Imagine that

Think you have an active imagination?
Try parenting a toddler.
They have the corner on the market.
There’s no filter on a toddler’s mouth, and no concept yet of the line between the truth and a lie.
When Jillian slept at my parents’ house Saturday night so Jonathan and I could head to Jersey for David Beckham’s debut at the Meadowlands, she informed my mother matter-of-factly that “Mommy is sleeping in the car.”
Yes, parenting a toddler can get expensive, but it hasn’t come to that quite yet!
She’s also taken seriously her role as “parent” to the four-legged underlings of the household.
While Olivia lies snoring on the rug, Jillian comes barreling into the living room to inform the dog she’s been terribly naughty.
Opening one eye, Olivia assesses the miniature tyrant in front of her, then considers the plate of food Jillian’s left on the table behind her.
Before Olivia has the chance to act, Jillian rushes back to the kitchen to inform her parent.
“Livvy ate my food! Livvy’s naughty!!!!”
The wild stories aren’t the only things I’m getting used to now that Jillian has crashed the gates of babyhood and come barreling through talking a mile a minute.
She’s taken to dressing up in my shoes – one each on the wrong foot but tied anyway at her request – and slinging her Elmo lunch bag over her shoulder.
Clomping to the door, she informs us, “I’m leaving!”
As cute as it can be, the act has shades of that Dixie Chicks song “Wide Open Spaces” that make her mommy a little weepy.
It isn’t until she tells me, “I’m goin’ ’side for a pool party,” that I can flip the situation back my way.
A pool party, huh? Fortunately she has yet to figure out how to turn on the hose and fill that pool.
My shoes aren’t the only household objects that have been adopted as Jillian’s playthings.
Her own pair of rain boots have a funny way of ending up in her toddler bed.
Pulling the Pooh bear quilt from her curled up form in the morning, I discover books, stuffed toys and… a boot with buggy eyes and antennae?
At the very least she’ll never be lonely.
But here’s the kicker.
When I’m intent on getting out of the car, into the house and off my feet, Jillian has other ideas.
“I wanna drive,” she tells me.
If I give in, she climbs in the front seat and begins playing… with the radio.
Apparently from the rear seat she sees Mommy hitting those buttons an awful lot.
Eventually she turns her attention to the steering wheel, the wipers and the blinkers.
She could spend hours in the front seat of my car if I didn’t have to use the bathroom so badly after a long drive home from Middletown.
Don’t worry, she’s not missing out on anything.
When we get inside, she’ll carry the cordless into the bathroom.
“Wanna talk phone Mommy!”

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