One of my friends got a fitbit today. He shared his first day's results and it was kind of cool to see his day broken down into fitnessy categories. Among other things, it noted how many steps he took and how many calories he burned.
Sometimes it feels like I don't accomplish much in a day, but when I look back I realize I've done a lot.
I think toddler parents should have trackers too. (Normal people have brains for this, but ours are too sleep-deprived.)
They could track all the weird sentences we didn't think we'd ever say.
(Samples from today:
Don't lick the puddle!
What's the rule about eating brains? (You may only eat mama & papa's brains.))
They could identify just what disorder each cartoon character is suffering from, so we'll be able to recognize it when our little tv addicts manifest symptoms later in life. (Is Mayor Goodway suffering from delusions? Is she really running Adventure Bay or is her first name just Mayor? Why doesn't she spend any municipal funds on an actual emergency service? Is Adventure Bay even a municipality? What's a municipality again?)
They could track how much time we waste pondering the complexity of kids shows. (Ibid.)
They could calculate how much food the kids ate. (Subtract food thrown on floor and scavenged by Hangry Mama from total food prepared minus crusts and spills.) Or maybe the sheer volume of bodily fluids expertly wiped from multiple bottoms? Or the number of times mama kept her cool when she really felt like snapping.
Or, since I'm dreaming, maybe they could measure and save the things we really want to know.
What moment from this ordinary, messy day will etch into that little brain forever? The simple goodness of provision - food to eat, clothes to wear, hugs and kisses and comfort, or the rushing and tearing to meet the bus on time? The unfairness of that time out or the kiss and make up afterward? The long walk in icy puddles or the fat cookie at the end?
Maybe they could tell us just what that misbehaving little one actually needs. Sunshine? Solitude? Stricter boundaries? Lenience? Less sugar? More water? A visit from Grampie? A vacation in Hawaii?
I don't know.
Maybe parents do a lot more than we can calculate, even when we stop and think about it. (Or whatever we do in the five seconds between last-last-last-last kisses and snoring into oblivion.)
I folded and put away laundry this morning. But i didn't just fold and put away clothes ... I paid attention to the kids at the same time. I answered Vava's questions about unicorns and realized a whiny Kachi needed to be carried on one hip while I worked. I caught Sam before he pushed Kachi and instead of getting in his face, realized he needed some one-on-one connecting time before we dealt with the roughness. And while it's not much - it's nothing extraordinary or even anything to note in the busyness of the day - it's what they needed, and I knew it even without a device.
So no, maybe parents of toddlers can't say they accomplished much on their to-do list today ... but papas and mamas , I bet you accomplished exactly what your kids needed today.
You've done things a fitbit couldn't dream of tracking. You've done them for the thousandth time.
And tomorrow you're going to get up and do it all over again.
Press on, parents!
I'll be over here, corralling zombies, over-analyzing cartoons, and hopefully preventing the little one from drinking too many puddles.