I’ve read the book Where the Wild Things Are hundreds of times at this point. I’ve always loved the book personally, and my kids love it too, so it’s highly requested in our house.
And of all the times we’ve read it, I haven’t yet made the connection. I have found where the wild things are. I have solved the mystery.
Max, fear not, because I know. And I will tell you.
They’re in quiet corners shoving Play-Doh in tiny matchbox cars.
They’re climbing the kitchen counter to reach Hershey Kisses they once saw you take out of there five months ago.
They’re finding your most expensive lipstick and painting themselves with it.
They’re dumping the new full shampoo into the bath to “clean it for you.”
They’re finding your hammer and a rogue nail and “decorating” the hallway.
They’re swinging from your curtains in the living room “practicing” the monkey bars.
They’re busting out the Sharpies to tattoo themselves while you shower.
They’re taking their diaper off in the middle of the night because they don’t want it anymore, and they’re wetting the bed. Then they’re appearing at your bedside at 2 a.m. angrily reprimanding you for their soaked pants.
They’re always searching (and successfully finding) the highest surface to jump off, the wiggliest rock to balance on, the biggest puddle to splash in.
They’re sneaking in the refrigerator for the whipped cream can, digging around the freezer for the ice cream, and scaling the pantry shelves for the Goldfish.
They’re trying to swim laps in the bath or dumping the water on the floor outside of the tub to make “the whole house a swimming pool.”
They’re hiding the remote in places you’d never dream of finding it. They’re playing with your earbuds without asking and then shipping them off to the Bermuda Triangle when they’re done.
They’re dumping your whole container of garlic powder, cinnamon and turmeric into a pot with dish soap and years old sprinkles “for dinner.”
They’re taking their boots and socks off while out in the snow because their “feet are sweating.” They’re ripping their clothes off any chance they can get. Nudity is life for these creatures.
They’re muttering curse words when they’re ticked off, somehow using them in the right context. (Don’t know where they learned that from…)
They’re singing loudly and asking for the music to be turned up—full blast.
They’re stacking step stools one on top of the other in the bathroom closet to reach the Band-Aids for the “boo-boo” they don’t yet have but will need when their tower fails them.
They’re determined and daring, spirited and lively. They’re enthusiastic and passionate, fiery and focused. They’re hilarious and entertaining, worrisome and wonderful. They’ll cause your blood pressure to rise, and your heart to skip a beat.
They will pretend they don’t need you, but they’ll reach for you in the night.
They will hold their head high as they stomp off to do it “their way,” but will look for you the second their courage wanes.
They cuddle close any chance they get and give the sloppiest, best kisses around.
They’re called toddlers. And they’re wild. Wild.
They’re full of life, full of zip and zest. They’re loud and messy and often covered in peanut butter or chocolate or Pirate’s Booty crumbs. They’ll tell you where to go and how to get there while they suck on their pacifier and drag their teddy bear along for the ride. They will squeeze you so hard each hug you get you’ll never know if they’re trying to kill you or love you.
They go hard. In every aspect of life.
They will grow up to be powerful leaders and successful CEO’s. They will be creative artists and dynamic performers. They will be innovative entrepreneurs and problem-solving inventors. They are special. They are doing things differently, not caring what other people think. They’re carving out their own place in this world. They’re marching to the beat of their own drum. They have a light inside them that shines brighter than the North Star.
They’re our teachers. And we’re lucky to be in their orbit.
Mama, if your baby is shifting into toddlerhood, fear not! (Well, maybe fear a *little,* tbh.) Life with them is never dull, and you’ll seem to be learning something at all times.
So buckle up, get ready and let the wild rumpus start!