In my short 16 months of motherhood I have become wholeheartedly convinced that babies dive head first into toddler-hood on their first birthdays. The evening before their birthday, you lay down to sleep your darling, sweet bitty baby only to wake the next morning to an opinionated, loud, climb-on-everything, likely sticky toddler that has decided to take over and run the town. In the late evening hours he has decided the way things have been going just won’t do and it is time for an immediate change.
The tiny tot ruler has decided these changes will include all the toys, pots, pans, and dish rags scattered all over the floor (I mean seriously what the heck were we thinking with those cabinet locks?). Food will happen immediately and it better be amazing because otherwise he will chuck the yogurt laden spoon in one direction and the bowl of yogurt in the other all while making sure to have saved just enough on the tray to apply to his face, chest and hair like a sticky sunscreen. Oh and those bathroom cabinets are also no longer safe. In fact the tiny tot will demand that all tampons be dumped from the box and all over the floor while you try to brush your teeth. Oh and he wants you to know that while you try to pick those up he will pull all the toilet paper from the roll, just so you know.
These days I find myself saying “Sit on your bottom!” 9,000 times a day while my darling, sticky (always sticky!), toddler climbs for the 9000th time onto his table and stands there looking at me like I have 2 heads. Or we play my all-time favorite game of signing eat and then offering every edible thing we have in the house only to be answered with a “no”. Or the “fill my mouth with applesauce and then blow raspberries” game…another crowd favorite. The picky toddler is a weapon of destruction. They will break you down, have you wishing for the end, and then they will build you up again with a sticky kiss.
I advise all soon-to-be members of this toddler survival group to also add 20 or so minutes to your travel because toddlers are now semi-capable beings and dang-it they will take the stairs by themselves and get themselves into the car and don’t you dare help or otherwise you will feel the wrath of the toddler fit. They are also beginning to develop a fashion sense. So those socks and tennis shoes you stupidly felt would work for walking about must immediately be replaced by his navy blue flip flops. Furthermore I advise you add multiple outfits and perhaps a lifetime supply of wet naps to your diaper bag. Toddlers make it their duty to find all dirt, water, and sticky things in close proximity. My tot’s favorite fashion accessory is the all natural, food based hair gel, also known as yogurt, bananas, peanut butter and sometimes honey. He could walk out of a white padded room somehow sticky and filthy.
Now don’t get me wrong, it isn’t all bad. In truth the toddler times are just as much fun as they are stress inducing. It amazes me daily how much he learns and grows and how quickly he is blossoming into his own little person, even when that little person wants to play with toys at 4 am. I love watching the wheels in their little minds turn as they discover new this world.
I also know that I am just getting started with my stint in toddlerville and I know there are many more stress inducing, want-to-rip your hair out moments coming my way. But each night, when I lay my tot down to bed I am reminded how even through the stressful times I am very, very blessed to be his mama.