Life with a two year old is nothing short of amazing. They develop so quickly that you blink your eyes and there is a brand new person standing in front of you. One minute our daughter was a lump I could leave in one spot, to a toddler that is running around talking up a storm. Now imagine feeding time mixed with a tiny human, it makes for an interesting and sometimes frustrating daily occurrence. For some A.M. feedings I can sneak outside without my daughter waking up. These mornings are glorious in the summer time, with the sun starting to rise, a cool breeze blowing and oh yes the best part of all -
FREEDOM! On the days she does wake up, she is at least sleepy enough that she’s happy with me packing her around in the carrier on my back. So all in all, my biggest concern in the mornings is thirty pounds of dead weight on my back, but evening feedings are another story!
First we get everyone’s food prepared and every time I have to remind her that I’m in charge of measuring. If she had it her way we’d have some very chubby pigs and goats. Now keeping a toddler focused on the task at hand is like herding a cat. Like this evening for example, she pointed out several piles of poop, on our way down to the animals, and each one required my confirmation that it was just chicken poop before we could move on. Another entertaining feature of a 2 year old is that they are like little parrots so everything I say and do is mimicked. If someone is misbehaving, as I’m going into their pen to feed them, and it’s met with me saying “Hey, that’s enough” this quickly results in a sassy two year old shaking her finger and saying “No piggy no”. It has also made me realize that there are certain words that I say A LOT care of my tiny repeater.
One factor that I am fairly militant about is that she understands to respect the animals space and that she can’t kiss, hug and pet all of them including wildlife. A few weeks ago she proceeded to chase a deer across our front yard and when I yelled at her to stop, she turned around with a toothy grin to say “I pet it mommy, I pet it”. One learning experience for me, as to why you never turn your back on a toddler, is that they can get into trouble in no time. Like the occasion I took my eyes off of her for two seconds to turn around and find her kissing Eugene on his snout as he pushed his nose through the fence…….this was both terrifying and adorable at the same time. Eugene was quite the gentleman about it but ever since that day I do not let her out of my sight which sometimes makes me feel like I have the attention span of a gnat.
Now for her favorite animal at the sanctuary - that would be Henry, our cornish cross chicken. She’s constantly trying to convince me, that Henry should come to daycare with her and that the centre console in my husbands jeep is for him to sit on to go for car rides. Even though I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve told her “No, that’s not happening”, she still asks at every opportunity. Henry is also quite famously known at daycare as “Poop Poop” and in all fairness he does do a lot of that.
Although it can be exhausting raising a toddler on a sanctuary it is also very rewarding. I am thankful to raise her in an environment surrounded by animals but I am SO looking forward to the day where I don’t have to watch her like a hawk!