This morning I was lying in bed thinking about how much I didn’t want to get out of bed when I overheard the MOST toddler conversation I’ve ever heard.

Toddlers are unappeasable, unpleasant, unpredictable and fragile creatures. I know this. WE know this. It’s not new. But sometimes, for some maddening reason, I let myself fall into this pattern of thought in which I actually start to believe there are limits to their madness. But then something happens and I realize I’ve been duped, again. (Don’t be like me. There are NO limits to their madness.) Matty is a really great toddler in comparison to some of the stories I’ve heard and especially in comparison with his brother who literally refuses to speak English outside of school and only communicates in screams, grunts and love-taps (AKA slaps to the face). But great toddler or not, every now and then Matty has a moment that leaves me speechless – like the one he had this morning.

So, I was lying in bed this morning and I could hear Matty whining about a number of things but specifically about how much he needed cereal. Seth, also slow to get out of bed, asked Matty to be patient. I laid there and listened as Seth got out of bed and walked into the kitchen. I heard the cereal pour into a cup and Matty mumble something.

Seth switched on the hallway light outside of the kitchen and there was sudden screaming.

“NOOOOOOO! My shadow! MY SHADOOOOW!!!”
“Matty. What?”
“MY SHADOW! I CAN’T SEE MY SHADOW! I NEED A SHADOW!”
“Well then stand right here; I need to get ready for work.”
“Nooooo! No! I need my shadow, I can’t see the heeeeead!!!”
“Matheson…”
“No! I want it. My shaddoooooow! I can’t see the head!”
“Matty!”

I heard Seth let out a deep sigh and mumble something under his breath. The light went out and Matty’s wailing stopped immediately. Seth went to get into the shower and Matty stood in the hallway admiring his shadow. If only toddlers knew how good they actually had it – everyone does everything for them, they get most of what they request AND they have the ability to find complete fulfillment while standing in their underwear eating Golden Grahams out of a cup observing their own shadow. That’s basically the BEST life I could ever imagine. I mean, jesus, most days I wonder if I’ll ever experience the gift of finding complete fulfillment – and God knows I won’t find it staring at my shadow in my undies (sweet jesus, talk about giving myself a fucking complex).

God bless the toddlers out there living their best lives. And GOD BLESS the parents living in their shadow.