You know that expression "It was quiet. Too quiet."? How true that tired cliche is when you live with a toddler. Especially, I am told, a boy toddler.
Friday I was puttering around while Charlie played nicely in the family room, trying to finish the four loads of laundry that seem to have appeared out of thin air in the mere days since I last did laundry (It couldn't have been that long right? The clean clothes from that laundry day hadn't even been put away yet). He was playing so nicely, in fact, that I thought it would be safe to run to the laundry room for a second to switch the last load from the washer to the drier.
What's that other cliche? Oh yes, it's "I was only gone for a second."
As I worked in the laundry room (all of ten feet away from the kitchen and family room) I kept one ear out for Charlie. I could hear him playing with his ball popper, then his shape sorter. Then I heard him go over to the cabinet he's allowed to open and pull all the plastic bowls and sippy cups out.
Suddenly it occurred to me that I hadn't heard a peep out of him in several moments. I couldn't tell how long it had been because I was engrossed in hanging all my mom-t-shirts up on hangers so the dryer wouldn't shrink them (thus limiting their effectiveness at concealing my post-baby tummy). But I knew the familiar monologue that usually accompanies Charlie's independent play had stopped.
A little nervous, I peeked around the corner into the kitchen not knowing what to expect.
HE WAS LYING ON HIS BELLY ON TOP OF THE KITCHEN TABLE TYPING ON MY COMPUTER.
Mama's Computer, with its irresistable siren song, its enticing lights that flash, its magical Windows XP error noises. The temptation overwhelmed him.
I froze. Like any parent whose child has accomplished a feat of supreme mental acuity and physical strength, I wanted to take a picture. But I couldn't leave the room a second time to look for my camera (Although, maybe if I had left him alone for a few more minutes he could have figured out where my Matlab code went wrong).
Very slowly and with no sudden movements I glided over to the table and scooped him up. I must have interrupted something important because he was MAD. I was laughing too hard for any kind of discipline to be effective so I just deposited him back in the family room among his toys, which are appropriate, safe, and free from large amounts of potential energy.
I'm still not done with the laundry.