I’m a mom of two toddler boys and my life consists of going to work everyday and breaking up WWE fights the remainder of the time. Whenever I do get a chance to go out, please excuse my awkwardness. I never know what to say when people ask what my hobbies are. I am a mom… I enjoy trips to the bathroom alone and silence… and sadly, not much else.
I consider myself an intelligent person. I have a college degree and a professional job that requires a great amount of multitasking, juggling client details and ensuring that each event I plan goes off without a hitch, all while handling events equating to multi millions of dollars each year. Yet, there are relatively simple things that cannot seem to accomplish at home.
We own a nice flat screen television. For the life of me, I cannot teach my toddler that the TV is not a touch screen. No matter how many times I explain, they are children of the 21st century and treat everything as if it is an iPad. The amount of fingerprints I clean off our television set is innumerable.
I’ve decided that there are certain types of toddlers… yours may fall into one or all of these categories. If they don’t, please contact me directly, so that I can learn your secrets.
TYPES OF TODDLERS YOU MAY BE LIVING WITH
♦THE NEGOTIATOR & MASTER MASTER MANIPULATOR♦
One of the more savvy of the toddler clan, and typically the first born; they never miss a chance to counter the deal you have presented to them. You announce that there is “One more TV show, and then it’s bedtime.” Immediately, without skipping a beat, they reply:
“Five. Five shows before bed.”…. “I said one. One more show.” … “Four. We need four more shows before bed.”… “That’s not happening. I said one.” …. “Four shows!!!! WE NEED FOUR SHOWS!!!” …. “Fine, two shows and that’s it.” TODDLER: 1 PARENT: 0
♦THE FINICKY EATER & THE BOTTOMLESS PIT♦
This includes a variable number of toddler eaters. At one point or another, they all go through this stage. The Finicky One: One day, they’re in love with grilled cheese, the next day, it’s thrown from their plate in disgust. How dare you serve them something they enjoyed just 24 hours previously!
The Bottomless Pit: Snacks are required ALL OF THE TIME. Literally, every twenty minutes, snacks are demanded. It doesn’t matter if you just served them a three course breakfast, gourmet lunch, or seven course dinner. Dinner will be half way done and they will already be requesting a “snack”. God help you when they are old enough to figure out how to open up the fridge. Our freezer is on the bottom of our refrigerator, and I have found my two year old eating frozen fish sticks in the middle of the kitchen floor at 5:30am in the morning. The other day, I found him polishing off an ENTIRE bag of butterscotch baking chips he found in the freezer at 7am. When I threw the bag away, he asked when breakfast was going to be served.
The Chameleon is the type of toddler who changes personality based on whose company they are in. Of course, at home, their true, wild selves are revealed. Screaming, jumping on the couches and beds, plain old craziness. They’re always the worst with their parents. Bring your child into the bank and have a stranger say hello to them, and they will immediately turn into the shyest child youll meet. Anytime I have dropped off one of my children at any of their grandparent’s house, I get nothing but stellar reports: “What a well behaved child! He was so funny! He played so well alone!” I almost want to ask them if they’re sure actually have MY child in their care and haven’t brought home the wrong kid from the playgroud.
♦THE POTTY TRAINER♦
This one is a tough one. When first had infants, I was truly disgusted to see what came out of that tiny body. I was not prepared for the toddler years. By the time they are toddlers, they are essentially eating the same solid food as you are. Those diapers are a true joy to change, and I swear that the amount of poop that comes out of these little guys are more than I have ever seen in my career using the toilet. They say girls potty train earlier than boys, I am not sure, but I knew it took a full year of trying to convince my three year old to stop the diapers. The two year old is on his way, but not 100% there yet. Either way, there is a process that needs to be followed. You’ll find yourself asking sixteen times a day “Do you have to use the potty?” You’ll also find yourself saying things that you’ll never have thought would exit your mouth in your life. I have sat my two year old on the toilet and coached him to repeat after me: “Poopy, I am in charge of you, I am the boss- not you. Go in the potty, poopy.” It’s hilarious to hear your two year old repeat these words and you’ll spend countless hours sitting in your bathroom, attempting to use ESP to WILL THOSE POOPIES to come out. For boys, peeing is a different story. Getting them to pee on the toilet is the easy part…. Aiming, not so much.
A full container of bleach wipes sits in our bathroom specifically for the use of wiping up toddler pee every single day. When they are standing, it’s not so bad… If they have to sit, you can occasionally look forward to a five foot spray across your entire bathroom. I was not prepared for this.
♦THE “I CAN DO IT MYSELF PHASE”♦
One of the most frustrating stages of all of them is when your child decides that he can “do it himself” This applies to everything. We will be running late for something, place my two year old in his car seat and all hell will break loose. “I CAN DO IT MYSELF!!” I must patiently wait for him to climb all the way back down out of his seat, navigate OUT of the car, back onto the driveway and then start the entire process again. This can take upwards of three minutes-which may seem insignificant to you, but if you’ve ever experienced it, it feels like THREE HOURS. Same goes with my previous mention of him helping himself to anything he can find in the freezer, and denying any help you may offer. Would you like help putting that shirt on? “NO. I CAN DO IT MYSELF”… backwards and after a four minute struggle that you don’t have in the morning when you are trying to get out the door. The “I CAN DO IT MYSELF” may possibly be the one that tests your patience the most.