What I’ve learned from having a toddler
1. Sometimes it’s easier to just push toys around with a vacuum instead of picking them up. I am guilty of doing this quite often.
2. Toddler poo stinks. Oh yeah. And let’s not forget that poo will sometimes explode out of the diaper. When this happens, your toddler will more than likely roll around in it.
3. It takes you 50 minutes to do what people without kids can do in 15.
4. Everything in your house will be destroyed at one time or another.
5. Water gets everywhere when you bathe them.
6. Love hurts. I can’t even think about what life would be like if something happened to Nathan without turning myself into a blubbering, snot-dripping crybaby.
7. Choose your battles, and choose them wisely. Sometimes you have to lose a few battles to win the war and keep the peace.
8. When your toddler is unhappy, EVERYONE IS UNHAPPY.
9. Always keep a handful of toys out of circulation. That way, when your toddler has a meltdown, you can surprise him and keep him entertained for a while with a “new” toy.
10. You lose any and all privacy. Have to poo? Too bad. You have three options: hold it until nap time, poo with the door closed while your little one has a complete meltdown on the other side of the door, or let him in the bathroom and try to keep him from unraveling the toilet paper, emptying the trashcan, licking the floor, shredding the magazines, and going back in the “no kid zone” behind the toilet. All while trying to do your business.
11. You will be inundated with unsolicited advice. And the kicker? Most of this advice will be useless for you and your child.
12. You might lose some of your friends. Many people without kids just don’t get it. They don’t understand how you’re so busy, or why you can’t take 10 minutes out of your tantrum-evading, poo wiping, constantly-teaching-your-kid-how-to-behave, feeding, disciplining, emotionally and physically exhausting day to call or email them. They don’t understand that when you get a small break, you want to be alone with your thoughts so you can recharge, because these people are too busy being self-absorbed to notice that it’s not about them. However, there are other people without kids who DO understand, either because they have the power of empathy, they have been around many other parents with kids for long periods of time, or they have younger siblings. Hold these people close, for they are few and far between.
13. When all else fails, turn on Blue’s Clues, Sesame Street, or Dora.
14. Never underestimate the power of Mommy or Daddy’s kiss on a boo boo.
15. Your back will hurt. A lot. And then! Then, when your back doesn’t hurt, you will start to CREAK.
16. When eating, most of your toddler’s food may end up on his face, bib, lap, or on the floors. Or walls. Or your hair. Or the back of your neck.
17. You will find little bits of food squirreled away in the most random places.
18. There is nothing in the world comparable to your child kissing your cheek or wrapping his arms around your neck in a huge hug. It’s addictive.
19. Don’t be surprised if you try to breathe in your child while he sleeps.
20. Toddler toes are delicious. So are their fingers and hands.
21. Peas and corn do not digest completely. Neither do blueberries.
22. Feeding him too many carrots will turn him orange.
23. Do not smell sippy cups that have been left out. Or even open it up and look at it, for that matter. Just close your eyes really tightly, cover your nose, and dump that crap down the sink with hot water.
24. Prepare for WWIII if you have to skip or delay nap time, change his diaper, or tell him “no” for any reason whatsoever.
25. Smooth legs? Ain’t gonna happen. Just like you won’t win the lottery nor will you quickly and effortlessly lose that 60 lbs you packed on while you were pregnant. Also? YOU WILL NOT SLEEP.