Nothing is better than the sense of accomplishment you feel when you finally get the hang of parenting your infant. You get into your own little routine and it seems like you can handle anything that comes your way. You know the drill; sleep, change, feed, burp, bath... You got this... You are a seasoned veteran of infant life. And just when you think you've mastered parenting, your sweet little baby morphs into a toddler and literally everything you thought you knew means nothing. EVERYTHING CHANGES.. Who is this little person, and where did they learn these terroristic tendencies?!?
All the rules change, the routine changes, the behavior changes... It is full on anarchy... But don't fret, I'm here to fill you in on 5 things you need to know about toddlerhood:
1. Near death experiences are a daily occurrence
This is so crazy.. I don't know what it is, but toddlers are drawn to all things dangerous. Testing limits is like an addiction for them. Will I save my toddler from swan diving off the couch today? Will I need to administer medication or wound treatment of some sort? How many "boo boos" will need to be kissed today? If it is humanly possible for a toddler to make a normal, everyday activity highly dangerous and/or life threatening, they will find out how, and do it immediately (9 times out of 10, they will wait until you're not looking). As parents of toddlers, we MUST be alert and agile at all times...
2. Diaper changes are MMA cage matches
Maybe it's just me, but if I crap my pants, I'd much rather have someone change me than sitting in it for any prolonged period of time... Diaper changes were so nice with an infant.. baby stayed put and never put up a fight.. but now.... I say a prayer before attempting to wrangle my kiddo. I need a full on plan of attack before I go in for "the change". Just be prepared for the possibility of a mess and/or a fight, and you'll be good to go..
3. It is perfectly normal to consider adoption or running away
This is obviously sarcasm... but really... It gets hard with a toddler sometimes... Some days are easy and some days are hard... The most important thing to know is that most Moms, or any parent really, feels the same way that you do... We all lose our shit sometimes... Toddlers can spark that feeling in us I guess.. Maybe they can sense it... Just know that this too shall pass...
4. There as no such thing as traveling light
If you thought traveling with an infant was tough.. Just wait until you start traveling with a kid that "needs" to bring all of their personal possessions on a Target run... So now we not only need to bring the diaper bag (stocked with a lifetime supply of snacks of course), but we also have to bring our "favorite" chip clip, Minnie Mouse purse full of accessories, a handful of Little People, and microphone that plays one of the songs from Trolls...This is the real reason why parents need minivans..
5. Every thing is an ordeal
The most important thing to realize is that everything is going to be an ordeal. Toddlers don't always know how to effectively communicate... Sometimes all they know how to do is throw a tantrum, or bicker, or complain... Sometimes they want to put their own shoes on, even if it takes 30 minutes and the shoes end up on the wrong feet. Sometimes they want to wear winter gloves and a hat on a hot summer day.. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense, but sometimes it's easier to just embrace the chaos and let it happen...
Toddlers are perplexing creatures... They are cute and loving and adorable, and sometimes they are the literal worst... Raising toddlers can be exhausting, yet so rewarding.. And who knows... Maybe we'll all master this "raising toddlers" thing together?? Until we are tortured once again by the unknowns and horrors of the teenage years...