TGIF: Lessons Learned from a Banana-Opening ToddlerS

I woke up this morning feeling a little cynical. Sure, the weekend was at my fingertips, but it still felt nearly impossible to see over the work day ahead and unwind from the workdays of the past few weeks. Lately (and this is unsual), we've been pulling 10-12 hour shifts at the Good Ship Jezebel and, while I love my job, I've found myself reaching the end of my rope. My face, as far as visible exhaustion goes, has gone from well-rested to noticeably tired (yesterday Dodai actually caught me sleeping at my desk) to that of a woman dying from consumption in a 19th century period piece. (If any of you are directors in need of a character like this in your movie, please consider casting me. You'll save big bucks on your makeup budget.)

And then came the toddler and his banana.

I'm currently working from a coffee shop in Brooklyn (yes, this poor tired lady got to work from home today) and directly in front of me is a toddler in a stroller working out how to peel and eat a banana. Simple and common as it may be, I'm oddly mesmerized by this cute little kid, with his dark eyebrows and impossibly tiny snow boots, and his determination — his focus — on the task at hand. This baby is engrossed in this piece of fruit. This baby is calculating. This baby is learning. This baby is getting things done and this baby isn't being a whiny brat about it.

By now, he's conquered the peel and is enjoying the literal fruits of his labor. I just watched this toddler — who probably hasn't existed outside of his mother's womb for more than 15 months — accomplish something and get rewarded for his accomplishment. This is the way the world should be. This is the way the world could be if I — if we — stopped complicating things more than they need to be complicated and focused instead on whatever our version of that banana may be. (Do I sound crazy? That's because I've gone crazy. I've been staring at a stranger's baby for 10 whole minutes.) Right now, I'm gonna ignore being tired and cranky and focus on the banana of getting done for the day. Tomorrow, my banana will be trying to relax and have a nice weekend. Sunday, my banana will be an actual banana because Sundays are Smoothie Day. And Monday — well, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

TGIF, everybody and a special TGIF to you, random toddler. Please communicate to your mother that I am not a weirdo, but rather a normal woman who has found existential salvation in your simple existence.

Then again, maybe you can find a better way to word it — you seem to have things figured out.

Image via Paul Hakimata/Shutterstock.