Things No One Told Me About...Toddlers. (Please don't take any of this as a sign of my lack of gratitude. My children are amazing and I love them more than anything else in this world. This is just a little humor. :))
When you become mother, your life changes. You stare down at your precious baby and wonder how you were so blessed. How did God choose you to be parent of this tiny precious being. You imagine the beautiful, picturesque life you are going to lead. Perfect, tiny outfits. Precious shoes and hair bows, miniature toys and lots of book reading. Angelic sleeping infants wrapped in soft, cuddly blankets. Rocking your baby quietly, stroking their cheek and whispering promises for their future.
Yeah. Good luck with that. Eventually your perfect baby becomes a toddler.
1. Toddlers have a super human power to NOT sleep and to fight the falling asleep process. Sure, the middle of the night parties are fewer and farther between now than when they were newborn but...gone are the days of soothing them back to sleep with a bottle and 10 minutes of rocking. Sigh. As I type this, my son is crying in his crib for no reason and my daughter is watching "Little Bear" on the couch. At 3:40 am. Neither napped today. yesterday. Whatever you call their last nap time. Yeah. Sleep when you can is no joke.
2. Children, no matter how much you try, will have times where they won't eat anything. Or just chicken nuggets.
3. Becoming a mother basically means you lose all sense of what's gross. I've caught myself examining a dirty diapers for signs on infection, the flu or rogue toys. (I wish I was kidding.) 3 years ago, I would have been gagging at the thought. Now, whatever. I've had more bodily fluids from the under 3 crowd on me in the last 33 months than a cheap motel bed. I'll sniff a diaper, pluck a booger out of a nose, wipe wax from an ear, wipe sticky hands and walk around with peanut butter toast smeared on my legs every morning. You get used to it. Do take the time to change before you go in public though...most of the time.
4. Your husband will love it when you put on jeans and a non-t-shirt. I feel like a super model when I have time and occasion to put on real clothes. Dave is always complimenting me. I do at least shower every (okay 9 out of 10) days.
5. You can not get as much done during nap time as you think. Regardless of all these cute blog claiming to get housework done, dinner cooked and 17 crafts made...yeah it doesn't happen. Don't beat yourself up about it. Also don't get on pinterest. BOOM there goes nap time entirely.
6. You won't always know what's happening on Grey's Anatomy or who was on Ellen recently, but you know where Dora's headed on her next adventure and when the new Jake and the Neverland Pirates is going to air. You will also find yourself singing Fresh Beat Band songs in the shower. You will listen to kids cd's or Kids' Place Live when the kids aren't in the car. (Especially Mindy. That chick is hilarious.)
7. Outfits look adorable in Gymboree. On a stationary mannequin. They aren't worth it. They will be destroyed in 5 seconds. 2, if your child happens to be a boy. Somedays I think about just wrapping him in paper towels. At least that's absorbent.
8. It's 100% not fun to put kids in and take kids out of car seats. Keep your kid in the baby bucket as long as you can. They are contained in there. It's not a picnic to unhook one kid in the Wal-Mart parking lot, have them wriggle away while you unhook the other, chase the original child while holding the second one, wrestle them in to a cart but Kiddo A wants to walk and Kiddo B saw the balloon and where's the toy department and can they get a "little treat" and we need bread, milk and toilet paper today not toys but MOOOOOM. Yeah, WalMart's kind of my nightmare right now. And my kids are well behaved!
9. You will be really jealous of other moms you see with quiet toddlers. Don't worry. That mom has had the screaming crying toddler on days yours have been perfect. Trust me, every toddler throws a good grocery store fit once in a while.
10. Make friends with your pediatrician. Wine and dine him if you have to. Learn all you can about the nurses and basically, well, win them over any way necessary. The secretary too! The nicer, sweeter you are (ahem...seem) the better your appointments will go. Being on a first name basis and yes, occasionally bribing my children in to good behavior at the office, has gotten us primo appointment times with our favorite PA. Totally. Worth. It.
11. Other moms will judge you. Straight up and out loud. Don't let it bother you. And don't EVER voice your opinions to anyone except your husband and your mom. Judge in your head. Fume away, rant and rave in your head but don't bite back. Not even worth it. Plus, I've noticed that these judgey moms aren't all their cracked up to be.
12. Toddlers are stubborn little monsters at times. You will quickly learn what is and isn't worth a fight. Wearing pants to the grocery store? Worth a fight. Wearing socks with sandals? Not worth it.
13. Fighting between siblings is a natural born trait. Rory has been known to pick up Trace and toss him across the room. Trace, though not even 2 years old yet, is famous for crawling up behind her and biting her in the back. No, this behavior is not acceptable in this house. Baby, they were born this way. For real.
14. Toddlers are super fun. Babies are cute, pudgy little balls of cuddles. TODDLERS are awesome. They play, read books, color, learn everything, have preferences and personalities...I loved my kid when they were babies, of course, but I absolutely love the toddler stage. (Does that make sense?) Nobody told me how great things get once you're through with baby stuff. There's nothing to be sad about at all. Babies grow up and become really great toddlers who, in my case, like to dance around the room to Madonna, sleep with 9,000 stuffed animals (yes both of them), sing songs, say prayers before bed and just generally make my life a better one to live.