I am a father of three, and going in, I don’t think anyone told me that toddlers were easy. They talk a lot about the terrible twos, and that didn’t sound too appealing. But no one went into too much detail. Mostly they just rolled their weary bloodshot eyes. They never told me how maddening toddlers can be. How they can melt your heart in the middle of the night. How nasty they can be.
Now that I’ve been through the toddler stage a few times (in fact, I’ve got a toddler in the house right now), I’ve learned a few things. So here is a list of things I’d like to have known about toddlers before my children started waddling on two legs. Hope this helps.
1. Dried boogers are the new black.
2. Toddlers will climb everything from entertainment centers to refrigerators. They are the real Evel Knievel.
3. Short shuffling toddler steps at 2 a.m. are the most frightening sound in the world.
4. Somewhere between walking and being potty trained, toddlers begin to play with their own poop.
5. Flossing a toddler’s teeth should be called amateur alligator dentistry.
6. Poop doesn’t go easily down a tub drain.
7. A college degree in no way makes you qualified to figure out footed pajamas with a button crotch.
8. They bite.
9. Toddlers are better at using Siri than you will ever be.
10. If there’s one thing toddlers know, it’s how to disable a smartphone.
11. A few moments of peace and quiet is worth letting the toddler fish through the garbage.
12. One Popsicle will keep a toddler content for two minutes. With enough popsicles you can load the dishwasher without them trying to climb in it.
13. Sleeping next to a toddler feels a lot like a bar fight.
14. With a toddler in the house, it’s not unusual to find food crammed in everything from the heat vent to the underwear drawer.
15. Insisting a toddler put their shoes on will always ruin their whole life.
16. Everything a toddler hands you will be wet. Don’t ask why. Just expect it. Wet is the toddler default.
17. MMA fighters should include strapping toddlers into car seats as part of their training regimen.
18. Feeding a toddler is a complex negotiation of thrown food and plates that almost always results in making mac and cheese.
19. Keep a priest on speed dial in case your toddler misses a nap.
20. Ground zero sounds a lot like a toddler tantrum.
21. Arguing with a toddler is the first step to failure.
22. With a toddler it’s best to assume that what’s on the floor isn’t a brown crayon or chocolate.
23. Toddlers laugh at inappropriate times. Like when you’re naked.
24. The real key to toddlers is wet wipes.
25. There is a constant internal negotiation between having a quiet toddler and a broken smartphone.
26. Parents can drive on the freeway with a screaming toddler. That’s legal for some reason.
27. At 2 a.m., after several nights of not sleeping, a toddler can make you smile. This is their secret power.
Please realize that this is not an exhaustive list. There is more, much much more. But knowing these realities should, at least, give you a nice leg up on the madness that is toddlers.