How To Get Your Toddler Into A Car In 40 Steps



1. Approximately two hours before you need to get into the car, start prepping your toddler for the event of clothes-wearing.

2. Bring out clothes and approach your toddler slowly and carefully and make clothes sound like fun.

3. Toddler remembers that they like to play hide and seek.

4. Remember Love and Logic and give your toddler a sensible choice of coming to you to put clothes on nicely or you coming to them and putting clothes on… not nicely?

5. Remember that coming up with viable choices for proper Love and Logic training is why you suck at Love and Logic training.

6. Toddler suddenly remembers the rainbow band-aid that their brother got three weeks ago.

7. Toddler searches body frantically for possible owie.

8. Toddler finds suspect redness on their finger after squeezing their finger very hard.

9. Toddler declares that they now need a rainbow band-aid on their very injured finger.

10. You remember you inner commitment to being a “reasonable mom” with “firm boundaries” and you say, “You don’t need a band-aid right now.”

11. Toddler begins the Rainbow Band-aid Campaign. It is loud and persistent and convincing.

12. You lose the feeling in your limbs and possibly your will to live after listening to this campaign.

13. You no longer have any boundaries.

14. Five minutes later, your toddler walks proudly out of the bathroom with 15 different band-aids on various places of their body.

15. You convince yourself that this is a cute display of independence.

16. Toddler remembers that they are now a puppy and they begin to bark.

17. You remember (with excitement) that puppies are obedient! Tell your “puppy” to put on their clothes.

18. Toddler loves the puppy game and is almost completely dressed when they remember that their shirt is too heavy.

19. Your toddler begins to take off all of their clothes.

20. You decide to wrestle your toddler into their clothes and you both cry.

21. You have your bag packed and you head towards the stairs.

22. You remember that your toddler doesn’t like to be carried on the stairs since yesterday.

23. At the top of the stairs, your toddler realizes that their legs have stopped working.

24. Your toddler is now crying because you aren’t carrying them, so you begin to pick them up.

25. Toddler then remembers how much they like ice cream and their Grandma and that they would like both of these things now, please.

26. You patiently tell them that you don’t eat ice cream for breakfast and that Grandma lives very far away.

27. Your toddler tells you that you are in big trouble and that you will have to sit in time out. They are very angry.

28. You feel a little afraid, but then you realize that you only have five minutes left to get into the car and that grown-ups shouldn’t be afraid of two-year-olds.

29. You begin to pick your toddler up to carry them down the stairs, when your toddler remembers that the feeling of your arms is actually like thousands of independence-killing knives stabbing into their soul.

30. Toddler ends up walking to the car, all by themselves, indignantly.

31. Toddler wants to climb into the car, all by themselves.

32. The car is muddy so you are required to pick up your screaming, thrashing toddler and strap them into their car seat, while desperately trying to avoid their flailing limbs.

33. By the time you have made it to the driver’s seat, your toddler has stopped crying.

34. Toddler realizes that they are a Baby Mermaid. They insist that you tell them how cute they are and how shiny their tail is.

35. Your toddler would now like to know how cats work.

36. Your toddler now feels like the sun coming through the window is blinding their eyes forever.

37. Your toddler would now like you to sing, “The Wheels on The Bus.”

38. You begin to sing “The Wheels on The Bus” and your toddler tells you to stop singing. They are very angry.

39. You place your head on the steering wheel and feel your fragile mom psyche crack just a tiny bit.

40. You feel like you have climbed a thousand mountains, swum oceans, negotiated with terrorists, and have been trying to reason with someone who is tripping balls… but you have made it into a car with your toddler.


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  1. 6


    omg I love the expression “tripping balls” lol. and yes, my 20month old does this especially when I’ve had to run short trips to multiple places. By the third time of me putting him back in the van, he doesn’t believe me when I say that this is the last time you have to get in your car seat :(

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  2. 14


    My least favorite move while getting them into the car was what we referred to as “the plank”. It’s funny now that they’re older, but man, it’s amazing how quickly they can turn themselves into non-bendy dead weight!

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  3. 16


    All I have to say is this article must be about a little girl… I would pay money if my 2 year old boy talked that much… There are just as many shenanigans, I just don’t know nearly as often what is wrong…

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    • 18

      Anna says

      I too never experienced car seat or stroller problems with my son. I would tell him where we were going and he would jump right in. He loved to go places and couldn’t wait to get in the car seat or stroller. We had special car only toys and started taking him on regular road trips as a newborn. The only melt downs I had to deal with were when we went to too many stores. To fix that, I would tell him how many we were going to (adding a few extra just to be safe) and he would be fine after that.

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  4. 20


    Haha. Glad this isn’t us with our daughter, but we have a little boy on the way. We only fight with our daughter about the fact that we must put her in her car seat or she will mess up her hair. She’s a girly girl and gives in. Lol. But, I can totally relate to the band aid thing, the grandma thing, the carry me no put me down thing and more. Just luckily not all in one spat.

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    • 21

      Mama2Blessings says

      Do you mean the “carry-me-no-put-me-down” or “put-me-down-no-carry-me” song and dance? Over here, we switch between the two. At any time. Without warning.

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  5. 23


    Its not that toddlers have superpowers over their parents. Its simply that the daily never ending fight over clothes, diapers, meals, and car rides gets so tiring that you don’t have the will to fight anymore.

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  6. 26


    I have three of them, so it’s triple the fun. No. It’s not triple the fun. It’s awful, and I thank Sweet Baby Jesus they know how to dress themselves when they feel like it. Except they rarely feel like it. Gah. Now I’m stressed out.

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