My Top 10 Toddler Realities

*** Updated Intro – Funny thing about this post. I ran across it in my drafts and realized I’d never published it. This post is from the viewpoint of having a freshly minted two-year-old. I now have an almost three-year-old and it’s a world of difference. A lot of these toddler dreams are slowly coming true! Seems maybe they do finally come around after driving you crazy the first couple years. Oh, I’m sure I’ve still got plenty ridiculous toddler antics in store for me. But I can finally see the light at the end of the tunnel. It does get better!

*** Original post – Before I had my son, I had no idea what it was like to have a child or even be around one. I went into this whole parenting thing about as clueless as you can get. I managed to dream up all these wonderful things we would do together, and now I get to watch my son systematically destroy each sweet toddler fantasy one by one. I keep telling myself things will change as he gets older. I’m really hoping there’s a sweet spot between crazy toddler and rebellious teenager. So here’s my list of my silly mama dreams and the crushing reality.

1 – The Dream: We will read books together, he will love them and it will be magical.

The Reality: He prefers to try and eat them, kick them, always has to see the last page first and rip a few pages out for good measure. This doesn’t stop me from trying, but it did stop me from getting any more books with fragile paper pages.

2 – The Dream: We will take fun classes together like “Sway and Play Yoga.”

The Reality: He threw all of the scarves at the girls, tried to get them to chase him, then ran out of the room making dinosaur noises.

3 – The Dream: I get to dress my son up in all kinds of costumes! I finally have an awesome baby accessory.

The Reality: I can’t even get him to wear a hat more than two minutes, much less a costume. So he now has an impressive collection of costumes that just require a t-shirt.

toddler tantrum
He looks thrilled, right?

4 – The Dream – We will go to museums and learn things! We love learning!

The Reality – We went to a neat science day at the Museum of Science and History. He didn’t want to do any of the crafts and just wanted to throw the cotton balls out of the sensory bins. And we had to go stare at the dinosaur 17 times instead of watching the cool science show.

5 – The Dream – I will raise an adventurous eater!

The Reality – My son is trying to prove you can survive on a diet of hotdogs and air. Far from adventurous, he won’t even dip his hotdog in ketchup. He hates trying anything new unless it’s chocolate in a different form, or made of a gummy bear type substance.

6 – The Dream – I will raise him to be bilingual and speak Spanish!

The Reality – Why I thought my two semesters of Spanish and being able to ask where the bathroom was qualified me to teach a child to speak Spanish is beyond me. I was super thrilled when he just started stringing English words together! I do still actually intend to teach him the basics when he gets a little older though.

7 – The Dream – I refuse to believe everything I’ve read about boys being potty trained later than girls. My son is going to be out of diapers by the time he turns two.

The Reality – Ha! Ha. Ha. Ha. Bwahahahaha. Wow was I clueless. We are heading into three and though we’ve made some progress, the only thing I can get him to do regularly is put Iron Bear on the potty. He’s like a poop surrogate I guess.

Build a Bear Iron Man bear on the potty

8 – The Dream – Brightly colored kid stuff will not take over my house. We will keep it tidy and neutral.

The Reality – My house has brightly colored, blinking, music playing things in every corner. You can’t go anywhere without bumping into or stepping on something that springs to life and starts making noise. And everything is rainbow colored of course.

9 – The Dream – Speaking of noisy toys, none of those for us!

The Reality – Yeah, so you may not buy your child noisy toys, but everyone else will! My cousin got my son a guitar that plays 30 different songs and my son’s favorite song is five seconds of every single one, over and over again. I can’t think of one thing I’ve done to her to have deserved this.

10 – The Dream – We will go everywhere together! I love having a little sidekick.

The Reality – I never thought there’d be a day when the highlight of my week was going grocery shopping by myself. And it’s been so long since I’ve been to an actual store to try on clothes, I’m starting to think Amazon was created for moms so they wouldn’t have to wear the same clothes the first few years.

***

For all my complaining, we do have plenty of good times. Even our adventures that don’t go as planned (roughly 98% of them) are still worth the effort and make for (mostly) good memories. I haven’t given up on any of these dreams, I just realize now that they all take a lot of work and nothing comes easy in the real-life parenting world. And if all this stuff did come easy for you…you probably have a girl, lol. Because I also had to accept all that stuff everyone says about having boys is TRUE. But that’s a topic for another blog…

Boys Love Dirt

Toddler playing in dirtYesterday I sat watching my son gleefully crash his toy cars into piles of dirt. I got a big wide smile on my face seeing how happy he was digging, building little mountains and destroying them.

He squealed in delight, “Mommy watch!”

Then, as I looked up at him, he threw a giant handful of dirt right in my happy smiling face. The kind of smile that shows teeth. Teeth that were now all crunchy with dirty sand.

*sigh* Boys.

It went all in my hair, on my pants, down my shirt. It was a pretty good throw. Before I morphed into Angry Mommy, I hopped up, shook off the dirt and told him if he’s going to throw stuff at me, then I don’t want to play with him anymore.

I think he took this as a challenge to throw dirt in any other general direction, including wiping it all over himself.

*sigh* again. Boys.

Oh I’m sure there are some dirt loving little girls out there. I know I was one of them. But I’m not sure if I was this committed. And I surely never threw dirt in my mother’s face. But then again, I do recall a lot of time spent playing in the dirt/sand/mud. So maybe this needs to be changed to kids. Kids Love Dirt. Boys, girls, and sometimes even mommies, love dirt. Except in the face.

Nobody loves dirt in the face.

The Painted Toes

img_7951“We need to clean that stuff off his toes after the bath, it’s embarrassing.”

When I heard my husband yell this from the bathroom, at first I was confused, because I had just clipped K’s toenails the day before and was pretty sure they were clean. Then I glanced down at my toes and realized my supposedly open-minded husband was referring to our son’s sparkling blue pedicure.

I cringed a little. Wondering, was it actually embarrassing? Have I wronged our son in some way by indulging his request to have blue toes? Will he someday become a drag queen known as Blue Velvet and my husband will point at me and say it’s all my fault?

It was so cute when he saw me painting my toes and asked specifically for me to paint his big toe. He squealed in delight and waved his foot in the air. Then he pointed to the next toe, “Do this one!” So I did. And he proceeded to point to each toe until he had them all done. I had fun sharing the experience with him. He even let me put a little quick dry top coat on and sat waiting for them to dry. I think it was the first time he sat still all day.

I stopped cringing and second guessing myself after a couple minutes and realized screw that, he can have blue toes if he wants. He’s two. Who the heck cares? So I shouted back they are staying blue unless he wants to be the one to try and take it off.

The next morning we were outside when my neighbor walked by. She complimented the blue toes and added “we do the same thing at our house.” That sentiment was echoed again when I posted the photo online. Apparently, at houses all over the world, little boys are getting their toenails painted! Who knew? Well now I do, and I’m perfectly fine with that 🙂 (of course, I will have to eventually take it off because everybody knows toenail polish can survive a nuclear war)

***

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Living by a new set of rules

1uwe9mNothing makes sense anymore. In my old, pre-baby life, if someone asked me for waffles, I’d make them waffles and we’d be good. Now if the child asks for waffles, I end up with screams of despair and cold waffles and I’m still not really sure where I went wrong. I’ve given up trying to figure it out. The only thing I know is, there is a new set of rules, and I’m not the one making them.

Top 10 Toddler Rules for Parents (especially those of crazy little boys)

1) Never let your guard down. The moment you do you get beaned in the head with something. Probably something hard.

2) Don’t look away. Because when you turn back around they are probably already hanging off a window ledge.

3) Don’t invest in whatever they eat at someone else’s house. Because when you get home they’ll hate it. And then you have five boxes of fruit bars they keep trying to feed to the dog.

4) Don’t invest in what they like today at your own house either because tomorrow they will most likely hate it, and by now the dog is getting pretty fat.

5) Diaper-free time means I’m cleaning pee up off the floor time.

6) There’s a right way and a wrong way to do everything. The right way is that one way you did it the first time three weeks ago. The wrong way is however you are trying to do it now, so you get an extended tantrum for your failure to remember to do it the right way.

7) There is a specific tiny car for every activity or outing. Also, you will need about 5,679 hot wheels cars to get through toddlerhood.

8) If there is a puddle, they will find it. If there is dirt, they will find it. If there is both, you might as well just camp out for a while.

9) They can be the worst little hellion ever and wipe it away with a hug, a kiss and a sweet little baby voiced “I love you.” And they know it.

10) They are going to steal your heart and one day you’ll miss the puddles and tiny cars and insistence on being carried everywhere. Toddlerhood doesn’t last forever. Just cover your ears keep repeating that during the next screamfest that erupts because you won’t let them lick the light socket.