Toddlers make me nervous as hell.
Yesterday I ventured out with the boys to visit Baby Rhyme and Story Time, a great program offered at our library. A good 25 minute schlep dodging rain clouds and we were there! Amazing how getting Outside, in any capacity, for any reason, is so much better than sitting around the apartment staring at each other.
I was surprised to see about 30 adults, each with 1-2 small charges. The library website said the target audience was 0-18 months, but some of those kids totally looked 2 or 3 years old. And those were the ones careening around the room, picking their noses, opening cabinets, and encroaching uncomfortably close to where Squeak and Squish were staring bug-eyed at the whole circus-like production.
Doing these Mommy-and-Me deals isn't so easy with twins that don't sit up on their own yet. Squeak promptly fell asleep (so much for an enthusiastic review there!), but Squish was all about it. I set him on my lap and held his little hands to do all the motions for the songs. We weren't close enough to see the book (it was really crowded) but he didn't seem to mind because there were all those kids to look at. He watched them in absolute wonder.
It didn't take long for us to be noticed either. In the course of five minutes, four different kids came over and peered at the boys, some uttering "Baby," before wandering away; others shyly sidling up and creeping ever closer. Why did I feel surrounded by a hungry, scheming pack of mini-wolves?! I tried to shake my apprehension, but toddlers are just so unpredictable. After sizing you up (creepy in itself), they could just as soon smack you as smile at you. And the total lack of boundaries. And the germs. There, I said it. They all look like walking, talking totems of bacteria.
Then one of Them approached. Finger lodged firmly in the back of her gums, snot trickling down into her mouth, other hand tugging at her grubby dress - she came right up and put her hand on Squeak, who was dozing in his car seat. She was actually quite gentle, and her care-giver immediately pulled her away and apologized, but I was already knee-deep in a silent freak out. Another human! A stranger! Touched! My sleeping infant! With a moist hand!
As I tried to calm the f-@! down, Story Time Lady announced free play time and pulled out a big box of awesome-looking toys. Squish literally wriggled with anticipation. He was loving those plastic cylinders with colorful beads in them and the children literally crawling over one another to play with them. The kid leaned forward to join in the fray.
I briefly considered jumping in, since I could protect him on my lap, but what was I going to do with Squeak? The play mat is no place for a sleeping infant, carseat or no. As I debated, an exuberant toddler dashed headlong over a seated child. Care-givers rushed toward the tangled heap. Before the cries could even start we were packed up and hitting the road. I'm not even sure Squish had time to register disappointment, though I felt really bad for taking him away from all the fun.
I know some day I'll have toddlers. Two of them. Four sticky little hands, two constantly runny noses, and oh my deity, the diapers. I'll probably realize how awesome these little youngsters are (expect a blog post!), but for now, heaven help me, the pint-sized persons turn my bones to jelly.
I just hope I can build up some courage before Squeak and Squish need me to have it.