It has happened. My baby has grown up and has started that new stage of life, somewhere between toddlerhood and little girl. I no longer have to refer to her age in months; she has officially turned 2.
How the hell did that happen?
I am alive and amazingly so is the munchkin. Score two for me!
Just as I did after surviving my first year of motherhood, I decided to share with everyone what insights I gained in my second.
- There are not enough gates and locks in the world to fully child proof your home. By that I mean that although it might be safe for the child, it is no where near safe for your belongings. Unless you would like to box up everything personal you own, you are screwed.
- Humans learn the art of bargaining shortly after their first birthday. You might swear up and down that when you become a parent that you will never negotiate with terrorists (aka the kids)…you are wrong. When dinner isn’t finished and you have a screaming toddler at your heels, you will likely cave in & meet the demands of Toopy & Bino with a bowl of chocolate cookies. You can watch the news later, when the war is over and the toddler is locked away in bed.
- ‘No’ is the most annoying word you have ever heard. You likely never realized that before, but now that two letter word can send you into a near twitching fit. The sad truth is you will hear it approximately 100 times per day.
- You can say goodbye to solo bathroom time. It doesn’t matter what they were doing, as soon as the realize you’ve gone into the bathroom, they are right there. This was somewhat of an upsetting lesson to learn, because taking a crap alone is kind of a fundamental right. Well, once you have children get over your stage fright, because you are now shitting for an audience, like it or not. Oh and they cheer when you’re done…nothing like wrapping up the invasion with a high-pitched ‘Yeah, Mommy poo-poo!’
- Toddlers are a special type of predator that feeds on your fear and humiliation. They might do something embarrassing without any prior knowledge, but once they see the horror on your face, they will do it again. This time it will be intentional and they will repeat this horrific act (like picking their nose at a restaurant) until they tire of it. Develop thick skin.
- In the first year, you were so excited for every new word they said. In the second year, that excitement is met with a little bit of hesitation. When they say things like ‘move mommy’ (complete with toddler size hip check), ‘clean my bum!’ or ‘Nooo!’ (refer to earlier point), you briefly wish to go back to the days of cooing and Da-da.
- *Update – added to original post* Somehow I forgot to mention (my mind must be blocking the horrific memories) that you learn the fine art of the toddler tantrum. One moment you are staring down at your amazingly adorable little person, as they ask you sweetly for something. You kindly say ‘no honey’ and BAM! Your child instantly morphs before your eyes into a seething pint-sized tyrant, screaming at nonhuman like octaves and throwing themselves on the floor. All you can do at that moment is stare and think to yourself (to quote hilarious blogger, Jill at Baby Rabies) ‘You’re only alive because you’re cute.’
My little cowgirl, at her second birthday party. This is her ‘cheeese’ face.
- Now, that first thing in the morning smile after a bad night is still the best thing you have ever seen in your life.
- You will still go to any length, even making a complete ass of yourself, to make that toddler laugh because it is the greatest sound in the world. In fact, now you likely make an even larger ass of yourself to do it.
- You can now request hugs and kisses verbally and often, knowing they understand and are usually very, very excited to oblige!
- You have been singing for them and dancing for them since the day of their birth, but now they do it with you. You feel much less foolish.
- You realize that this tiny little person looks at you like you are their entire world. They have no idea that they are yours. It is a beautiful thing to realize together as they grow.
Ideally speaking, all children and parents would be able to learn all this and so much more from each other, everyday.
What did you learn in the early years of motherhood?