There are some surefire ways to tell that we have a toddler in the house. Here’s just a few …
1.Throwing away food
I hate to waste food, but I find myself trashing half-finished yogurts that sat on the table all day, or that last bite of cookie she dropped on the floor, or those veggies I cooked for dinner but she decided she no longer likes. Sigh.
2. Finding things where they don’t belong
The garage door opener in my husband’s work boot, a couple crackers worth of crumbs in her carseat, baking cups in the bathtub, puzzles pieces in the tupperware drawer, my mascara under the couch … need I go on?
3. Cleaning up messes simply so she can make it again
Honestly, sometimes it’s worth it. Like when she spends 15 minutes happily pulling every single thing out of my wallet, I don’t even mind putting everything back just so she can do it all over again.
4. Being ready anytime she stands/climbs on something
She’s a bit of a daredevil. I’d say she gets it from her father, but I’m the one who’s been skydiving, bungee jumping, paragliding …
Lately, she’s taken to standing on a little stool and just walking off of it, expecting me to catch her before she face plants on the floor.
5. Catering to random (and strange) obsessions
I hope this one isn’t just us. My daughter has gone through phases where certain things are nearly always in her hand. Spoons, for example. This one has been on and off for a few months. She loves holding a teaspoons of various sizes in each hand. For a while it was colored balls, then little remotes for our air conditioner. She even found the cap to a travel-sized shaving cream can and decided it was the perfect fit for her little palm, so she carried it around for a few days. Kids are weird.
6. Stocking the car with snacks
I’ve learned that my not-so-pleasant traveler does much better in her carseat if she’s constantly plied with food. So I watch in my mirrors for the signal – her hand shoots up toward me, palm open to receive the next allotment – and I dutifully pass her a cracker or piece of fruit or chunk of granola bar. And we make it through the trip with minimal crying.
7. Scouring Pinterest for activities to keep her entertained
Let’s face it, toddlers don’t sit and play with actual toys for very long. So instead, we have things like sensory bins, homemade and edible finger paint, busy boards and quiet books.
8. Having a constant shadow
If I go to the bathroom, oh look … there she is. If I throw in a load of laundry, she’s handing me clothes or pushing the basket around the floor. If I wash dishes, she’s pulling over the stepstool and climbing up next to me.
What defines your life with a little one?