Nothing Prepares You For Life With A Toddler Who's A Runner 

by Laura
A happy toddler who is running in a park
SbytovaMN / Getty

The books, the blogs, and the been-there-done-that parents all prepare you for life with a baby. I mean, none of us are ever really prepared to bring the first fragile human home from the hospital. But still, I felt I had studied enough to know that breastfeeding was going to suck and that “rock, paper, scissors” would be an appropriate way to decide who was going to change the next blow-out.

But no one told me how hard a two-year-old is, and even worse, a two-year-old who runs fast as hell.

It wasn’t until my son was about 18 months old that I realized I was raising a future Olympic sprinter. Everywhere we went I needed to be aware of all exits, crevices he could squeeze through, and the distance between the door and the parking lot.

When his running began, I was very pregnant. It became instantly difficult to take him places because I simply wasn’t fast enough to chase after him. It wasn’t necessarily that he was running away from me, but he was testing the boundaries of parks and museums, sneaking through areas I simply couldn’t squeeze my giant belly through.

Things really went downhill after his baby brother was born. My son clearly knew that our beastly stroller with baby brother in it prohibited me from chasing him up a flight of stairs. Even worse was when he discovered the handicap buttons which automatically open doors.

Oh, sweet child, you’re not content playing at this museum/library/play place? Sure, just hit that button while running backwards, grinning and staring deep into my soul. Go ahead and run directly into the crowded Target parking lot. It doesn’t bother me one bit. (Insert exasperated emoji here.)

Fast forward ten months and my toddler is still going like the Energizer Bunny. He outgrew the “my mom just brought a new baby home so I’m going to act batshit wild” phase, and now just literally runs for no reason, ironically chanting “walking feet, walking feet!” The worst part of all is that I’m exhausted from chasing him, and I have nothing to show for it. How come I don’t have Carrie Underwood legs from running after him, and Michelle Obama’s arms from inevitably carrying him over my shoulder while kicking and screaming?

I’m happy to have a son bursting with energy, who can run two miles without looking back, but damn, I’m tired.