Let's Digress

The Toddler Chronicles, No. 1

The Toddler Chronicles, No. 1


Gabby, Jared, Shelby, Travis, my mom, Grandal, the kids, and I were at a Mongolian stir fry restaurant for dinner earlier. To use Jared’s description of it, it’s basically Asian food in the format of a Qdoba restaurant, and it’s fantastic. It’s our new favorite eatery. 

Anyway, 3-month-old Charlotte was sleeping peacefully in her car seat on the seat to my left, Lyla was in a high chair at the end of the table to my right, Gabby was opposite of me, and the others were off to my left somewhere in the ether. 

Things were going well until it was time to leave. 2-year-old Lyla was beginning to get antsy but was entertained with a combination of sugar packets, salt and pepper shakers, and her Buzz Lightyear and Woody Burger King kids meal toys circa 1996. Really, her entertainment primarily consisted of aggressively shaking the salt and pepper shakers like maracas, likely overdosing Woody and Buzz on their daily recommended sodium and finely ground black pepper intake limits. 

Gabby started to pack things away and went to grab the still-sleeping Charlotte. I informed Lyla that it was time to leave and that she needed to relinquish the shakers, which was apparently a rather outlandish request. The child shook her head and gave me a confident yet polite “no.”

I again informed her that the shakers needed to stay at the table and offered the salty Space Ranger and Cowboy as a trade. Her indignant tinnitus-inducing scream quickly informed me that either her leg had been removed by Buzz’s forearm laser beam or that being asked to leave the salt and pepper shakers at the table was the most egregious thing she had ever heard. 

My initial physical assessment of her didn’t reveal any obvious bleeding, charring, or other abnormalities, and coupled with the fact that she was kicking both legs at a rate that could only rival Michael Phelps in his Olympic prime seemed to indicate that it wasn’t the forearm laser. 

Being the calm-under-pressure dad that I usually am, I informed her that her current genre of behavior wasn’t a viable option and I removed the shakers from her deceptively strong grasp and lifted her out of the high chair. She continued to kick, scream, and thrash around, so I placed her over my shoulder and carried her out of the building. 

By the time we got to the car, she wanted to play with Buzz and Woody and the human rights abuse that was foisted upon her seemed to be forgotten in the ash heap of history.

But not now. 

Now it’s on the internet forever, which her mother and I will use to embarrass her with at a later time.

Welcome to The Toddler Chronicles.

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