The toddler years can be kind of hard, guys. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone but me. As one new to this stage, I am quickly learning that toddlers are tiny tyrants who rule their parents’ lives. While I was sleeping, my sweet, easy baby became a rough-and-tumble toddler, and Jonathan and I are having to adjust how we do some basic things as a result.
Jonah is 17 months old now, and during his waking hours he rarely stops moving, making noise, being on the verge of a tantrum, or trying to get into everything within arm’s reach. He really is so much fun, but including a toddler in activities of daily living makes everything approximately twice as difficult. I wish I would have appreciated the ease with which I accomplished simple tasks while he was a baby who slept all the time.
Here are 10 things that are especially challenging:
- Getting ready
Little man is not a huge fan of mama not giving him undivided attention while in the shower or getting dressed for work. No matter how I try to entertain him in the mornings, nothing seems to work. He usually alternates between tugging on the bottom of my shirt and playing with trash that he grabs out of the bathroom trashcan.
2. Feeding the dogs
For some reason my child is obsessed with dog food. He likes to pick pieces up and either try to eat them or hide them in various places around the house (including in my lunch–a story for another time). Why? Who knows.
3. Going anywhere quickly
It’s surprisingly time-consuming to gather all the necessary paraphernalia that accompanies Jonah whenever we leave the house. I’m constantly going through a mental list: Diaper bag? Check. Diapers and wipes? Check. Extra outfit? Check. Sippy cup? Check. Child wearing appropriate clothing and shoes? Check.
Jonah, we can’t walk in the street! We can’t walk in the neighbors’ yard! We can’t walk in front of cars! I’m sorry you’re upset, but mama has to pick you up to keep you from getting killed. Ugh, you’re so heavy.
5. Using the dishwasher
If it were up to him Jonah would happily play with all of the knives from the dishwasher. So opening this is pretty much no-go while he is awake.
6. Using the bathroom
When mama goes to the bathroom Jonah goes to the bathroom, too. And throws everything in the bathtub, and takes everything out of the bathroom cabinets…
7. Doing any errand that doesn’t involve a drive-through
Every parent has probably experienced this: The overtired little one is finally asleep in the car, but you have to get out of the car to get something from inside a store. What are you supposed to do?
8. Eating in a restaurant
You know what Jonah is not a fan of? Sitting still and quiet in a high chair and waiting around for food.
9. Eating in general
You know what Jonah is also not a fan of? When you are eating something that he wants. And he’ll let you know it. “Mine!” “Mine!” “More!” And don’t even think about giving him something that he doesn’t want. He sucks the flavor off it, takes it out of his mouth and throws it on the ground.
10. 4:00-7:00 pm
These are the witching hours on days when good naps have not happened. It’s too late to take a nap, too early for bedtime, so Jonah says to himself, “Why, I think I’ll just cry on and off for two hours. How does that sound, everyone?”
But…look at this face.
Even though navigating everyday life with my son comes with its fair share of challenges, my heart wants to burst with love whenever I look at him. And that makes it all worth it.