What I Wish I Knew About Toddlers

Finding the pleasure in sticky hands and dirty feet

Lana Graham
Aug 29, 2020 · 3 min read
Photo by Jordan Whitt on Unsplash

Toddlers are like old, drunk people. You can’t understand what they’re saying half the time. They fall over a lot. They get cranky for no reason. They poop their pants. But in the end, you can’t help but love them.

Before I had kids, I’d heard about the “terrible twos,” and witnessed a few odd temper tantrums in shopping centres. But what I didn’t know and wish someone had told me earlier are some less obvious things.

After having kids, what struck me as weird was how toddlers follow you everywhere. It was kind of cute at first. Like a puppy who wants to be around its owner all the time.

But that got old real fast, especially when you just want to have a shower without a chubby, grubby face staring at you through the steamed-up glass screen. You know that won’t happen for at least another few years.

What I also didn’t know was the sheer amount of mess toddlers create all by themselves. You feel accomplished because you’ve managed to do a 15-minute tidy up of the lounge room. But when you turn around to bask in the cleanliness, you’re confronted with a room full of Lego pieces, pillows, empty toy boxes and food crumbs that lead straight to your toddler’s bedroom.

Upon entering your toddler’s bedroom, you’re confronted with more mess and wonder how on earth they managed to create such destruction in such a small amount of time. Pure magic.

One second you’re feeding your happy toddler their favourite cracker snack, and the next your toddler is screaming their head off for no apparent reason. The reason, of course, is because you’ve served your toddler their snack on the blue plate instead of the pink plate. Big mistake.

Bad Parenting Award right there.

Of course, there are many frustrating, anger-inducing and downright scary moments that your toddler may instil upon you. However, there are also those moments that literally break your heart from happiness.

The first time your toddler tells you, “I love you,” suddenly makes up for all those other crazy things they’ve done. Hearing those words makes everything else feel inconsequential. Everything is forgotten, your toddler is forgiven and you are at one with each other.

At least for that tiny moment, until they manage to sneak into the kitchen pantry and spill a whole box of cereal on the floor that you’ve just finished vacuuming and mopping.

Lana Graham is Editor of Mama Write. She writes about parenting, psychology and her writing journey. She lives in Sydney, Australia with her hubby and their three marvellous sons. You can find her sitting on her front verandah sipping black tea, writing in one of her many planners and listening to the kookaburras laugh each morning. Say G’day by emailing: lana@lanagraham.com.au

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