Bravo! Your baby has turned two. Cut the cake, blow out the candles and celebrate surviving the first years of parenthood.
But be warned.
Just when you’ve dragged yourself out of that sleep deprived state that is having a baby, you stumble straight into a whole new stage with its own insanities – welcome to toddlerhood.
Yes toddlers are cute. They do adorable things every day. But in between all that chubby chatty cuteness it’s like hanging out with a highly caffeinated, extremely emotional and completely irrational control freak. It’s like trying to manage a busy international airport with no one in the control tower.
So here it is, the no holds barred reality of being a toddler mum. Hang on tight, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
First things first.
Toddlers only have two settings: high energy chaos or sleep.
Toddlers also have two moods: heights of happiness or depths of despair. There is no middle ground.
And the change between the two is instantaneous, unpredictable and unpreventable. I have consoled a sobbing toddler because his grape was too green. Because she wants a bath but doesn’t want to get wet. Because the PlaySchool DVD said its Tuesday and it’s Thursday at our house. And why did no one tell me you could ruin someone’s day simply by giving them the wrong colour cup?
So welcome to toddlerhood. Here’s a few other things I wish I’d known.
- You will regret teaching them the word Mum. It is perfectly normal to scream WHAT?? inside your head when you hear it.
- You will come to accept constant noise.
- You will become suspicious of silence. Where are they and what are they up to?
- You will become numb to repetition. Mind numbingly numb. You will watch the same DVD again and again and again. Same goes for songs, books and bedtime stories.
- You will cook the same meals over and over and over again. Your menu will be driven what will get eaten. And yes cereal is a meal.
- You will never pee alone. Ever. If you happen to be peeing alone, refer to 3.
- You will have the negotiation skills of hostage negotiator.
- Where you have coffee will be driven by the availability of play equipment rather than the quality of the coffee.
- You will perfect the art of sounding like you are listening. Mmhmm, uhhuh and oooh will be your friends.
- You will make snacks. And more snacks. In fact constant snacks.
- You will develop the ability to locate any item at anytime from anywhere.
- Some days lollies are for special occasions. Some days lollies are for any occasion. Like breakfast. Whatever gets everyone in the car on time is ok.
- Farts, poop, bums and wees are funny. So are knock knock jokes. Again. And again. And again. Thankfully you are already numb to repetition.
- The shortest car trip is interminably long and will require constant snacks, singing, drinks and pee stops.
- Nap time is collapse time. Forget the to-do list and have a well-earned rest in the silence.
Ignore all the advice. Do whatever it takes to survive. Buy the ice block. Push the swing again. And again. After all they won’t be a toddler forever. And sometimes they’ll be asleep.