When my son was a toddler, he was quite fond of an abomination known as Barney the Dinosaur.
He wanted to watch Barney videos incessantly.
He wanted to watch Barney videos with his father and I.
But most importantly, he wanted to watch US watching Barney videos.
It used to become a joke between the two of us. We’d pop in a Barney and sit on the couch with him. Immediately, instead of watching the screen, he’d turn laser-eyes directly at our faces, to make sure we were watching. Sitting between the two of us, his head would whip back and forth, to ensure we were paying close attention to this purple eyesore.
If either one of us made the fatal error of turning our eyes away from the TV, he’d bellow, "WATCH BARNEEEEYYYYY!!"
Sometimes, just for yuks, we’d turn our eyes away for a nanosecond, just to hear that yell. We’d sit there laughing so hard our eyes would water at how bizarre it all was. Two grown adults, watching Barney, being guarded over by a tyrannical toddler who wanted to make sure we didn’t miss one moment. Our son, thinking that we were laughing at Barney, would laugh along with us.
During nice weather when the windows were open, neighbors must have thought we were a house of madmen, the three of us laughing hysterically while Barney babbled inanities in the background.
After a while, the quality of our watching started to disappoint him terribly. In particular, that we had the audacity to blink.
If we blinked, we might miss something very important.
So he’d watch us intently, and at some point, one of us would be chastised:
While this happened decades ago, it feels as if it were just yesterday. This intense toddler is now a grown man.
When on earth did that happen?
I see young mothers with their toddlers in the grocery store when I’m out. They have that familiar, exhausted look I remember having back then. Sometimes I get teary watching them, and remembering when I had a toddler of my own. People would tell me how fast it all passes, but when you’re in the midst of it, it’s so hard to believe.
I want to tell them, before you know it, they’ll be grown.
Image Credit » https://pixabay.com/en/baby-boy-caucasian-child-family-164897/ by PublicDomainPictures