Where’d He Learn That?


Do you ever look at your child and wonder where in the world he learned to do that? Welcome to my afternoon. Every time Robbie and I hang out, I feel like I’m with a bigger, more grown-up person. And I’m learning to relish how fun he is getting to be.

This afternoon, Roberto and I went to the grocery store. I’ve been going while he was asleep, and Robbie’s favorite cashier and bagger had been asking about him. Usually, Robbie sits in the cart when we go, but I only had a few things to pick up. So we did what any sane mother of a one-year-old would do. We walked around the grocery store. Me with my purse and Robbie with his backpack. The juxtaposition of the backpack cracked me up: he’s too little to wear it, but he looked like he was ready to walk into kindergarten. I think he knew he was wearing it and looking cute, too; he had a little extra swagger. Since we were walking, I needed Robbie to help carry the groceries. I gave him the ibuprofen, and he stood in the middle of the aisle, shaking it and laughing. And then he dropped to his knees and started a mad dash around the grocery. Fortunately, I nabbed him before some unsuspecting shopper wound up with a toddler under her cart.

When we got home, it was time for a snack. I pulled out some pretzels and humus. Robbie, pretzel in hand, waited for me to open the humus (how does he remember what this stuff is?). He then very delicately put his pretzel into the tub and dug around for some humus, which he licked off his pretzel. And then put the same pretzel back in the humus five or six more times. If you come to my house, make sure to ask for fresh humus… At any rate, I went to the kitchen to make some ravioli for Robbie’s dinner. I was gone for no more than 45 seconds. When I came back? There was a big hand print in my humus. And my coffee table was being wiped with a very humus-y toddler hand. He was very, very thorough and quite pleased with himself. I’m just thankful it wasn’t my new couch. Or the dog. That actually would have been worse than the couch. He’s much more difficult to clean.

But the real “Where did he learn to do that?” came later in the night. It was almost time for bed, and the living room was a mess. All of a sudden, I looked up to see Robbie throwing his toys back into his Pack ‘n Play! Now, sometimes when I pick up, I encourage Robbie to help me. He never does. But tonight he did it without any prompting! And then, when he ran out of toys next to the Pack ‘n Play, he walked around the room to get other things to put away in there (most of them being his, a few being pieces of mail that he wanted to claim – unfortunately none of them were bills that he wanted to pay).


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