My oldest son turned sixteen this month. I decided to make him a birthday collage of old photos. I was quite certain this is the thing teenaged boys really want. As I was digging through the memories, I couldn’t help but pause at pictures of the toddler years. Those soft little arms, that angelic face, that child that could do no wrong. Perfect right?
I then started really thinking back to those years, and maybe, just maybe the Golden Child wasn’t so perfect after all. He was a toddler, and I am here to say sometimes TODDLERS ARE THE PITS.
I love when people refer to the tough stage as “Terrible Twos.” That’s because they’ve never spent time with a three year old. Three year olds are straight up a**holes sometimes. Buckle up parents of two year olds, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Toddlers are adorable you say? Are they? How about their shoes? Yes. I hate their little shoes more than anything. First of all, why does a shoe smaller than the palm of my hand cost so much money? To help their foot development. I do get that, but since my son wouldn’t keep a shoe on his foot to save his stinking life, I may as well have just wrapped them in newspapers.
It is hard trying to get out of the house in the mornings with a toddler. First you sit them on your lap, facing outward, and then struggle to put the damn little shoes on their feet. “Please hold still,” I’d beg, but he didn’t care, he just had to wiggle off my lap to grab a toy. I’d get one shoe on, and he’d kick it off.
“Please Buddy, leave the shoes on. Mommy HAS to get you to daycare, and I HAVE to get to my work. I can’t be late again. PLEASE BUDDY PLEASE. DO NOT KICK THAT SHOE OFF.” He’d look me right in the face, and then KICK. IT. OFF. In the house, in his stroller, on public transit, or the worst, in his car seat, where he could somehow magically kick it to go all the way under the front seat. I would then get to our destination and have to crawl on the floor of the car, through the spilled milk and Goldfish Cracker crumbs, to retrieve his million dollar sandal. He would also try and kick me, or pull my hair with his toes while I was doing this. I don’t think there was a single day that I got to work on time, let alone clean. I was always sweaty and frazzled after our morning routine of Mother And Son Shoe Smackdown.
Sickness. OH MAN. Why do toddlers get sick all the time?? I worked part time, but my son would wake up with a fever ONLY on my work day. I missed so many days of work because of him! Sick toddlers can’t go to daycare, and no one wants to be a backup plan for your feverish, snotty kid. I do not miss those anxious times, worrying that if I called in, or worse, get the call at work that once again my child has a fever and has to be picked up, I’d get fired. Some days, by the time parents get to work, they’ve already been through a whole day, and usually a change of outfits. My second go round I decided to not go back to my job, but instead did home childcare, so I could take other toddlers off their parent’s hands and say “Enjoy your day of work with poop on your shirt!”
And, last but certainly not least, Pooping. Last minute pooping. Inconvenient pooping. HOW did you not know four minutes ago that you needed to poop? WHY do you need to the second we step into the discount grocery store so that we have to go into their disgusting bathrooms? WHY? Also, why do you need to wait until the food comes to the table at a restaurant, before saying you need to go? I had every dining out meal ruined for a two year span.
It’s hard to believe the little stinker that caused so much trouble is such a nice teenager. Sure, he STILL kicks his shoes off in the car, but at least now he puts them back on himself.
So buh bye to the toddler years, and hello to the teen years. So far, so good!
If you have any stories or things that your toddler does/did that drive you a bit nuts, I’d love to hear it. Maybe you have a frequent clothes changer, or one who loves to sleep in your bed, with their feet or bums in your face. Just know that it won’t last forever, and one day you may actually miss it!
So Happy Birthday to my Big Boy. I wouldn’t change a thing.
Except maybe the shoes. I’m still pretty pissed off about that.