Thursday, May 17, 2012

The A-Z's of Motherhood to a Toddler (Part 2)

If you missed Part 1 of "The A-Z's of Motherhood to a Toddler," check it out here!

And now for the Conclusion (took me long enough, huh? ;-) of:

Sure Signs That You Are Parenting a Toddler

"No" - Since Monkey has started crawling and exploring the house, I believe I have said the word "no" about a million times. For the most part, I reserve it for when he is about to get into something that could harm himself or others (aka. Kitty Cat Tommie). "No, Monkey... Be gentle." "No, Monkey... Stop chasing Kitty Cat Tommie." "No, Monkey... Don't chew Kitty Cat Tommie's tail." "OMG! MONKEY! NO!!! STOP IT!!!" When the kids have hit the older toddlerhood stage, the roles reverse, and the word "no" comes from their mouths. When Booger was about 15 months old, I counted one morning. Booger was barely awake for 60 seconds, and the word "no" came out of his mouth 47 times. Literally. 47. Times. There was also an "elephant," a "pancake," and a "bra" mixed in there too. I'd love to know his thought process on that one!

Obstacle courses - It was one thing when the toys and baby gear were stationary.  I knew that the swing was going to be in the swing's permanent location, but the kid becomes mobile, and it's an entirely new ballgame!  Toys seem to appear in the middle of my path out of nowhere.  Hundreds of balls cover my living room floor because I had the oh-so-brilliant idea to get the boy a ball pit.  I clear a path, only to turn around and find my toddler has put new and improved obstacles in the way!  Monkey also tends to be the obstacle as he follows me everywhere and is always underfoot.

Purse contents - You know you're parenting a toddler when the total sum of your purse contents include wet wipes, a diaper, a container of puffs, a small toy, and an itty bitty little coin purse that carries everything from cash to credit cards to insurance cards to frequent shopper cards to your driver's license.

Quiet - "Quiet" is never a good thing when it comes to toddlers at play. When Buddy and Ka-Diva were a couple of years old, my sister went to take a shower and told my brother-in-law to keep an eye on the twins. When she came back to the living room 15 minutes later, the twins weren't there. "Chris, where are the kids?" "Oh, they're in Ka-Diva's room. They're being good. They've been really quiet." And that, my friends, is a phrase that no mother wants to hear. Christy walked in to find Ka-Diva "fixing Buddy's hair" (she wanted to be a "haircutter" like our cousin Ariel). Unfortunately, she was "fixing" his hair with an entire tub of Vaseline. It was Christmas Eve. And Vaseline does not come out easily, my friends.

Repetition to the point of insanity - "Mama? Mama? Mommy? Mama? Mama? Mama? Mommy? Mommy? Mama? Mama? Mama?" "OMG! WHAT?!?" "Hi." ;-) ... And then there's the whole "put toy in, take toy out... put toy in, take toy out... put toy in, take toy out..." thing. Or "push the button, push the button, push the button, push the button..." Or "spin, spin, spin, spin, spin (he is actually spinning a toy right now. The same toy that he has been spinning non-stop for the past 10 minutes.) If I wasn't already medicated, I think I would need to be.

Separation Anxiety -  Over the past few weeks, I seem to have found myself the proud recipient of a new appendage. It's quite remarkable, really... It tends to relocate itself from my leg to my shoulder to my arm to my other leg, etc. all on its very own!  Yes... Monkey has hit the "I WANT MY MAMA! Complete and Total Separation Anxiety" stage of his development that all toddlers tend to go through.  He follows me into the restroom.  He cries if I'm not in his line of sight.  Most of the time, being in the same room isn't enough and he feels the need to attach himself to my body in whatever way he can.  Fortunately, this stage hasn't lasted too long with most of my little ones, so one day soon I should be able to shower without an audience.

Thinking they're smarter than we are - I don't know what it is about this age, but it's like you can just see the little wheels turning in their heads as they try to one-up you!  Toddlers are notorious for deliberately getting things that they know they aren't supposed to have, only to walk it clear across the house to hand it to you.  Like, "Here, Mama...  I know I'm not supposed to touch this, so I'm handing it to you for safe-keeping."  When Booger was about 16-months-old, he would actually try to haggle with me on "Barney" time.  He loved the "I Love You" song, and would always ask for me to repeat it.  I would say, "Okay, one more time."  ...and the little toot would turn around, hold up his fingers, and say "Two."  I am constantly catching Monkey staring at the baby gate to the stairs and the barrier that I use to block off the kitchen just looking for chinks in the armor.  If he finds one, that kid moves at light speed to reach the unattainable room.  Little Miss had that "old soul" mentality, and I fear that kid actually was smarter than me half of the time!

Undesirable "gifts" - That whole "thinking they're smarter than we are" thing leads directly to undesirable "gifts."  When Buddy and Ka-Diva were toddlers, they would often hand my sister dead bugs or other things they wanted to pass off as "trash."  I, personally, have been the recipient of boogers, chewed up food taken out of a toddler's mouth, a worm, multiple insects (dead and alive), and several unidentifiable objects and substances which I would just as soon remain in the dark about as to their origins.

Vanishing children - There one second, gone the next.  Toddlers are fast little suckers!  It's like they do their very best to lull you into a false sense of security as infants when they struggle just to do Tummy Time or to roll over.  Suddenly, and usually without any warning whatsoever, they start to crawl and walk.  The infant that you laid down on the play mat while you stepped into the kitchen for a drink isn't there when you get back!  You find her using the back of the sofa as a balance beam.

WTF?!? moments - Tiny babies never have them, but turn your back for two seconds, and you will turn back around to find your toddler doing things you never even dreamed would happen. Let your guard down for a moment and you might very well find yourself the recipient of a handful of poop from a dirty diaper. F'real. Booger did that to his great grandfather on a home visit with his daddy, and I kept that boy in onesies until the day he left!

X-reme embrarrassment public places - I realized around 14 months old that Booger had no filter.  One shopping trip, when we were passing through a lingerie section, Booger started pointing and shouting, "RA!!!  RA!!!"  (OMG!  Is it possible to pretend like I don't know this baby?)  I tried to ignore him, thinking he would stop.  But when I failed to acknowledge his excited exclamations, he started pulling on my arm, pointing at bras, and shouting, "Mimi!!!  RA!!!  RA, Mimi!!!"  I leaned down and whispered, "Yes, baby.  You're right.  Those are bras."  I tried to ignore the stares and not-so-muffled chuckling of the other shoppers, but that's rather difficult to do when your child is engaging them in conversation by smiling, saying "hi," then pointing to the bras, and shouting, "RA!!!"  Seriously.  Shoot me now.  CPS is SOOOO going to take my license away.

Yo Gabba Gabba! (and all of those other obnoxious toddler cartoons) - I've never been a fan of letting my little ones watch a lot of TV.  That is to say, I was never a fan before I had kids.  Now I will freely admit that sometimes that TV is a lifesaver.  Just when I think I'm about to lose my mind chasing and disciplining a rambunctious toddler, I ask "Do you want to watch 'Thomas?!?'"  The hyperactive one whips his head around and stares, completely mesmerized, for a full twenty minutes while I attempt to regain my sanity.  Said sanity is usually called into question the following workday when I can't stop humming the "Cookie! Cookie!" song from "Barney."  Oh well...  Just one of the many hazards of parenting a toddler, I suppose...

Zoology lessons (aka. animal sounds) - Do you know what a llama sounds like? Neither do I! But leave it to a toddler to hound you over and over again until you at least make something up! Fortunately, Monkey is currently content with the quacking duck, the meowing kitty cat, and the barking puppy dog. I am sort of dreading the day that he wants to hear my rendition of an aardvark though. I'm not really sure what to do with that.

And those, my friends, are my sure signs that you are parenting a toddler...  Do you have any that you would add? 

1 comment:

Mie said...

Tammmy this was SO helpful - I'm sure you weren't trying to be helpful but it really was. My bio son was really advanced and he was a toddler oh 4-5 years ago now so I really don't have a recent example of "normal, non-trauma'd" toddler and reading through this comforts me by showing all those crazy things my current kiddos do are the same things YOURS do, so at the very least its not unique. :)

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