It seems to happen in an instant, doesn’t it?
The sudden transition from baby to toddler, from a cute and innocent little being to a still-cute but always mischievous, on-the-go toddler?
I don’t know about you, but my toddler is exhausting. He’s adorable and his dimples melt my heart, but goodness gracious, that boy is never still. And the ups and downs of toddler emotions as they learn to navigate their way int the world is no laughing matter, either.
And with soon-to-be four kids six and under, I’m going to guess that my toddler years are far from over. So while I appreciate them and know that there is a lot going on in those little bodies and minds, I have to confess, there are a few toddler moments in particular that I may or may not dread…
1. The poop face. It never really fails–just when you’re sitting down to enjoy a cup of coffee or getting ready to head out the door, you will notice that one special look on your toddler’s face–the silent pause and concentration, the slight grunt, and the odor you were hoping against hope would not reach your nostrils–that can only mean one thing.
2. The forgot-the-diaper bag moment. Usually somewhere far from any store or any place convenient and also usually involving moment #1.
3. The moment of silence. Not for any noble reason, unfortunately, but just the moment that you realize–oh no–he’s been quiet for way too long. This can only end badly.
4. The 10-minute car nap that ruins everything. Can you explain to me how a 10-minute nap in the car can ruin an entire beautiful two-hour afternoon nap?! How? Happens.every.time.
5. The Grandma sugar rush. I miss it every time, but somehow, the second I turn my head when we are visiting Grandma, the kid is eating cookies, candy, and juice all at the same time with the glee of an escaped prisoner. And inevitably, there will be puke involved later. Sigh.
6. All attempts at reasoning. Have you ever tried to reason with a toddler? It goes along the lines of something like this: “No, mine!” (head shakes and a surprisingly quick toddler sprint away from you to follow.)
7. The public run. My toddler son loves to test the boundaries of safe living that I have set for him by waiting until we are out in public, in the full view of everyone, before letting go of my hand and making a mad dash for freedom. Grocery stores, parking lots, and church aisles are his favorite. And I always enjoy what I’m sure is a marvelous sight of me at 7 months pregnant, sprinting after him.
8. The after-meal clean-up. Now it makes sense why my toddler is hungry approximately 0.4 seconds–it’s because half of all his food definitely does not end up anywhere near his mouth.
9. The moment you realize you are out of snacks. Snacks are to toddlers as gasoline is to cars. It’s their fuel and my secret weapon for getting through any public outing. String cheese, anyone?
10. The middle-of-the-night cries. Once your toddler starts sleeping through the night, not only is it surprisingly hard to wake yourself from a beautiful slumber, but midnight awakenings never amount to much good. There’s usually two things going on: 1) it will involve puke 2) it will involve a toddler who is mysteriously awake and happy for hours. Unlike you…