Recently an old colleague contacted me for a job reference. I was pleasantly surprised to hear professional words roll off my tongue when the woman from the HR department called because I spend all day with a not-very-verbal toddler. I miss talking about literacy to adults, although I have the very rewarding experience of delivering early literacy instruction to my children.

Max has really challenged me lately. He still doesn't talk much, and he's in a stage where he just can't be reasoned with, or bribed, to be quiet or to wait. I made the mistake of trying to go to a zoning commission hearing a few weeks ago. I took some jelly beans with me, thinking that would keep him chewing and therefore quiet. Nope. He just shouted "Bean!!" the whole time. They asked us to leave. This week, I thought I would drop off a present for our cousin's new baby, who arrived early and is mostly healthy but spending a few days in Children's Hospital until he gets the hang of feeding. Honestly, I don't know what I was thinking. Max started screaming as soon as we got into the room. He either has a serious phobia of hospitals or is scared of little tiny sleeping babies.

I have to get the grocery shopping done in 20 minutes or less (thank you, Aldi). He takes his shoes off and tries to throw them out the car window pretty much every time we go anywhere. If I try and put him in a back carry in the Ergo, he pulls at my hair and claws at my neck.

I shouldn't be surprised. I did name him after Maurice Sendak's character.

I was working full time when Laurel and Marko were this age, and was thus spared from the full immersion in Young Toddler Life. Sometimes I feel like he gets dragged along, sometimes it feels like he rules the roost. I suppose both are probably true. Last night, he woke up with a nightmare or something and crawled into our bed, pulled the covers up and rolled over and went back to sleep. He slept until 6am (very late for Max). This was the first time he did that, but both the other kids spent a year or more terrified of the dark and sleeping in our bed.

I say all this to remind myself that this current role is challenging but it is finite.

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