I know we are dealing with a real North Korea threat right now, so jokes about nuclear warheads may seem off-color.
But I feel that any parent to a toddler understands me when I say this: Every day is a North-Korea-threat-level day.
Two-year-olds are magical bombs that can detonate, put themselves together and then detonate again.
They have fuses that vary in length, and certain accelerants can burn those fuses up quicker than you can say, “Do you need a time out?”
As parents, our job is to figure out how to deactivate the bomb before zero-hour, and we do this over and over and over again, only rarely with success.
I’m sure there are classes that real-life bomb-defusers take that teach them how to do this before they move to practical application.
We don’t have that luxury.
We just watch explosion after explosion, suffer the physical and emotional damage of detonation and hope that we caught a glimpse of what caused it to better prepare us for next time.
In our case, Monster is typically like one of those dinky bombs that sometimes goes off, sometimes doesn’t, and damage is usually minimal – perhaps a cracked toy or two and some tears mostly caused by the noise and not so much any real harm.
But, as most 2-year-olds are, he has the capability of A-bombing a situation (which admittedly, leads to Mommy F-bombing a situation very loudly inside her own head).
I’m talking widespread devastation, terrifying anyone within earshot. And the effects of those explosions are certain to last a lifetime. I worry about my unborn child’s exposure to these situations and how it will affect him/her in the years to come.
After witnessing – and somehow surviving – several of these mushroom clouds, I have shrewdly figured out what the trigger is.
Any other toy has the potential to set off a dinky-bomb situation, but trains elevate it to nuke status.
I feel like an undercover assassin, constantly on the lookout for trains so I can isolate and destroy before the little Monster sees them.
Sadly, I’m a terrible undercover assassin, and this week alone we have had two doomsday situations. There was the time at a play date when we walked in to find a beautiful track and four cars laid out before us.
That left a stunned mother and child standing at their front door, mouths agape, watching as the damage spread from their home into their front yard.
Then there was the time at the zoo. We were so blissfully immersed in wildlife that I almost didn’t hear it coming. In fact, I feel like it made a point to sneak up on us, waiting until it was just yards from us before sounding its chilling bell.
That blow-up left several casualties, including a zoo-train-conductor whom Monster tried to forcibly eject from his seat in the engine.
I have done a sweep of our home and removed all trains and train paraphernalia.
However, I am at a loss as to how to control the outside world. Every play date, every outing can mean certain disaster. My only solace is in finding other parents, other survivors, who tell me that it gets better.
Because it does get better … right?