Little scamp

Hey you, little trouble maker. I have a bone to pick with you. You are really testing this mama's strength, you know that? It's a constant, daily battle I've been fighting and it's wearing me down.

What with the never ending flow of hand prints that magically appear on our TV screen - only accessible by climbing onto the TV stand that you very well know is off limits. I swear I clean it twice a day, yet I never catch you at it.

And then there's the stickiness - all over the floor I just cleaned. From melting pop-see's that you ask for every 5 minutes by standing at the freezer door and pleading in your fake close-to-tears voice. And from day-old cups of yogurt that you drink out of the trash can when I'm not looking. And when I do look?

You give me that face. Those squinty, crinkled eyes paired with the tiniest and most mischievous grin known to man... Topped off with your shoulders hunched upward in a guilty sort of way and your head cocked to one side.

I try to discipline you - or at least sound upset that you drank and smeared yogurt all over yourself. I really do try... but it's only halfhearted because what I really feel like doing is laughing. Most of the time I DO laugh and then groan in frustration at my lack of parenting skills.

And you know what else? You passed your hearing test in the hospital when you were born. So why is it that whenever I yell, "NO FINN! GET OUT OF THE SINK!" or some similarly dramatic shriek, you just keep going like you don't hear me? Well okay, sometimes you do hear me. But it's worse, because you calmly take the time to grin at me, then giggle, then hurriedly continue your trouble-making before I sprint to you to pull you down from the table/counter/computer desk/piano/shelf/toilet, etc.

The few times dad or I do sound angry enough to even register with you - where you actually feel like you're in trouble - you quickly cut off our stern words with a panicked, "Eyes?!" and you point to your eyes. We always stop and look confused for a second. I think it's your sneaky way of distracting us.

Today you broke the watch daddy gave me when we were first dating. It has a picture of an otter on it and says, "I'm an otter, not a beaver." I had let you play with it and had sized it just right for your tiny wrist so you could wear a watch like your papa. You didn't mean to drop it.

Just like you didn't "mean" to throw my phone across the kitchen and shatter it's glass back. Surely it should have bounced like your toy cars do? And like the lamp you smashed at grandma's house, or the glasses you broke at a friend's party...

Every morning when you wake up, you yell for me to come get you. And always, as soon as I open the door, you fling yourself to the opposite side of the crib and hide your face in your blankets and then peep one eye open to look at me, that little mischievous grin always there. You insist - every morning - on taking Mr. Quack Dealer, Elmo, and three crocheted blankets with us into the living room. No lovey left behind.

Then when we arrive to the living room you promptly dump them all onto the floor and forget about them.

Our house has become a tangle of weird old wires and cords. You carry dad's headphones, old chargers that no longer work, guitar plugs - you carry them all around the house, shove them into small spaces and drawers for us to find later or else leave them on the floor so I trip on them.

You REFUSE to make diaper changing simple. It has been a year since the last time I changed your diaper with you laying down. Seriously kid, you cannot sit still. You have to know how everything works, what every button does, what every piece of trash feels like, how every stranger will respond to your waves and shouts of "Hi!"

You DO love attention (like your dad perhaps?). You stare at everyone with a big smile until they acknowledge you. And if they don't, you'll double back and walk right up to them and say "hi" until they glance down at you in surprise and return your greeting. At which point you shuffle your feet shyly and run away. At church... Oh, you are the talk of the town. Everyone knows your face, even the other wards that just remember you from us wandering the halls during sacrament meeting (ha, because when was the last time you sat through one of those?!) The famous Finn, with his charm that never fails to bring smiles to the youngest, oldest, happiest, and saddest. That's you buddy - if only they saw you when the charm is turned off!

And then there's the fact that you must have some kind of death wish. Pulling swords onto yourself, knocking heavy amps over and nearly smashing your legs, jumping off of tables without a trace of fear, climbing on anything no matter how tall or precarious. You have so much energy too - moving from one trouble-making opportunity to the next before I even have time to blink or clean up the last mess.

You forgive so readily.
You smile so quickly.
You love so easily.

It's impossible to be angry with you. It's impossible to think that for one moment I would ever want to live in a house without sticky floors, smudged furniture, crooked chairs pushed up to counters, and tangles of wires at my feet. It's ridiculous for me to wish that you were calmer, slower, perfectly obedient, less of a dare devil and a clown and a people lover - because you wouldn't be you. You wouldn't be the perfect little boy who runs to throw his arms around my neck when I stupidly lose my temper with you. You wouldn't be the crazy ball of energy who suddenly stops and stares sweetly when the other kids at daycare take your toys and jostle you out of their way. You wouldn't be the only person on the planet who could make me giggle uncontrollably while grabbing my face and forcing your sticky, snotty nose against mine and staring into my eyes with your beautiful ones, so full of life and love.

So my bone to pick with you, baby boy... toddler now... is that you need to stop this growing up thing. I don't think I can handle another day of it. I'll miss these moments with you and even though I know I can't freeze them in time or stop them from passing... I will treasure them forever. I love you, little scamp.