Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Manual Labor: Toddler VS Brick

So, if anyone ever asks you what’s so difficult about taking care of a toddler, you can spare them the usual “molding a young mind, shaping someone’s future” piffle and think about bedtime. Making a toddler hold still is like asking the same of a Jell-O mold. (They’re called jigglers for a reason.) Last night after returning to the pit-- I mean, home-in-process— I claimed the duty of changing Blue Eyes out of the crankypants she’d been for an hour and a half and into pajamas. M. went to move bricks.

I recently purchased a multi-ton quantity of brick pavers for the area that, in about a month, will be our patio. I love Craigslist. However, the pain in the tuchas part is moving them. Our contractor lucked out in seeing someone with a forklift drive by when he went to pick up the pavers. $40 later, he had two tons of bricks in the truck, weighing it down to 55 mph on the freeway. M. and I inherited the task of moving the bricks off the truck… by hand.

So, M. started moving them off the truck while I wrestled with wiggle butt to get her to lay down for more than 10 seconds—“Mama, juice!” “Mama, the dog leash!” “Mama, book!” “Elmo book? Cookie! Count! Ha, ha, ha!” “The end!” “Sing!” “No sing!”—

*sigh* Finally, after getting her to lay down by playing, “1, 2, 3, SLEEP!” I found I could pick up MY book…. And sit with her and watch her flip over, turn around, play with her feet on the wall, wiggle towards the edge of her bed, readying herself to sleep in the most precarious position possible. The more she agitated her blanket, the more she agitated me. “Don’t toddlers know that you can’t fall asleep doing somnambulant gymnastics???” Clearly, they don’t.

I traded my husband. I needed a break. So, I went and moved bricks.

There are nice things about bricks. Sure, they’re heavy, but they’re also stationary. You can put a brick down and it will stay there, without you even having to ask. If you drop a brick, it won’t cry. And if you drop a brick on your finger or toe, and you cry, “Ow!”, it doesn't giggle or say, “Silly Mama”. Bricks don’t (as M. has found out) flail and cry and kick you in delicate regions. Bricks don’t cry, “My wheelbarrow!” when you try and use it. Bricks don’t run away and climb ladders up to the roof. Bricks try your back, your muscles, your fingers, but not your patience.

Although they’re not as cute, not as cuddly, and nowhere near as fun, sometimes I just need to move bricks.

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