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Why Raising Toddlers is Possibly the Hardest Job we Will Ever Face
Sure they're cute, and yes we love them, but the fits....
All parents love their children, or at least all should, but sometimes we are just left scratching our heads and wondering where it all went wrong. I'm not talking about the adolescent years that while hard, also bring easier conversation. I'm also not talking about the teen years that bring worry and hope that they will talk to us when they have issues, because... well... they can talk, even if they won't. I'm talking about those dreaded, scary, mind boggling, confusing, ripping your hair out years we refer to as "the toddler years". Our sweet smiling baby somehow get's repossessed and then here is this little ball of fury we call a toddler left in their place. Nothing is the same. They don't sleep, eat, or play at the same time anymore and nothing that use to make them happy works. They want us all the time, but don't want us at the same time. It seems everything invokes a tantrum, and those that don't lead to tears. Here are just a few of the things I have personally dealt with lately that have caused fits:
Making them put on shoes.
Making them take their shoes off.
Going for a walk.
Not going for a walk.
Saying the word walk.
Having sandwiches for lunch.
Not having sandwiches for lunch.
Not knowing that "I 'ont gween cuppie" actually means they want the blue, red, yellow, and orange cups to themselves, but not the green one, that one is not okay.
Mentioning the words nap, rest, lunch, no, go, stop, or potty.
Not letting them use the potty.
Making them use the potty.
Not kissing a boo boo fast enough.
Taking too long to fix the cup they said they didn't want.
Not knowing that "don't touch me, mommy" actually means "hold me from the time I wake up until 34 minutes after I fall asleep, because 33 is not long enough and 35 is too long"
Insisting we "just lay down for a few minutes" after they have been awake for 28 hours, because no one needs a nap after that long, obviously.
Not realizing that our laps have been reserved every Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday from 8am until midnight and from noon to 4am on Tuesdays and Saturdays.
Not knowing that for some unknown reason, the slide that was perfectly fine yesterday terrifies them today, or that once it has been removed from the play room, it is fine again and needs to be moved back.
Not letting them eat our food, even if it's exactly the same as theirs in an exact plate and portion as theirs.
Knowing that hot dogs are not an appropriate meal three times a day. Maybe two, but definitely not three.
Not making macaroni with every meal.
Not realizing that while potatoes were fine yesterday, they are not okay today.
What's the point in a fit.... if no one can see you?
There are many more things that cause fits, tantrums, and all out melt downs, but those are mainly the ones from the last two days, and well, I just can't remember much beyond that right now. Sometimes I just stand and laugh, waiting for the hidden cameras to emerge. No way is this real life. It is however my life, and the lives of millions of other moms around the world.
When not throwing fits they seem to decide all sorts of things are okay. These things can include, but not be limited to:
Using food as drawing utensils.
Using spit to clean their siblings.
Using siblings as a form of artwork.
Swimming in the toilet.
Washing the cat with your toothbrush.
Putting your phone in the toilet, sink, bathtub, trash, cup, garbage disposal, washing machine, or diswasher.
Throwing balls at the new television.
Making you watch the same tv show or movie over and over again (I could do the voices of any Mickey Mouse character now and play any part in Frozen).
Redressing 200 times in one day.
Coloring on the couch, walls, carpet, tv, cat, dog, doors, fridge, and stove.
Making you call poison control for random things that make even the poison control lady scratch her head. (By the way, if it helps, baking soda based carpet cleaner might make them burp, but it's not going to hurt them. Licking oven cleaner from the oven is a little iffy, but based on ingredients washing their mouth out is usually going to make it alright. An entire tube of toothpaste might make them throw up, but otherwise they will be fine. Bubble bath may also cause throwing up, but there is no need to see a doctor. Bath salts are a tad worrisome, but they suggest drinking lots of water and keeping a close eye on them. Cat littler is not dangerous to swallow unless it gets stuck in an airway on the way down. With all this comes the worst... if they eat products of their own or a sibling's diaper, they will be fine, but if from another child, then see a doctor. No, this is not a joke, it really does happen!)
What it boils down to.
What it boils down to is we are trying to raise this little human to be self sufficient and they pick up on that, but they still need us too. Their language skills are still developing and that leads to confusion and wrong answers that we just have to learn how to figure out on our own. There is nothing wrong with them, and nothing wrong with us, it's just normal toddler behavior, or again, that's what I keep telling myself. We can't eat, sleep, bathe, or even get dressed anymore, but somehow we manage to push onward and still love the little monsters with everything we are. During the times when they are good, also known as when sleeping, we still stay up just staring at them in amazement that they are ours. As hard as it can be, we are still lucky to have them, or at least that's what I am telling myself right now as I wash the newest masterpiece of artwork from the walls. I think we will call this one "orange juice au de wall".