I decided to bow gracefully to the inevitable and enroll Edith in “mini” soccer which meets every Saturday morning in a park in Buda. This past Saturday was the first class and I was really interested to see a group of two- and three-year-olds be corralled into soccer practice. I expected the class to mostly just be letting them kick balls around.

Turns out, it was very structured! I mean, the class was. The toddlers not so much. There’s a very wide gulf between two and three also, so there were a few older toddlers who were fairly focused on improving their burgeoning soccer skills and then some younger kids who had to be discouraged from wandering off toward the playground, and then there were two little baby two-year-olds in their first class — a little girl who mostly clung to her mother and cried, and Edith. (And if you are wondering, they were also the only two girls in the class.)

Edith really enjoyed the part where everyone ran in a pack from one end of the field to the other. She got the gist of that immediately and participated with enthusiasm. She was much too little to do the “control” exercises. When it came time to dribble (if you don’t know anything about soccer, and everything I know about it I learned in this baby soccer class, this means you control the ball across the field with little tiny kicks, which is a tall order for a toddler), she instead kicked the ball as hard as she could directly across the field cackling in triumph. She enjoyed making a goal while everyone chanted her name (each kid took turns). She loved playing with the cones and picking them up, although she didn’t grasp the purpose of them. They ran a little scrimmage at the end, seemingly for the entertainment of the adults as it was a bit like watching the puppy bowl. Overall, she was interested and engaged for about half the 30-minute class, and then she was over it, which I felt was a win at this age.

Meanwhile, I was absolutely pouring buckets of sweat under a scorching sun at only 8:00am in the morning, running much more than I expected, and wishing I had worn a sports bra and a hat. It’s going to be a long summer.

In other news, Edith has gotten so big that I cannot really bodily control her, and this coinciding with her turning two and still not being especially verbal is causing some problems. When I change her diaper now and she would rather not have her diaper changed, for example, she kicks and flails her legs around as hard as she can, and this is very hard! She occasionally catches me in the face (sometimes on purpose) and it’s just basically impossible to clean poop off someone flailing in such a way. She also demonstrates her will in other ways that aren’t my favorite, like throwing her food at me or across the kitchen violently while looking me dead in the eye. If she doesn’t want to be in the bathtub now, she will launch out at me, sopping wet and with windmilling arms. She has to be bodily wrestled into her carseat in a move that’s a lot like putting a puffy down sleeping bag back into its stuff sack, if the sleeping bag were also able to claw at your face and scream.

It’s sort of hard for me to tell, still, what of this behavior is intentional. I mean, it seems awfully intentional, but my darling perfect daughter couldn’t possibly intend to be such a mean little pill, so I think it must be some sort of accidental pattern that just looks a lot like intent.

At any rate, I have begun to try employing a no-nonsense Mom voice. Last night, when Edith threw her dinner at me (which I should note was fair enough, because Grandma was out of pocket for the night, so her dinner was a hard-boiled egg white, a cold hot dog, half a banana, and some Saltines [although in my defense this menu was determined less by my limited cooking ability and more by my selecting foods she has a proven track record of actually eating]), I summoned my best “don’t fuck with me” tone (and I should note here that I am not a passive person and have a tendency to frighten other full-grown adults and a reputation for being formidable), and I said “Edith, stop that! Now!”

Edith looked at me, lowered her chin and grinned at me from below her eyebrows, and then she said, in perfect mimicry, “Edith, stop that! Now!” And then she threw back her head and laughed merrily like it was the best joke she’d ever heard.

So, this is the age when people start saying the fairies took their child and left an imp in its place, and I get that now.


  1. Zandy says:

    It’s almost as if there’s a name for this age. The something twos… I can’t recall it right now, but it’s on the tip of my tongue.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Elizabeth says:

      Hmm, no, I don’t think so, doesn’t ring a bell.

      Liked by 2 people

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