Toddlers: 5 Things No One Tells You
My toddler is two next month and well into the Toddler Years. I have no idea how that happened. Or how I’ve managed to keep the daredevil alive for this long.
Once you reach this stage, you’re pretty well versed in the life of parenting. You’ve likely got a good routine going and everything seems, well, easy.
Then, your cute little wobbly baby turns into one of Satan’s hounds and you wonder where it all went so wrong. I’ll tell you where – your darling baby turned into a terrible Toddler.
Your pregnancy was spent with everyone schooling you on the do’s and don’ts of babies and cramming lots of advice into your already overloaded brain before the baby arrives. But unless you know people with Toddlers, somehow you seem to have missed that tutorial.
There are so many unexpected things I’ve experienced with my little gremlin already and we still have a while to go of the toddler years. So, for those of you who don’t know anyone with a toddler, here are some toddler-isms you’re likely to experience when your bouncing baby progresses to this stage. All I can say is Good Luck!
And those who are toddler veterans and have either come out the other side (please tell me there is ‘the other side’). Or, like me, you’re halfway through. Hopefully, this is something you can relate and laugh along to. Because you really do have to laugh, don’t you.
1. The ‘terrible twos’ are likely to start well before they turn two.
Why it’s assumed the ‘terrible twos’ start at the age of two, I don’t know. It’s an awful misconception that you brutally become aware of long before their second birthday.
If your child is anything like mine, they will start becoming pretty terrible at around 18 months. They seem to all of a sudden develop this sense of independence that makes all Toddlers stubborn little arseholes. Only doing what they want, when they want and how they want. When they don’t know what they want, that will be your fault and you better figure it out, fast, before they erupt into a screaming fit.
Why does the phrase ‘Terrible Two’s even exist? It should be ‘terrible toddlers’ or ‘Toddler Arseholes’.
No matter what you do they want the opposite. It’s like they’re doing it to test your sanity. How long will it take to break mummy? How long before she’s rocking in the corner of a room, wondering where she went so wrong in life? I’m sure all toddlers are psychopaths, playing a cruel game of pushing you to the brink and then turning on a disturbingly adorable smile to bring you round before starting all over again.
2. Sleep regression doesn’t just happen to babies.
This is another cruel misconception. Toddlers also have sleep regression. Yep, if you haven’t had it yet, it’s probably coming. I’m experiencing this now with my toddler and it’s bloody hell, mainly because it’s so unexpected. I had many sleepless nights with her as a baby for a good six months, then she started sleeping through the night and it was bliss. In fact, we had it so good, she would sleep from 7.30 pm to 7.30 am. AMAZING.
Then around a month ago, she decided she didn’t want to sleep anymore and will wake two or three times a night for an hour or two at a time and still be up at 7 am. Check out the blog post I did recently on this… Word of the week: Tired
It honestly hit me like a tonne of bricks. We tried everything, reducing nap time, later bedtimes, we even tried to get her settled in our bed. I had become so used to her sleeping through, it never occurred to me that we would experience a sleep regression.
Through the haze of exhaustion, I have learnt some lessons – One is, matchsticks do not hold open your eyes. I mean, I’m sure they would for a second before slipping and probably blinding you. No one wants to be sleep-deprived, emotionally drained and blind. And the other is, you just have to go with it. Accept that your child is going through a bit of an arsehole stage and you just have to ride it out until it passes. Probably a lot like the arsehole periods you get from your significant other from time to time.
Everything you try will fail. It will right itself. Assuming your child was a good sleeper beforehand, they will go back to sleeping like before. Eventually… Hopefully?!
3. They eat anything and everything
So I know most people are aware that a toddler will put anything and everything into their mouths. But, I never really understood to what extent this could go to.
Here are just some of the things my toddler has eaten or has tried to –
- Moss – yes, that horrible greeny browny hairy stuff that falls off your roof
- Flower heads
- The cats tail
- The dog’s food
- Her own poo – during a nappy change usually. It happens so quickly that you don’t have time to stop it. The hand darts down into the open nappy and shoots straight back up into their mouths
- Bathwater – slurping away like a dog. It doesn’t stop there; she will try to drink from puddles and the watering can.
- Sticks – this is a new thing I’m experiencing. She likes playing with sticks she finds when we’re out walking but has recently started trying to sneak a little bite or lick.
- Dead flies – I’m hoping now Summer is pretty much over we won’t see any more dead flies for my toddler to munch on.
She will eat every inedible object she can get her hands on, yet when it comes to veggies, you’ve got no chance. My little monster used to love eating her veggies; broccoli, peas, carrots, cauliflower. As soon as the toddler years kicked in, a little switch in her brain flipped to off and now she can’t stand the sight of them.
4. You will learn to share, everything!
You will never again be able to eat anything without your toddler wanting some. Whether it’s steak and chips, a spicy curry or shit on a stick. If you’re eating it, your toddler is going to want it.
Even if they have the same food as you, it’s not good enough, it has to be directly from your plate.
That being said, try offering them anything healthy off your plate and they will promptly throw it at your face in disgust.
Just to get through dinner time, sometimes I plate my toddler’s dinner up and then end up transferring it onto my plate when she’s not looking. Obviously, it’s so much more appetising off mummy’s plate.
Chocolate and crisps are just a no go. If you want them, wait until they go to bed or eat them in the bathroom behind a locked door. Let’s be honest, chocolate just isn’t shareable anyway.
5. You’ll be heart attacking on a daily basis
Toddlers are daredevils. They gravitate towards anything that looks remotely dangerous.
‘Don’t climb on that,’ ‘Don’t harass the cat, he will bite you,’ ‘Stop jumping on the sofa, you’ll fall off, ‘ ‘Don’t put your leg in there, you’ll get stuck,’ ‘Don’t eat that stick, it probably has dog wee on it.’
Sound familiar? If not, you don’t have a toddler.
Toddlers just don’t give a shit about their own safety or the health of your heart and will try to give you a heart attack on a daily basis.
Putting things in their mouths, getting their legs stuck, climbing impossible obstacles and falling off is the norm for a toddler. But, it also means you’re quite often on edge as your little one throws themselves around without a care in the world.
To them, life is just one big adventure and they love exploring it. To you, life is full of toddler damaging dangers that will land them in hospital.
Part of learning is exploring. Unfortunately, it also means you’ll quite often break out in a cold sweat as your little darling soars from one obstacle to the next just out of reach for you to stop them. A lot of the time landing on their feet. But they’ll soon be at it again before the colour has time to return to your face.
Toddlers are arseholes (sometimes) with psychopathic tendencies (most of the time).
But on a more serious note, although toddlers are pretty terrible at times with great abilities to drive us absolutely crazy, they’re also pretty special.
My baby is no longer a baby, I look at her every day in complete amazement at how quickly she’s growing. She’s learning new things every single day. Her brain is like this incredible sponge, soaking everything up and i have to pinch myself to make sure she’s real.
As much I get so frustrated when she won’t sleep or seems to do things purposely just to push my buttons. I thank my lucky stars that she’s mine. She’s the gift from God we weren’t sure we were going to get and i wouldn’t have her any other way.
When the toddler years have passed and she’s heading off into the next developmental stage of her childhood, i know i won’t get this time back. So, I’m going to cherish the sleepless nights and the stick licking and veggie spitting while I can before it all becomes a beautiful but distant memory.
Do you have a terrible toddler that drives you crazy? I would love to hear all about it. Please share your toddler’s craziness in the comments and let me know I’m not the only one.