Six things nobody tells you about raising a toddler

Being Sylas’ mommy has taught me so much about love, patience and adventure. Everyone tells you how fast they grow up, and its so true. But there are many things that I have had to figure out all on my own by trial and error and sometimes I feel like its sheer luck that we make it through the day. So here is a list that I have compiled of things that nobody told me about raising a toddler.

1. Nobody told me that I would loose complete control of the TV. What little time I had with the remote before is long gone and but a faint memory.We spend hours on end “watching” Clifford the Big Red Dog and Thomas the Train, and by watching, I mean playing with cars while the shows play over and over and over again in the background. Why not just change the channel you ask? Well, he notices that its not Clifford any more and suddenly develops a deep desire need to watch his shows and proceeds to throw a tantrum until I switch it back. I now have all the theme songs to all of his favorite shows, along with his top 5 episodes, memorized by heart.

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TV buddies

2. Nobody told me that I would have an abundance of fanfare in the bathroom at home. Its a miracle I still shut the bathroom stall in public. Taking a shower without someone playing peek-a-boo with the curtain is impossible. And since we have come to the dreaded potty training phase and his new found interest in the potty, he must watch me demonstrate what you do when you’re on the toilet and proceed to peer into the potty, pinch his nose and say “eeeww” when I stand up to flush (its very humiliating).

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cat food all over the bathroom

3. No matter how many times you clean in a day, your house will always look messy. You can try with all your might, but its just not gonna happen. I can put things away while he naps just so that he can drag them out when he wakes. Just straightening up to vacuum is a nightmare. We have arguments on how many toys he can have sprawled across the floor while I try to vacuum. Vacuuming alone is a feeble attempt at cleaning. He’s just going to smash some goldfish crackers into the carpet right after I put the sweeper away anyhow.

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“helping” with the laundry

4. Toys, toys and more TOYS! I have no Idea how he has accumulated so many things! I had a large basket in the living room with his toys stored in it for quite some time. After Christmas and birthday gifts added to the basket, I soon realized that the toys overflowed it and were beginning a large pile next to the basket. So we bought a toy box. I bought one that would double as a bench seat for extra room for guests to sit. It was OK for a while but I have since had to sort through his toys and move some upstairs in a box. Its still stuffed full and I have to strategically place each item into the box so that the lid will still shut when I’m done. Its like a big puzzle, just not as fun.

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TOYS!

5. Going to the store is a nightmare. I never wanted to be the mom that let their child wail and scream all the while ignoring them and continuing to shop. Why not just take them to the car? Well…. my point of view has since changed. I now pity the parent that is dealing with a meltdown (because its usually me). When he decides to throw a fit while shopping (there is no if with toddlers, not mine anyway) I just ignore him and try to go as fast as I can to get the heck out of there and go home. If I decided to leave the grocery store every time he was anything but pleasant, we would starve because I would never be in the store long enough to buy anything. Sometimes I bribe him with a toy while we shop and then ditch the toy at the checkout lane by swapping it for a box of mac ‘n cheese.

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this is a common tantrum pose

6. Despite all of these things that he does on a daily basis, I still love him more than life itself. He does things that infuriate me to no end, but one look at that sweet face and his sheepish grin, and I just melt. Whether its breaking my new necklace into three chain links, “helping” feed the kitty and dumping the food all over the floor, unfolding an entire load of laundry as I am folding the last sock or having a tantrum because he wants chocolate for breakfast, I can’t help but squeeze him tight and know that someday my life will be back to “normal,” no more tantrums and messes, and I will wish he was this little again.

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