When you’re a toddler mom, what is there to say, really?
Well, a lot. Because toddlers are…a lot. They’re tiny, they’re terrific and they’re a ton of fun. They also may or may not be feral.
There’s something that happens to our precious babies around the 13-month mark that makes us scratch our heads and wonder what in the hell we signed up for when we agreed to this whole parenting thing.
Don’t get me wrong: Even though toddlers are unstable and possibly clinically insane, they are still pretty darn wonderful. And parenting them? I’d say it’s like a roller coaster…if you’re on a roller coaster that goes 75 mph, throws food at you sporadically and demands that you sing “Elmo’s World” 16 times in a row as it loops upside down.
I thought I’d jot down 10 silly little toddler mom–isms for this post…and somehow I got to 50. Easily. And something tells me you’re going to be able to relate to all of them.
So, how do you know that you’re a full-blown toddler mom?
50. You can tell the difference between a hunger scream, an angry scream, a teething scream, a frustrated scream, a that’s-not-fair scream, an injury scream, a happy scream and why-the-eff-not-scream-now scream.
49. Your dog looks nervous. All the time.
48. You have seen a human being exhibit every emotion possible in a span of 8 seconds, and it is truly terrifying—and strangely exhilarating.
47. You’ve worried that your nose was broken or your tooth was knocked loose by a 25-pound bundle of energy who lunged toward you at the exact wrong time.
46. You nod a lot and say, “Oh, wow, that’s so interesting!” when you don’t understand most of what’s being said to you.
45. On the flip side, you often also hear half-said, garbled, mumbled words as if they were enunciated by Colin Firth.
44. As a result, you often find yourself translating toddler-speak for everyone, including your husband.
43. Not to harp on this, but you’re also shocked that no one else can understand said toddler. She was so clear that time!
You are a lying liar. You lie about parks being closed, TVs being broken and bags of Skittles being shaker toys.
41. You never thought you’d see anything cuter than your baby…and then your baby grows up and somehow keeps getting cuter and cuter.
40. You are likely unshowered because you can’t leave your child alone long enough to keep up with basic hygiene.
39. When you can’t take it anymore, you take your child into the bathroom with you—and then you have to dodge random under-the-sink items thrown your way from behind the shower curtain.
38. You also have to brace yourself for said toddler to play peek-a-boo maniacally and repeatedly from behind the shower curtain, letting in all of the cold air and effectively ruining anything pleasant about your showering experience.
37. You are a lying liar. You lie about parks being closed, TVs being broken and bags of Skittles being shaker toys.
36. You have seen every episode of Sesame Street ever created. When there’s a new one, you act like you’ve won Mega Millions.
35. Hearing the phrase “thank you” from your little one is second only to “I love you.”
34. The inside of your purse is a garbage bag—a functional garbage bag, but a garbage bag, nonetheless. Stale, dusty Cheerio bits, anyone?
33. You have a toy, a tissue, a sippy cup, a pouch of vegetable mush, a pacifier and a cheese stick with you at all times.
32. Teething has overtaken your life and destroyed any semblance of sanity you thought you had left.
31. You fondly remember real sleep. Sort of. Real sleep doesn’t consist of a small creature crawling into your bed or demanding that you sleep on the couch with her in the middle of the night, right? Not a rhetorical question. It’s been a while.
3o. You have a child who is completely obsessed with vacuums and sponges and cleaning…but somehow makes more of a mess when any actual cleaning items are in her tiny hands.
29. Your child flips plates of food like a Real Housewife flips tables. But with more gusto.
28. The little pimple on your chin that you’ve been trying to ignore and the squishy belly that’s still holding onto those last 5 pounds of baby weight have been brought to your attention by a curious, chubby-fingered poke within the last 24 hours.
27. You know not to leave your laptop out unless you want it to be picked up and possibly used as a projectile and/or in a gravity experiment.
It is impossible to clean your house because a little person follows you around and proceeds to undo every single thing you just did.
26. Your house is starting to resemble a pacifier graveyard.
25. You now know that tables are for dancing, and you start to worry about your child’s college years.
24. You buy four different potty-training potties—including one that sings—because the prospect of not having to change another poopy diaper someday is that exciting.
23. You have had to tell your child not to splash in toilet water or lick the flusher in a public bathroom.
22. You can pronounce any dinosaur name that comes your way.
20. Regardless, you still never feel relaxed because your child can topple off a chair at any moment or decide to dive out of your arms onto concrete just for the hell of it.
19. There are opinions—or, rather, OPINIONS about everything from food to wardrobe to television shows. They are often accompanied (at least in my house) by a sing-songy “No, no, no, no, no!” and a wagging finger.
18. You are convinced that kiddie classes lay the foundation for college admission and life success.
17. You suspect that your toddler is a child prodigy in music/dance/art/science. You don’t want to be that mom, but you’re kind of that mom.
16. You now know what the world’s best hugs feel like: They involve your toddler’s whole body and whole soul. A toddler mom is a lucky mom.
15. You think that the art of “putting your toddler to bed” requires a similar skill level to things like bomb-defusing and lion-taming.
14. You know what it’s like to be the sun, the moon and the stars to someone.
13. You also know what it’s like to be knocked down a peg or two when your child suddenly vastly prefers your partner to you.
12. It is impossible to clean your house because a little person follows you around and proceeds to undo every single thing you just did.
11. You have learned the hard way that toting around a 25-pound toddler, a diaper bag and three bags of groceries doesn’t make a dent in your muffin top.
10. You are terrified of silence. And for good reason.
9. You understand the conflict over screen time. Do you rot your kid’s brain or take 30 minutes for yourself so you don’t lose your godforsaken mind? The struggle is oh-so-real.
8. You’ve had something thrown at your head in order to get your attention.
7. You’ve argued with a small, unintelligible person about the perks of gloves/hats/coats/shoes/pants.
6. You have a love/hate relationship with pacifiers and have reminded yourself at some point that your child “won’t go to college with one.” (But you’re not completely sure you believe it.)
5. You have covered up peed-upon sheets with a towel at 3 a.m. instead of changing them.
4. You have begged your child to eat something, anything that is not a carbohydrate—and the next week, have been amazed at the sheer quantity of food able to be consumed by a three-foot-tall child.
3. You know that crayons, makers and pencils can be weapons of mass destruction in tiny hands. They can “decorate” your walls, tattoo your children and poke you in the eyes.
2. “I do it myself!” is a source of pride and angst for you.
1. You get the brightest, most unabashed smiles, and in those moments, you realize that all of the other insanity is well worth it.
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