, but that would happen only a couple of months down the road.

Fifteen years ago, it was 1997 and I was a graduate student in computer science at Montana State University. I’d complete my B.A. in Journalism (Print emphasis) two years previous, looked around for a year or so, and then decided that journalism was going to be a highly competitive, low-paying field. I’d been intrigued by comp sci and decided to take some nondegree classes, and eventually got talked into officially going for my Master’s.

I’d been dating my about-to-be fiance for about a year. He proposed on my birthday. We (mostly I) decided the following week to have the wedding that summer rather than waiting two years so his engaged sister could have her wedding first. I dove into wedding planning with all the enthusiasm of an early-20s-year-old excited about being a princess for a day and, oh yeah, getting hitched to my life partner. He joked that he’d only proposed so that I’d come with him if he took a job out of state. Solid foundations there.

Interesting note: One of my classmates was the guy who would eventually marry one of my current really good friends. I don’t know whether he even remembers this.

Ten years ago in January 2002, my then-husband and I took a week-long trip to Hawaii for my birthday, and returned to learn that his company was closing their Seattle office, and everyone who worked there was being laid off.

At that time, I’d been working at Microsoft for 2 1/2 years in the Macintosh Business Unit. We made Office for Macintosh. I think I was still a software tester on Word at that point. I’d made a lot of friends but was just getting to know the one who would eventually preside at my second wedding.

Later that year, I would join the staff of Microsoft Intern PuzzleDay and write my first two puzzles. One was pretty good, and the other was so-so. It was either that summer or the next where I’d meet my eventual current (second) husband. Both of us were married to other people at the time, and neither of us had any idea what fate had planned for us.

… to be continued …


Childproofing? How about childcoaching.

The time has come, the parents said, to talk of many things:
Of dishwashers and tabletops,
Of tacks and apron strings,
And why the stove is don’t-touch hot,
And whether kids have wings!

When our boy was a blanket-wrapped bundle, childproofing was an issue that we’d think about later. Even as he started to get more mobile, we decided we’d just deal with the obvious stuff, like cupboard door latches and padding around the fireplace hearth, and then wait to see what mischief he was most interested in getting into. This, under the hood, was just another way of thinking about it later.

Later has arrived.

Kiddo’s gotten taller, or else his arms have gotten longer. He’s also gotten pretty clever. He’ll pick up on a trick after seeing it only once or twice. (This is why, in our house, we no longer pick up cereal bowls and drink the remaining milk. FYI.) He knows how to turn on the TV and the Xbox 360; he also knows that if he touches the TV we turn it off, and has occasionally used this trick to his advantage.

And now, he’s tall enough and knowledgeable enough to open the dishwasher, and to push the button that opens the microwave. This morning Kiddo had a head start of only seconds heading into the kitchen, and when I followed I found the dishwasher and lower cupboard doors wide open, as if it were a mini-reenactment of The Sixth Sense.

We’ve gotten past the point where childproofing would do any good. Oh, we could try, but wrapping the kitchen in bubble wrap isn’t practical. The oversize box of plastic wrap can’t live on the counter forever.

This child! He’s figured out that he can pull chairs out from the dining room table and climb up on them to get the papers on the dining room table. We’ve prevented him from taking the stepstool over to the counters, but only by not doing it ourselves. Every morning he runs around and turns on all the lightswitches upstairs, including the living room one where he has to crawl out on the slippery arm of the couch, and then he turns and jumps off it to the floor. We didn’t teach him any of that. He sees us doing normal activities that are safe for adults, and simply follows suit.

So now the time for childproofing is over. Now we are trying to teach him what’s allowed, rather than simply walling it off. The tricky part is going to be un-teaching some of those rules later on, when he’s old enough to help load the dishwasher and set the table. I’ve tried the “when you’re bigger” line a couple times, but that just leaves the door open for little Mister Rules Lawyer to come back a few months later and point out that he is indeed bigger than when I first set that restriction.

My current strategy is to get him to help out with the parts of the activites that are kid friendly, hoping to redirect him from the more hazardous parts. He wants to open and unload the dishwasher? Sure, how about taking these plastic plates and containers to the counter. That sort of thing. My friends have said two years old isn’t too young to help sort the laundry and pick up the basement. If we do this right, maybe we can sneakily teach him to love doing housework the same way we sneakily taught him to love eating his vegetables.


Sorry, Kiddo.

Before Kiddo was born, I vowed that I would never put anything online about his diaper or toilet habits. I will now bend that vow slightly, but (I hope) in a way that will not embarrass him ten years down the road.

(What kind of fool am I being? Ten years from now, anything we do or will have done is going to embarrass him.)

Before Kiddo was born, before our midpoint ultrasound where all the parts were inspected and displayed, I wasn’t sure which sex I wanted our child to be. I had only two concerns about having a boy, and one of them was around toilet training.

(Oh, sorry. I’m informed by the Supermommies Of The Internet that it’s “potty learning.” Whatever.)

I am delighted that he turned out to be a boy. I am excited watching him grow and learn new things. But I’ve known that one day, we’d reach the point that I was dreading, and we’d have to start with the potty training. And it looks like that distant train is much closer than we thought.

Most of the unpleasantness of toilet training applies to both sexes – the wet and messy pants, soggy imprints on the floor and furniture, mad rushes to find public bathrooms when someone has to go “now, Mommy, right now!”

Boys, however, come with an additional challenge. Very few of them are born with perfect aim.


And that’s enough said about that.

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I’ve been busy with my new job, and haven’t had much time to write here lately. And in the meantime, my little guy has been up to so much. Over the past several weeks, he has continually amazed me with the way in which he learns things, and how quickly he picks up little tricks. He speaks in sentences and phrases now, repeats back what we’ve told him, sings Twinkle Twinkle Little Star and counts past twenty with a look-what-I-can-do lilt in his voice.

He’s growing up so fast, and last weekend really brought it home. My husband and I were involved with an all-day puzzle event that we needed to be able to focus on, so we had to find an alternate plan for Kiddo. Our sitter that day was the son of a couple friends of ours; he’s taken care of Kiddo before at their house, with occasional oversight from his mom, and Kiddo has usually enjoyed his time there, once he gets past being upset with us for leaving him behind.

I was expecting the usual tears and clinging when I dropped him off, but this time was different. As I stood in the driveway chatting with my friend, her daughter came outside to talk to Kiddo, and then led him inside by the hand to find a toy. He didn’t even look back.

I was a little taken aback. When I realized what had just happened, and Kiddo didn’t immediately come running back out. I turned to my friend. “I feel bad about leaving without saying goodbye, but it might be easier on him if I just go,” I said uncertainly. She agreed, and I hopped back in my car.

Usually as I drive away from a drop-off, I feel a tiny bit of regret. How could I knowingly upset him, even knowing that he’d be fine again as soon as I was out of sight? Last weekend I felt a different kind of regret. As much as I’d looked forward to the day when I could walk away without the tears and drama, I suddenly missed it a little bit. It was no longer a big deal that Mom was leaving him behind, and my ego wasn’t sure how to handle that.

Objectively I know that this means we’ve done something right. We’ve helped him build his independence and confidence that it’s OK for Mom and Dad to leave him with someone else for a while. He knows we’ll come back and we still love him. Emotionally, though, it was a little bit of a hit to see him casually go off with someone else, as though he was saying “Oh, you’re leaving? Whatever, see you later.”

I’m proud of the big boy he’s becoming. Outwardly I’ll give him all the support he needs to grow into a confident, independent adult. And if I get a lump in my throat now and again missing the little baby whose universe revolved around me, well, I guess that’s just part of growing as a parent.


Words mean things, I think

Kiddo’s turned into quite the chatterbox recently. One article I read a while back about speech milestones said that right around 2, they’ll start talking a lot and you’ll be convinced they’re speaking another language. I laughed at the time. Now I see what they meant.

He tells us his observations of everything: Mom’s coat is green, his own coat is blue and yellow, Dad’s car goes vroom vroom. He can usually articulate his needs and wants: more meat please, water please, Dad read book, light on. He’s started offering his opinions too: cheese mmm, no Mom no sing!

All of these, of course, in his own dialect of toddler-ese. I’m reasonably adept at translating it, my husband nearly as much, and I have to assume his daycare teachers are too. I think he meets the developmental milestone guideline that says by this age, strangers can understand about half of what Kiddo says. But even I have trouble parsing some of the garbled words and phrases. Our smattering of sign language helped for a while but we haven’t really kept it up, other than the basics.

When he says something that we can understand, we usually repeat it back to him so that he can hear (and hopefully pick up) the correct pronounciation. In the car this morning Kiddo said “Gar doh o-peh” and I said yep, I’m going to open the garage door. As we started down the driveway he cheerfully exclaimed “Doin don hih!” and I confirmed that’s right, we’re going down the hill! I can’t always do this–sometimes I’m occupied with things like driving or cooking, other times I simply can’t make it out.

This morning I wondered whether I was overdoing it. Imagine how you’d feel if someone was correcting ninety percent of what you said. Some might find it helpful, but I know if it were me, I might start to feel like I couldn’t do any darn thing right, and might even lose the confidence to keep trying at all. In my attempts to build up the correct use of language, am I actually tearing him down? Am I modeling, or just invalidating?

Then I said to myself, Self, you’ve been spending too much time in online parenting forums. Stop being a dork.

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Making memories

Last Sunday, after spending most of the afternoon at Pike Place Market, we stopped at Marymoor Park on the way home. Pike Place Market is nifty for taller people, but not so exciting when you’re strapped into a stroller. Kiddo had been very patient though, and he deserved some fun time for himself.

The park was the emptiest I’ve ever seen it. The playground itself was deserted. Granted, it was a holiday weekend, it was close to dinner time, and there were ominous-looking rain clouds not far away. But none of that mattered to our boy. He was thrilled that he could play on all the slides and ride on the little rocking tractor to his heart’s content, without needing to take turns or watch out for bigger kids. He’d pause at the top of a slide and sign “More?” and we would tell him, of course you can slide some more! We let him lead, and just followed him from slide to rocker to bigger slide to swing, letting him choose what he wanted to do next.

When it was time to leave we borrowed a trick and pointed to the small berm surrounding the concert stage, about halfway between the playground and the parking lot.  “Look at that hill! Want to run up the hill?” I asked Kiddo, and of course he did.  Off he ran, glee bubbling out of him, with all the speed his little not-quite-two-year-old legs could produce.

As we followed, I asked my husband, “Do you remember anything from when you were two?”

“No,” he said.

“Neither do I,” I replied.

After some thought, he was able to remember a big event that happened shortly before his brother was born, which would have been a couple months before my husband’s second birthday. And I remember the house my family lived in, and meeting another child who turned out to be one of my longest friends. But neither of us could remember much beyond that of those early years. I’m certain that we had afternoons like this one, where there was so much joy in getting to do whatever he wanted, for a little while. We must have had those moments of awe, discovering the secrets of the world that would become everyday facts just a few years later. I’m sure we had many, many moments of delight in learning and repeating new words and phrases, or tasting fresh raspberries for the first time. But memories laid down at this age often don’t stick around into adulthood; it’s not until children develop the ability to put events in chronological order that long-term memories start forming, and most children don’t develop that ability until around age 3 or 4.

In a way, it makes sense. A toddler’s brain is still developing, soaking up all kinds of details and bits of trivia. Mom’s shoes go in the closet; Dad’s glasses go on his face. But the part of their brain that controls emotions (and emotional outbursts) is still very immature. Or to put it more simply: it’s hard being a toddler! Frustrations abound because you don’t understand why you can’t do something, because your limited language skills make it hard to explain what you want, or simply because you’re overwhelmed and stressed dealing with the influx of new data, and you don’t have the mental maturity to cope with it. Who would want to carry the memories of those chaotic times around for the rest of their life? Perhaps the delay in developing long-term memory is a blessing in disguise.

But as the memories of the difficult times fade, they take with them most of the memories of the joyful times too. I saw Kiddo beaming with delight that afternoon and got a lump in my throat thinking that he probably won’t remember these moments. Pictures and video capture the physical activities and the words that were spoken, but his feelings and emotions can only be reconstructed, not retained.

I didn’t take pictures on Sunday afternoon. I wanted to take in the full experience of the fun we were having, of him playing and us watching him play. The little boy grown big may not remember this one afternoon out of so many others–but his father and I will.


Little man with a plan

We’ve noticed a change in Kiddo the past week or two.  He’s gotten more assertive about letting us know what he wants to do–and especially what he wants us to do.

For as long as he’s been able to say “No” (and boy, that feels like forever) Kiddo has had no qualms about telling us that he doesn’t want us to do something, whether it’s checking email on our cell phones or attempting to get him dressed. But he generally didn’t take the initiative to tell us what he actually did want to do. Recently, though, he’s figured out that he can show us through actions what he’s got in mind.

In the morning, when either I or my husband is trying to sleep in, Kiddo will come up and grab an arm, trying to pull us out of bed. If I’m at the kitchen table and he throws his new orange ball over the baby gate and down the stairs, he’ll lead me by the hand to where the problem is. He doesn’t wait for us to serve him anymore at mealtimes, if he can help it. If there’s food he wants and it’s within reach, he’ll simply help himself.

This is exciting to me because it tells me that he’s learned he can influence other people’s actions.  He’s long past the stage where he figured out that Mom and Dad are separate people who sometimes have different opinions than he does (for example, whether he should go to bed or not). He has frequently demonstrated that he knows he’s allowed to express his opinion. But suddenly it seems like he’s realized that he doesn’t have to wait for other people to make a decision–that he himself can decide what we should do next.

Obviously, as parents we’re going to overrule him at times, but right now I’m getting such a kick out of seeing how he asserts himself. He’s so confident in his belief that of course Mom or Dad will do what he wants, if he can just show them what it is he wants to do.

My favorite example of this so far happened a few days ago. We’ve got a regular group that gets together weekly to watch the latest episode of Survivor. We’d all taken our shoes off when we arrived at the hosts’ house, and piled them just inside the front door before heading to the viewing area at the back of the house. About 15 minutes before the end of the show, Kiddo plopped down in my lap and handed me his shoes.  I put them on him–after all, sometimes he just likes having shoes on.  He disappeared, then reappeared a few minutes later carrying my husband’s shoes.  Next he ferried mine over as well.  “Mom shoes!” he announced. When he dragged our coats down the hall to us, we finally realized what he’d been trying to tell us: it was time to go home.  Never mind that we were literally about to find out who was getting voted off! When a not-quite-two-year-old has his mind made up, there’s no such thing as a rational appeal.

On our way to the car, we realized something else as well. Every weekday morning, as we get ready to head off to work and daycare, putting on coats and shoes is the first step to heading out the door. That night, when Kiddo decided it was time to go, he didn’t whine or throw a tantrum. He simply repeated the routine he knew from home and expected it would have the same result. From his point of view, his actions were totally logical. They may not be rational quite yet, but in their own way, toddlers actually can make sense.