Fix It

I’m sure a year’s worth of blogs could be written about life with a two-year-old, but I won’t be writing it.
If you don’t have much experience with two-year-olds, the primer is that everything is theirs, especially what isn’t. They want that everything exactly the way they want it, and like crotchety old people, they’ll give you what for until you make it the way they want it, but with lots of crying. The verbal abilities of two-year-olds vary, but communication is key. It’s challenging to communicate with a person who screams and throws things at you and thinks “NO!” is the equivalent of “Please.”

For further illustration, here’s a hysterical link to children crying over these sorts of situations.

During a recent chat with HME, she talked about how one of her people is almost two, and we laughed a bit over how her child’s behavior is right on target.

Two-year-olds bring you things and say, “Fix it” all the time. You are bigger and smarter and stronger and you are usually able to fix it. The child says, “Fanks” and runs off to break other things.
This does not work all the time.
You cannot fix everything.
This does not bode well.

I present to you, a broken banana:

bummer, huh?

bummer, huh?

Now, as adults, we know bananas sometimes break. We can concede that if we carry a banana while ambling through the house like a drunk person, if we take to smashing things and sudden bursts of running, it is likely that our bananas will break.
Toddlers do not know this.
Their banana experience is limited.

They don’t say, “Aw, bummer,” and eat the banana anyway. Chances are they will run to you and say, “Fix it.” You can’t fix it. You say it’s broken, but still yummy, and you pretend to take a bite, because you’re not going to eat banana that’s been on the ottoman, now are you?
Toddler shakes head.
You sweetly explain that the banana is broken and cannot be fixed.
Toddler stomps feet and cries.

Now, as a newbie parent, who gives whole bananas to a toddler, you think the obvious answer is to give the child a new, unbroken banana, and no one blames you for that, but this will only lead to replacement expectation in other circumstances. You certainly cannot throw it away, because the odds are high that the child will get the banana out of the trash and bring it back to you for proper fixing.

When you cannot fix it, you must make it disappear. That’s right, you must become a magician. You will enjoy myriad benefits of magic for years to come. Distraction and redirection are essential.
It will be a long time before this person is developed enough to realize that his items are missing.

no offense, mexican drug lords

no offense, drug lords

For several years after object permanence sets in, he’ll be such a slob, you can just say that you’re sure it’ll turn up in that pig-sty he calls a room.
It’s over when you both know that you’ve put his porno mags in chronological order and placed a box of condoms on top of them, but neither of you are going to talk about it.

Find happiness in fixing all the broken things children bring you. Be grateful, even joyful, that they come to you and that you can fix things for them.
There are so many times that you realize the broken banana was only the beginning.

How many times in life do we wish we could fix things for those we love? We say, “My heart breaks for you. I wish there was something I could do.”
Look how often we still plead to something bigger, smarter, stronger than ourselves.
“Fix it.”

About joey

Neurotic Bitch, Mother, Wife, Writer, Word Whore, Foodie and General Go-To-Girl
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34 Responses to Fix It

  1. Dan Antion says:

    At least you didn’t fix it by inserting three toothpicks, resulting in a trip to the ER and a slap from some State agency. As always, I’m enjoying your mix of humor and wisdom from the trenches.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. That was a great post Joey. I had to laugh about the porn mags and condoms! You are right though, our kids do not depend on us for long to ‘fix it’ for them and be their heroes (even if it is just putting an arm back on the doll)!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Luanne says:

    You are brilliant. Yup. Making it disappear. Ah, why didn’t I ever think of that???

    Liked by 1 person

    • joey says:

      Thank you, Luanne 🙂
      I think perhaps you may not have thought of it because you didn’t have years of child development and educational psychology?

      Liked by 1 person

  4. April says:

    Too funny how you have to smuggle things out. When it gets to the broken hearts that can’t be fixed, that’s when the tough stuff kicks in. I haven’t found a solution to that fix-it problem yet. I would bet you have some good ideas. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    Oh yes, you’re spot on with this one. (As you always are!) Not only does it stink we can’t fix everything for our kids, we also know we shouldn’t. Otherwise how will they ever learn? Our hearts often ache on both counts.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Ritu says:

    Great post Joey… I’m.planning a
    Huge smuggling mission over these holidays! Its amazing g what gets accumulated over time lol!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. SwittersB says:

    Your pic, at first, made me think you were now writing about ED! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I’ve been the ‘fixer’ for a couple of generations now so I certainly enjoyed this. Life would be so much easier if you always had a fixer in your life. Well, maybe not for that bummer of a banana but for other things. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rgemom says:

    I love this post. As my kids get older, and have fewer things I can fix, I sometimes reach the point of missing the days of fixing broken bananas. lol….porn mags and codons….I fear I’m almost there. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Anxious Mom says:

    Gotta love crazy glue. Except with bananas.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sammy D. says:

    I got nuthin’ to add to your wisdom or humor but great post!!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. This was really nice.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. moylomenterprises says:

    This was awesome!
    I had one of those “fix it” situations today with my 3 yr old. The things I can fix I do. The things I can’t fix I let her put it in the trash because if I do it then all hell breaks loose. For some reason she feels more in control if she’s the one making the final decision to emotionally disconnect from an object.

    There are, however, 2 items hidden from her immediate vision, a pink shirt she tries to wear every single day if she can, and a pair of tap shoes which she thinks is fun because of the tapping sound but not so fun for my ears. (She does not take tap classes, they were included in a box of shoes from a friend who’s daughter is a couple years older)

    Kids! Gotta love em 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  14. ouidepuis1 says:

    I will definitely put that dyi-parenting adivce into practice in years to come 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Benson says:

    A beauty. I had so forgotten what life with a 2 year old was like. Fixing things was a great part of being a young father. I remember the panic of a young boy bringing a truck;or big wheel to fix a wheel or handlebar,and the sheer joy they have when they run off to break it again. They are two for only a short time. What is amazing is the time when they are all grown up and feel a need to fix things for you,whether you want it or not. So looking forward to next year with the twins.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Sherry says:

    a sweet story….keep ’em comin’….:)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Faith Simone says:

    I died laughing at this part: “We can concede that if we carry a banana while ambling through the house like a drunk person…” Too funny! I used to work at a daycare and I had the two year old room for a couple of years. Oy! It was something else. But one thing was for sure, I always knew where I stood with them and they loved just as hard as they tantrumed (I think I just made up a word). Plus, two year olds are just so cute with their pot bellies, and whatnot.

    Liked by 2 people

  18. reocochran says:

    Your dear friend’s visit and your re-visiting the age of toddler at age TWO, was precious and “Spot on, ” Joey! I love the bittersweet part of trying to fix things which are harder than bananas and broken toys. I am grateful I had a matter of fact, funny and sensitive friend, named Amy when I was going through this stage with my three kids, one usually at a difficult age… I found the “Why?” stage harder, since I was not using a cell phone nor a computer but the librarian was usually helpful for our research.
    I love how you explained to never give children bananas in a full or whole shape, EVER! The slices may fall in the cracks of the sofa or onto the shag carpet, I had when my kids were young, but at least this could be “fixed,” thank goodness. I am still trying to “fix” my children’s lives with hugs and listening ears, as they go along their bumpy roads in life, Joey. Wishing all people could see the day where “Smooth sailing is ahead,” and I can stop worrying! I know you have the worry thing, so you can relate. . . hugs!

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Prajakta says:

    Ooh!! I like the idea of smuggling and I wonder what my mom did. A laugh as always Joey with a few pinches of food-for-thought!

    Liked by 1 person

  20. markbialczak says:

    That’s our reflex action, Joey, so parental! You hit it perfectly.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I have just come across your blog and I have to say I love it!

    Liked by 1 person

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