10 Most Terrifying Moments Parents of Toddlers Face
Per my previous posts, Toddler 101: Taming of the Shrewd and Toddler 101: Food Wars, we've established that parenting a toddler isn't for the faint of heart. Some scary stuff goes down; so I decided to prepare those who haven't gone before with a breakdown of what's to come. Those of you who are out of the toddler years can chuckle out of relief that this is beyond them. And those of you who are smack in it? Some day this will be funny, or at least funny that it's happening to someone else ;) Here are my ten scariest moments of toddler parenting:
1. The Yogurt Fling
Your toddler can feed herself; it's a beautiful thing. This frees you up to actually feed yourself or take on a project while she's snacking; the world is suddenly a much freer place. Until, of course, your child realizes that that spoon is a LOT of fun, especially when it's dipped in something sloshy. It happens in slow motion, you can see the wheels turning as she realizes exactly how fun this is going to be. This is when you'll realize exactly what you're going to be doing with your free time- cleaning up food from every open crevice/surface/table leg after Every. Single. Meal. Good luck with that.
2. Floor Grazing
If you have one child- or a dog- you may actually be able to get every single crumb off the floor after every meal. If you have multiple children, forget it; your floor will never be clean again, which sets us up for #2: Floor Grazing. It's that moment of panic when you see your child eating something and you haven't served any food in quite some time. Your first thought is, "Is it a toy? What is he chewing on? He's going to choke!" You do the mad sprint over to him (while praying he doesn't bolt in the other direction) only to realize that he's actually eating food. Food that he found on the floor, under the table. Once you've correctly identified the food, you can begin the appropriate level of panic from he's going to die from rancid meat to oh, it's only a raisin. Those last forever. If it hasn't happened to you, don't judge. You'll get there.
3. The TV Bang
This is one of my toddler's most favorite. He loooooves the reaction he gets from everyone when he heads toward the TV with something hard & sharp. The sheer terror that he's going to interrupt Lego Ninjago is enough to send the entire house running & yelling. Nobody wants to have to explain that one to Daddy.
4. The Phone Drop
We've all been there. You leave your phone on the edge of the counter, right within reach. Your clever toddler sprints to get it & see what all the fuss is about. You approach slowly, not wanting to scare the creature while enticing him to hand it over. He gives it back-by throwing it on the floor. You cringe as you retrieve it, hoping it's not broken. You have to update your status so everyone knows that you made it to the gym this morning (hee hee). You sigh a huge relief that, once again, it's not broken. Crisis averted. Until next time.
5. The Coffee (or milk) Grab
Nothing sends your blood pressure up like the thought of your precious bundle having 3rd degree burns from your morning pick-me-up. Again, we're back to leaving things within reach. It MUST be really good because you drink it all the time so your toddler must try it as well. Eek. OR, as it usually goes in my house, one of your older kiddos leaves their milk on the edge of the table and your toddler goes for it. You're having visions of milk going everywhere aren't you? It's enough to make you cry over spilled milk because you know you're never going to find the end of the splash pattern. Or you'll be scraping it off the legs of your chairs for days to come. Neither exactly leaves you warm & fuzzy.
6. The Toilet Sweep
You one baby parents probably have that thing locked down. No one is faulting you, it's baby-proofing 101. If you have a potty trained child, you've moved on as it's more of hindrance than helpful. Nothing like telling a newly trained child to wait while you unlock the toilet. It's easier just to close the door; hence the problem of someone forgetting to close the door. It's goes like this: you're folding laundry peacefully when suddenly you realize how very wrong that feels since you have a little one. You do an immediate search of the attainable premises when you realize- in a panic- that you know exactly where the little darling is. You dash to the ladies' room only to find your little one soaking wet up to his shoulder. And that's when you hope the last person in there flushed the toilet. Ewwwwwww
7. The Stair Turn Around
Your toddler has finally mastered the stairs, until she gets distracted. Your little one has accessed the stairs unexpectedly and you find yourself frozen. You don't want to run to the stairs in case she thinks it's a game & decides to react. You don't want to move too slowly in case she topples and you need to catch her. What's the right move? You approach carefully only to watch your bundle get distracted & turn halfway around. You know the rest; it usually ends in tears for both of you. (shuddering)
8. The Tampon Box Touch/Urinal Cake Touch
Public restrooms are gross enough on their own; add a toddler to that & it's just a cringe-worthy experience. There's usually some loud talking: "Don't touch that!" "Dirty!" The problem is that they usually go for the grossest thing possible at the worst time possible- when you can't stop them. Ugh. I can't talk about it anymore.
9. Poopy Diaper Log Roll
I've referenced this move before (Taming of the Shrewd) but I think it's worth a double mention because it's truly terrifying. It's that moment when your child decides mid-diaper change that he's done with this & needs to move on. Sometimes you can stop it, sometimes you can't. My advice is control the hips or the shoulders and make sure you have your area prepped ahead of time. Oh, and keep Clorox wipes handy for the changing table- not your baby (uh, hell-o).
10. Poopy Diaper Grab
Last, but not least, is the poopy diaper grab. This one happens in slow motion: you can see it coming but you're so frozen in fear that you can't stop it. Your toddler gets that gleam in his eye and, as fast as lightening, he makes a grab for the diaper. We don't need to get into the details but it never ends well- for any of you. I'm not sure why your child is thinking he's getting but I can assure it that it ain't gold. Wink-wink. If it is gold, you & I need to have a conversation...
Hug your little darling tightly as these moments are fleeting. Someday you will look back & laugh- that isn't today. I don't want to oversell it.