My Pet Shadow

We are in the official doldrums of summer over here. It’s hot hot hot and the new owners of our apartment complex* have decided to forgo opening the pool in exchange for lowering our rent by $30. I’ll take those savings, but I’d prefer a pool when the mercury rises. Having B home is great of course but his presence does nothing to improve my reputation as The Hard One in these parts. He will gladly watch Cookie Monster whenever Wee Cee demands it, whereas my idea of a good time is vacuuming while she screams at me to play play PLAY with her. Instead of, oh, I dunno, retreating to her nursery where she has roughly ninety billion toys to amuse her, she covers her ears, whines, and tries to pull the plug out of the wall. I suppose she thinks that the instant she leaves my side I will break out all the cookies and eat them without her knowing. Which I might, but really, I’d be more discrete than that, kiddo.

*The owners head up a firm called “Bear Investments,” and I often imagine a group of bears sporting those green visors that old-timey accountants wear, and carrying around leases in one paw and honeycombs in the other.

But while my summer activities around the home are largely domestic and boring, the now 15-month-old Cee wants to be a part of them. Scratch that; she demands to be a part of them. Thus another chapter in the annals of Why I Just Want To Use the Toilet Alone. Even the innocuous task of preparing a glass of ice water for myself whips her into a frenzy. I can’t do it without her lisping “icshe” and whining until I allow her to submerge her entire forearm into my glass. Once she acquires the water, I move on to the activity of making our bed. Like the little duckling that she is, she abandons the water and dutifully follows me into our room to oversee my work. She bangs her hand on the side of our platform bed, insisting to be let up onto it so she can make like Evel Knievel and jump off. At this point, she has caught wind of this place called the “emergency room” and wants to see what the big hubbub is about. I fight off her advances and encourage her to sit on the floor and watch me as I perform the riveting activity of straightening the sheets.

“Cee. Please wait. I’ll play on the bed with you when I’m finished.”


“One moment, Sweetie.”

Bang bang bang.

“Cee, you heard me the first time. Please wait, my darling.”

RAWR. Stomp stomp stomp.

“Cee, look. I’m putting the pillows on the bed at this very instant. You will literally only have to wait for maybe two more seconds.”

And then this happens:

Score one for Mommy for making the baby cry before 9AM. A new record! This picture was actually from when Cee was informed that spitting out water once she drinks it is not proper decorum, but the face is essentially the same. A pout for all occasions!

Score one for Mommy for making the baby cry before 9AM. A new record! This picture was actually from when Cee was informed that spitting out water once she drinks it is not proper decorum, but the face is essentially the same. A pout for all occasions!

This same child who only a few weeks ago celebrated each nap with gusto and fervency will now scream and moan for a good fifteen minutes when I put her in her crib, AKA a pit of snakes and unpleasantness. The idea of her being separated from us for an hour absolutely roils her. You see, I don’t accompany her into the crib because I have BLOGGING to do when she is asleep, and as much as I’d love for her to write a guest post, there are only so many combinations of the words “cookie,” “ice”, “car”, “dirty”, “daddy”, “mama”, and “poo-poo” that can be created without me beginning to sound like a giant frozen turd/tasty cookie treat.

Don’t get me wrong; I cave often. I’ll drop whatever I am doing and spend time with my gal who clearly wants to hang out with me in a context wherein the chances of me saying “no” to her are diminished. And since I’ve yet to find a way that she can injure herself while reading, I will happily read to her any book that she brings to me. She’ll bring over The Best Mouse Cookie and we’ll settle in like champs. I should be clear, though, that it’s not the book in its entirety that she wants me to read. Instead, it’s the third page wherein the mouse listens to the radio while he starts putting the cookie batter together. Cee thinks that page is pretty amazing, so we never progress beyond that point in the book since she will just have me read that one page seventeen times in a row. Does the mouse ever get his cookies made? Questions for the ages. 

We’re melting away here in the American South, but when I’m not busy scouring Pinterest for basil and strawberry limeade vinaigrette popsicles that I will likely never make, I will appreciate the fact that I am still deemed groovy enough to be followed around by Wee Cee. She makes for one adorable little 21 pound shadow.




  1. You da MOM! Great writing. Thank you for making me smile and remember why I’m glad MY baby is finally on his own (age 27)!

  2. Yes Ma’am. These are the glory days, and I know you are up on the part about how quickly each stage passes, never to be revisited. But the part about no pool, now that IS distressing. Is there no kiddie water spray park in your area? Or even a hose? Little ones can amuse themselves for hours with a hose!

  3. If you used “dirty mama,” “dirty daddy,” you would likely see a tremendous increase in traffic for a bit. Just sayin’…

    Yeah. I can relate to those days. After 16 years of this parenting gig, I am finally able to use the toilet solo. Because once the oldest one grew out of the habit of following me, there was another to take her place.

    Reading time’s the best. May I recommend Mo Willems? Pigeon books, Knuffle Bunny, they’re all the best!

  4. Luckily my shadow likes to follow his brothers around, too, so I get a break occasionally.

  5. OK – how weird is this

    My kid still follows me around – and he’s 10..unless he’s engaged in a video screen… it never ends. You will NEVER pee alone until she’s 13.

  6. Hahahaha! I like Bear investors. But wait, it makes me think of that horrendous show “Dinosaurs.” Bears would have been way better, for sure. Your shadow is adorable, and I love her:)

  7. For me, summer doesn’t start until we blow up the kiddie pool. Boy, I envy you. That’s some serious cute you’ve got going on. Doesn’t make it easy to have a shadow all day, but there you are. And what the heck are you doing working through that nap! Well, now that she’s older, I guess you can. I still take naps, but I also work evenings. You’ve got about 2.5 years, maybe less, for the nap break, BTW.

  8. A pit of snakes and unpleasantness! Oh my, yes! And I make Doodle cry no less than 30 billion times a day, often in the first half-a-second of the morning when he comes barreling into my bedroom demanding that I get up and play with him NOW and I groggily roll over and beg “Please go play with your legos in your room for 3 more minutes. Mommy’s so sleepy.” “BUT IT’S MORNING, I WANNA WAKE UP!!!!!” **grumble, roll out of bed, make coffee, he wins** They’re so good at that winning business when they’re little…

  9. Cee strikes me as a pretty bright tot who’s intellectually ahead of her peers. Hey, she’s only one and already digs the Beatles. Maybe the terrible two’s have come early. If so, they don’t sound that terrible … from the peanut gallery in steamy Manhattan.

  10. Hold the phone! You make your bed every morning????? Well, now I feel like a slug. I bow to you.

  11. Oh, that FACE! The Nephew used to (and sometimes still does) make that abject face of dejection. I am utterly helpless when faced with it. It demands I scoop him up and snuggle him cheerful again. (He knows that, too. He’s an evil mastermind of a 4-year-old.)

    I remember wondering if the Little Engine that Could ever did when he was little…because he never let me get past that page. “Again!” he would say, when I would try to see if it was a success story or not. (I’m going to have to assume the Engine did. I mean, what kind of story would it be if it didn’t?)

  12. Oh how I miss my shadows… sometimes. I love that I sit alone on the toilet now, and my glass is my own, as are many things that once were not. But how, oh how, can your resist that face? Not possible!

  13. Great post. I totally understand. My son went through the same thing and even now some days he becomes my shadow again. (He’s 2.5). They just want to be part of everything you’re doing and copy everything you do. Sometimes I’m not even aware…I’ll be scratching my nose, look over and see Ezra copying me. Haha! kids are funny, but I guess that’s how they learn! And one day they might not want to follow us around (let alone be in the same room with us for extended periods of time) anymore, so I guess we should enjoy it now!!

  14. Ms. Roberts · · Reply

    I don’t know if following Mom or Dad around the house is what every child does at that age but it sounds tiring! Enjoy having her around as long as it lasts. She sounds like she really loves you and wants to be with you all the time.

  15. most precious pictures ever!!!!!

  16. Oh yes. Yes yes yes. At least EB and Ans are starting to entertain each other for brief periods of time until EB realizes I’m not in the room, leaves a gate or door open, and Ans fast-crawls to freedom.

  17. You nailed it! That pretty much sums up every Saturday morning in my house – the only day I have time to make the bed!

  18. Love your honesty! Oddly, I miss that stage as much as I am glad we are past it.

  19. Love your post! Now I know what I have to look forward to in the next few months from my 11 month old! :)

  20. Brilliant post! My friend’s daughter (Yaya’s sister) LOVES a good book. If she decides it’s book reading time, then she does NOT let you get out of it. We’ll read for twenty mins, every book she brings, then I turn my head to answer a question about how my new job is going and she starts with the tapping. *tap on my arm* “Laulau. Read me. Laulau. Laulau. Read me. Laulau. Laulau!” *tap, tap, shove, shove, hit, hit* “Laulau! LAULAU! LAULAU! LAULAU!! LAAAULAU!” There’s no getting away from reading time with Isla….

Now you can hold the magic talking stick.

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