My baby just turned four….my reaction, you ask?
And part this:
Anyone who has survived the twos and threes knows exactly why. Now that both of my children are 4 and 7, I’ve had the
horror honor of experiencing the two different ways these two very different children experienced these nightmare lovely years. And so, it is time for some reflection on what I believe are common traits shared by this age group, charming as they are. And setting aside the sarcasm, there is something really delightful and sweet about toddlers. No really, there really is. But also, there’s not.
Here’s my list of five toddler truths to help keep your patience and your mind in tact:
1. Channeling your inner-zombie apocalypse paranoia will get you through the toddler years. Allow me to be frank: the strongest will survive by prepping for biological warfare. Ideally, you own this:
Because the shorties excel at nothing if not contracting disgusting diseases — and not just any old disease. Mais non!! Think – disgusting ones that you have never before heard of and oh, are highly contagious. Sicknesses with gross names like Hand, Foot & Mouth Disease….or Norovirus….or Fifths Disease. Most charming of them all is the Norovirus which ever-so-thoughtfully tends to peak from Thanksgiving through Christmas.
Seasoned parents immediately assess what they eat once a child has started puking in their home because they know it is anywhere from 12-24 hours before they, too, will fall.
“Please pass the potatoes, it’ll be great coming back up later when I’m hugging the toilet, vomiting it all up,” most parents of 2 or 3-year-olds are thinking during at least one holiday family gathering.
Many of you know that my now 7-year-old gave my ENTIRE family the gift of the Norovirus on Christmas Eve when she was 2 years old. We all started dropping like flies around midnight. “Merry Christmas, I’ve given you the gift of instant weight loss,” she snickered with an evil laugh in her sleep as visions of sugar-plum fairies and unicorns danced in her head.
While we wished for death.
Or at least more bathrooms in my parent’s house. Oh. and More mops.
2. Their fierce need for Independence is soul crushing at times. Intuitively the small human knows precisely when you are short on patience and running late (#Always) and that is when they boldly declare:
I DO IT MYSELF!
Don’t worry, their path to discovering independence in the form of putting on shoes (on the wrong feet) and getting into car seats only takes 65 minutes and 23 seconds.
While we’re on the subject of getting into car seats, you will experience one or all of these:
So what else do I know?
3. One of you is a serial killer, according to your toddler. Sorry Dad, usually it’s you. Typically, this revelation washes over them with no warning. Clear signs that they believe you’ve just murdered their pet cat or are stashing human brains in the freezer are as follows: Screaming when you enter the room, recoiling in horror at your touch, pleading with the beloved parent that you, the murderer, shouldn’t touch or look at them. True, there are days when the chosen parent wishes they were the serial killer parent. But like everything else, one day, this will pass, and the former serial killer could become most-favored-parent. Again, with no warning or explanation.
Except they always do (click here for more perspective on potty training). Just know that their purpose in life is to fight you to the death that they DO NOT HAVE TO GO POTTY.
5. Speaking of fighting you to the death, enter meal time. Hunger strikes are common with this age group. The cause they are fighting against? Parental control, obviously. Look, just accept now that even though you fed them something the day before, which they ate quite happily, doesn’t mean they will eat it. Ever again. For at least two years.
Just go with it.
This is what I know about toddlers. Now that we’ve emerged from this phase, I am still no fool. I will keep my HAZMAT suit hung in a closet but certainly not packed away, Mr. Wired Momma still timidly enters a room, unclear if the mere sight of him will cause our youngest to recoil in horror or if he’s regained his status and meal time still brings us nothing but unfettered joy…cough cough cough.
For more on parenting and hopefully some good laughs, be sure to visit my blog Wired Momma. And please, feel free to add your toddler truths here.
Monica declared 2013 the year of Moi-Time and is dedicated to puttering around her house and doing nothing. She hopes you are too. When not devoted to Moi-Time, she blogs as Wired Momma, where she is known for her sense of humor, her love of mocking bad celebrity baby names and talking about work-life “balance.” She also contributes to Huffington Post and Washingtonian Magazine. She hopes you’ll “Like” her on Facebook or follow her on Twitter @wired_momma.