If there is one thing that is absolutely, 100% true about parenting it is that we are all winging it.
No one knows what the hell they’re doing. We generally put up a good front, some may even truly believe that they’ve “mastered” this whole messy chaos of not raising jerks.
But the truth remains, we are all just giving it our best shot in the dark. I am, by no means, even close to an expert. In fact, parenthood has humbled me more than I could have ever imagined. Still, toddlerhood has brought forth these little tidbits of wisdom. So while these toddler truths may not all apply to everyone, I can say with confidence that we’ve all grown as humans since raising a tiny one.
1. The demands
There are many things your tiny human will demand and/or require. Pants are not one of them.
2. The things you’ll say
You will say things you’ve never said before such as “please don’t swing your diaper around-it belongs in the trash,” or “It is not a bandaid. It is a piece of lunch meat,” and finally, my all time favorite “Don’t squeeze your penis like that, you’re going to hurt yourself.”
3. The things they’ll say
You will try to correct your tiny human’s mispronunciation of words such as “pinkle” (twinkle), “shomping” (shopping), and “tumming” (coming). The second the tiny human pronounces the word correctly, you will immediately regret ever teaching the correct way, proclaiming “where did my baby go!?!”
4. The exhaustion
You.will. be. exhausted. So, unbelievably exhausted. And, just when you think you couldn’t possibly be more exhausted, the tiny human will wake up at 2 am and not go back to sleep. Ever. Or so it feels.
5. The sickness
When your husband is away for business, the tiny human will get sick.
6. The snacks
Personal Mommy snacks will become more valuable than gold. I’m talking the donuts, the kit-kats, the fruit snacks, the poptarts- pick your poison, we all have one…these are the kid friendly items that we throw in the shopping cart to make the kids happy with absolutely zero intent of ever feeding them to the children. Finding a good hiding spot for these snacks will make you do a happy dance. Having your snack bungalow discovered by the tiny human will ensue the Kubler-Ross mourning process. Denial as you continue to pretend the tiny human doesn’t know, anger over the fact that you’ve been discovered, bargaining, “if you do xyz maybe I’ll share my fruit snacks,” depression, or just straight tears over your loss, and finally, acceptance.
7. The battles
You’ll learn to choose your battles. Toddler insists on wearing snow boots with no pants (see number 1) on an 80 degree day? Sure thing, no problem! PJ pants with construction vehicles on them with your 76er’s T shirt, good look my man!
8. The independence (most of the time)
The tiny human will insist on walking, everywhere, always. The stroller will become an evil restraining device and hand holding will ensue a meltdown that will have the neighbors calling child services. Unless you need the tiny human to walk. In that case, he will demand being held.
9. The pacifiers
You will waste accumulated days of your life looking for pacifiers. Days. Those little buggers disappear like they’re in the witness protection program.
10. The “privacy” (ha ha!)
Alone time will cease to exist. Even when you think you’re alone, you won’t be. That tiny human will creep his way into every second of your life. Shower? Be prepared for a full body analysis- “is der a baby in der?” Nope, no just some leftovers from you my love. Pooping? Little fingers will find their way under the door, if the child isn’t already in there with you.
11. The diapers
You will contemplate if changing a diaper is worth the physical exhaustion of wrestling the tiny human, while listening to him scream over your best attempt at calming him with a “wheels on the bus” rendition. 9 times out of 10, the diaper can wait.
12. The concerts
On Easter, you’ll find yourself singing “Jingle Bells” before bed. This won’t strike you as weird at all, because you’ve been singing it every night for 4-5 months. You’ll be so exhausted that singing “Jingle Bells” in spring won’t even phase you so you will be sure to ‘jingle all the way’ to dream land night after night if that is what it takes. Hell, you may even throw in a Merry Christmas and a jolly “ho, ho, ho” if puts your kid in the bedtime spirit!
13. The mess
Go ahead and clean your house. Tiny humans think that it is funny as shit. You’ll no sooner perfect your “better homes and gardens” living room, and your toddler will wake up from nap. His immediate mission will be to destroy your perfected room, leaving all hopes and dreams of making it onto “fixer upper” in the dust, literally.
14. The toys
In regards to cleaning your house, you’ll think that the perfect time to do so will be as mentioned in number 13, when the tiny human naps or sleeps. However, let this serve as a warning; do not pick up tiny human toys when the tiny human is napping unless you want him to be immediately awakened by the alarm-like toys, because that is exactly what they are. All of them. Every, single last one of them. They are loud, obnoxious, call of the wild tiny human wakers. Not toys. Oh and what’s even better, is that these “toys” have off switches that you have to hire a personal investigator to find.
15. The love, the endless, unconditional love
Finally, If there is one toddler truth, out of all the disorder, the craziness, the pull-your-hair-out-of-your-head, someone-get-me-a-glass-of-wine-yesterday, it is that you wake up each day, living, breathing, and trying to be the best damn mother (and person) that you can possibly be for that tiny human because every day you love him more and more than you ever thought imaginable. You go to bed each night praying that you’ll wake up and some miracle will have happened and you will suddenly know what the hell you’re doing, because there is one thing you are 100% sure of and that is that you love that little mess of chaos so much that your heart could truly burst right out of your chest and that feeling has grown more and more since the day he was born.
Whether you have yet to enter your toddler years or you’re currently “enjoying” them, whether you’re new to the next phase of motherhood or toddlerhood is a distant memory, kudos to all you mamas who’re able to contribute to any mamahood truth. We’ve got this. And for when we don’t, there is always wine! Go ahead and pour yourself that second glass… you most definitely deserve it. Cheers!