The truly terrifying tales of a toddler’s parents

I will no longer judge those suspects you read about who get pulled over and arrested for drug possession. There’s probably a very good reason they have 300 pounds of narcotics in their trunk and that reason is they have a male under the age of two living in their house.

My son, Ben, is 20 months old. I love him, and hope to one day use this column to shamelessly brag about him while recounting his glorious achievements. Right now, however, I’m considering a paternity test, in that based on the way he acts, I’m pretty sure my wife cheated on me with Satan.

Being the parent of a 20 month-old son means being part warden, maid, cook, teacher, surveillance officer and hazmat crew. Twenty-month-old boys are crazed, idiotic terrors. Granted, I’m going on that based on just one of them, but from what I’ve seen, I do not wish to experience a larger sample.

A few months shy of 2, he’s neither infant nor child, placing him in that awkward age where he’s too old for us to treat him as a baby but too young for us to have him institutionalized.

This is a young man who has bitten his sister’s ear. Among that, his tendency to hit people unprovoked and the way he talks funny, I feel like I’m living with a little white version of Mike Tyson.

A 20-month-old boy has one basic mission in life: destroy everything.

Say you’ve left something on your kitchen table — a cup, pen, piece of paper, whatever. People have basically two different thought process when seeing it:

NORMAL HUMAN BEING: “I’m going to either leave it there or put it away.”

20-MONTH-OLD: “I better throw this down on the floor immediately and try to break it into 47 different pieces — unless it’s an important document, of course, in which case I’ll eat it.”

Oh, he’s quite fond of eating inedible objects. The flavor of paper products are particularly pleasing to his palate. We’ve even made a list.

Things that my 20 month-old will eat:

Dirt, grass, sand, ladybugs, toys, pens, his sister’s toes, bathtub bubbles, tree bark, Crayons, Nerf balls, an old piece of candy on the ground at Sherwood Park, my wife’s flip-flops, books, carpet and my Broncos visor.

Things that he won’t eat:

Food.

Actually, he will eat food, just so long as it’s not nicely presented on a plate. He prefers the taste of things found during one of his many foraging excursions under the dining room table. We’re to the point where to feed him, we just purposely drop a couple of carrot sticks on the floor. “Bon Appetit,” we say, while trying not to kick him.

The havoc wreaked is continuous. Oftentimes I come home after work, only to see widespread disaster. Sometimes there’ll be FEMA trucks in our driveway.

I remember the first time: toys everywhere, paper shredded on the floor, chairs overturned. If I recall, there may have been some dead livestock in the family room.

“What happened?” I asked my wife, who had a look on her face not unlike that of someone you see on the news who is in shock after having just survived a natural gas explosion.

She answered: “Hurricane Ben made landfall.”

Don’t give me the politically correct storyline of how boys and girls are basically the same. I remember my daughter at this age. She would sit quietly on the ground, flipping through a book, or having her stuffed animals give each other hugs, whereas my son often races around screaming, shooting a toy gun and with Barbie’s head in his mouth.

Yet I realize that life is short and we should learn to appreciate this challenging age. Despite the difficulties, this stage of his life will be over soon and we’ll finally be able to relax for a long time.

After all, we’ve got 120 days before the terrible twos begin.

Reach Steve at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).


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