We lost a shoe.

If there was any denial that my baby is now a toddler, the argyle socked foot that left Adam’s exposed for the world to see yesterday confirmed it.

‘De’ trouble, as the more experienced parents tell me, now start.

So too have the countless worries now seemingly required of the modern toddler parent in Trinidad. As if worrying about giving birth and not breaking the child for the first 10 months was not enough, a new cloud of questions/ actions to be done thrive in the mind of the parent of an “almost one year old”. Here are my top 3:

  1. Balanced Diet: Bleeding nipples aside, birth through 4 months was sockeye when it came to food. My milk was all he needed. Now? “Saddis” eh taking no bland milk and rawcereal “jus so”. Suddenly his palette changed. Even paw paw (papaya) is apparently too bland. Callaloo, Dasheen in coconut milk, rice/black beans/ tomato with onion and garlic, bread and “sumting” have all replaced my once simple feeding times. When I say balanced diet, I don’t mean just a mix of healthy foods, I mean a mix of persistence, courage and joy that each new meal must be served with. You see, his first reaction is always one of near disgust. It takes strength to keep going. Yoga strength. Meditation strength. Prayer strength really. Leaving feeding times with us both covered in regurgitated/ rasberried food (i.e.: food that has been chewed and blown back at mummy) is always a time for a quick word with the chuckling Man Upstairs (God). Recipes are in another post.
  1. Safety First, Second and Third: I laugh at myself often. When we first brought my quiet but wriggly little one home we panicked when we had to leave him in his
    The fear is real….

    bassinet to go to the bathroom to tinkle. He barely moved back then. Now? I could be right next to him and he’s finding all sorts of once unthinkable perils. Yesterday he found a way to open a knife drawer – on his tip toes, with his fingertips. Cupboard locks,guards, stairway gates (sold at Peakes by the way!!!), hell, even prison gates and all now seem like ‘must haves’ for parents like us who were raised without any of these things. We also have parents who did not raise us with these items. Grandparents that see no issue with allowing him to play with empty water bottles, empty boxes and yes, even ribbon without concern. I now emulate this when possible. Maybe the ‘much needed’ (as they say) germ exposure isn’t a bad thing now that he’s almost one. The list of safety concerns is long for this first, and at this point only, child. From nut fears and not too much sugar/salt/spice to ‘what’s lurking in the grass questions and please don’t suck on the grocery cart concerns – the safety warnings now taint how I look at much of his ‘to be conquered’ world. It’s almost as it being a parent of a toddler you see the world with stop and danger signs. But I control by neurotic ways when possible. I let him run barefoot in the grass, we take him swimming, I admit to having him taste the grocery cart to get the initial desire to do so out of the way…. Oh and if anyone wants to really get dizzy/panic – find yourself looking for a car seat for your no longer infant. I narrowed my list to 7 choices and, after reading hundreds of reviews and talking to other mommies, finally spent a crap load on what alleges to be safe and easy to install. More on this to come. It arrives next week.

  1. Home vs. Daycare: Ah, yes. This again. When I was first heading back out to work this question swirled through my brain. My excellent baby nurse made the decisionof keeping my wee one at home easy. With time it was easier to drown out the din of ‘others’ discussing the importance of ‘socializing’ baby. Now? Ha. That talk has been replaced by ‘you preparing him to get into primary school right?’ This has a different tone. The panic tone that reminds me how ridiculously important it is that your little one is educated with the end in mind in Trinidad or, as I have been reminded, in Western Trinidad. You see, with placement in secondary school dependent on an exam, the Montessori school, pre-k and yes, the daycare you choose can be critical. And the offerings are as expensive as they are varied. No body wants their child to be the Maggie Simpson of this clip:

    This keeps me up at night. Literally. Even as I am typing this I am toggling between websites and planning school tours for my one year old. School. Tours. One year old. Smh.

I recognize that indeed that these are the ‘worries’ of the fortunate. My child is starved for neither food nor love. He has a home and is healthy. Most times, to stop the spinning, I focus my inner eye on those reasons to be grateful.

At just shy of 12 months old, my son is a running, climbing, giggling, happy little boy. He looks more comfortable in shirts and shorts. His onesie days will soon be over. His bottles barely get use anymore. He lifts them and agile fingers fairly well to feed himself. He recognizes faces, voices and sounds.He mimics sounds his daddy makes. Insert heart emoji here.

If I stay focused on this, possibly I’d be too blessed to be stressed.

*Makes mental note to look for t shirt that says this*