Parenting is hard.
Parenting a toddler is a whole other level of crazy!
When I was pregnant I had it all figured out. I knew how I was going to discipline, what schedule I would have, all the creative and educational games we would play, and all the wholesome, organic food I would prepare for every meal. That list literally went out the window before we got home from the hospital! I ate all my sanctimommy words like my son inhales dinosaur chicken nuggets.
Here’s a list of things I SWORE I would never as a parent of a toddler:
1. Have my living room turn into a Fisher-Price warehouse. Okay, so we live in a super small apartment and he loves Paw Patrol. Who am I to deny him the giant plastic Paw Patrol Slide and accompanying Paw Patroller that he wants so much? I’m just being an awesome mom, making awesome memories for him, right?
2. Watch Thomas The Train. Seriously, it’s the creepiest show I’ve ever seen. I’ve had nightmares of those unnatural puppet train eyeballs, gathering in the darkness, chanting something about being really useful. The new cartoons, however, are far less frightening and Mr. Perkins is an absolute delight. So we’ve watched a few episodes. Okay all of them and I know all their backstories and have memorized the names of at least 30 trains. Whatever.
3. Use smart devices unattended. Toddlers are like crazy smart and my son figured out the counterclockwise swipe action to unlock the Android menu after watching me do it only twice! He could probably program it better than me at this point. Why are all toddlers like super genius tech geeks!?! There’s no point in even trying to avoid it.
4. Never eat anything but wholesome, organic meals. I’m SO HAPPY he at least eats the dino chicken nuggets and god forbid the store is out of the dino shaped ones! I’m on a first name basis with the lady in the Meat department.
5. Listen to ridiculous, childish, repetitive music. I was going to expose my son to real music: Rock and Roll, Jazz, Classical, Blues, and Big Band. My playlist now includes every single song Blippi has ever recorded, fifteen versions of The Wheels on the Bus, and the soundtrack to at least five Disney movies. The silver lining is that he does love Tom Petty and I can totally rock out to Moana.
6. Bribes. Okay, listen, this kid is smart. And adorable. And I’m usually running on fumes and late for everything so if I need to promise a new Paw Patrol toy or a box of mini donuts if he would just sit his little tush in the car seat right this flipping moment because we are going to be super late for school again and I have to get to work on time today…then imma do it!
7. Using my phone while he’s awake. Nobody told me this kid would be awake for 47 hours a day! There’s only so much building blocks and Peppa Pig I can take. And if he’s going to be playing games on his tablet, I’m totally scrolling Facebook. That’s only fair.
8. Sleep in bed with me. He’s growing so fast and yet still has his adorable baby cheeks and he’s my absolute favorite person in the world. So every so often, when he’s calling out for me in his sleep, without a second thought, I will pick up my sweet little boy and cuddle for a few more hours before we have to start the day.
9. Make excuses for not getting back into shape. Hahahahahahahahaha!
Previously posted at Hudson Valley Parent Magazine.