I had a new mom ask me today, while little man and I were at his My Gym class, what it's like to have a toddler? At first, I thought it was a weird question for her to ask, since we were at a Toddler's gym class, but she told me that her son (who she was holding) is 3 months and her step-son is almost 4 (who was attending his "toddler" gym class). So, she never got to experience the middle part or what I call the "fun stage" *major sarcasm*.
Now, from my own experiences of babysitting various friends kids, ranging from newborn to 12 years old, Mark is relatively easy and he's mine. It's usually the other way around. Your friends kids are supposed to be the easiest, while you own children are creative with their emotions towards you. Tantrum's aren't new for me; but with each one, no matter the age, you learn to be creative with your discipline techniques. That inner defensive tactic move that you've seen on Pinterest and wanted to try; that's your inner mom-code alarm going off. Discipline techniques can range from sitting a chair in the corner with a timer or you can have the kid(s) do housework (this helps you out in the long run). There is also a wide range of suggestions on Pinterest.
How would I explain what a toddler is like to an inexperienced person... new parents, a couple who is trying for a baby or even if you're just single...
|Mountain of Pillows|
This is my nutshell...
A toddler is like all the stuff you bottled up before becoming a parent... every thought, idea, "what if?", heartbreak, love-at-first-sight, argument, etc.
Step 1 - Take that bottle of emotions and mix it with your partners - remember, it takes two to make a baby.
Step 2 - Take that combined bottle of emotions and shake it up.
Step 3 - Pour out the entire bottle!
Result: You end up with a miniature xerox copy of both of you and he/she has all of those emotions built up inside them.
|Mark at daycare|
- They can go from hot to cold in a matter of seconds. When you pack an extra pair or two of clothes for them, make sure you pack one for yourself (you'd be surprised about how many times you wish you had an extra set to save on money, because you would have to buy new).
- They will eat EVERYTHING (you can't keep eyes on them 24/7 - it's impossible) they touch (including the stroller wheel covered in dirt, hair, mud... you get the idea).
- They will pick up anything and make it a superhero mask (ranging from feminine products to large pieces of furniture). The picture to the right is part of the nose piece to my dad's pap-machine to help him breathe better at night.
- They will blurt out every curse word that you have ever said out loud or muffled (remember, they are watching you) and they will use it in the CORRECT context every single time (and you can't laugh, because laughing is approval). And, they will do this in church (anyone who judges you, has had this happen to them).
- They will do things, at random, that you would never do in public because it's embarrassing (that doesn't apply to them - they all have a unique rhythm).
- They will wake up in the morning, before you and STARE at you until you open your eyes. While it may be creepy, the first thing they will say is "Hi" in their tiny little mouse voices. (Then you will find something they destroyed.)
- They will give you thousands of random hugs and kisses, usually around the time they've done something they know they shouldn't have. This isn't always the case. Sometimes they do it, because well, they love you & it will make your heart melt every single time.
|You think I'm joking? I dare you to try it!|
A toddler is an experience, a stage or a phase. One you will always remember... I am currently going through that "experience" and I'm sure it won't end ~ EVER! Every age has a different personality stage. Tantrum's change based on their age, but they will always be there. Hopefully, they will grow out of a few stages, such as eating stroller wheels and staring at people while they sleep.
|This sums it up!|
But, after the chaos cools down.. your toddler is the best thing that ever happened to you; even if it started out rough in the beginning. And every picture you have of them, even if they are in the middle of a tantrum, is the best picture of all time.