I cannot believe I just wrote that – but it’s true. While every stage has their challenges, nothing in my decade of parenting has made me question the stability of my mental health like the toddler stage. I suppose like anything in life, it’s always worse when you’re in the day-to-day thick of it – and it’s true that everything comes into perspective when you’re looking in the rear-view mirror. While I have no desire to return to the days of diaper blow-outs, show-stopping tantrums, and the oft-repeated words, “NO!” and “MINE!” there are so many little things about toddler-hood that I do miss – below are a few that remind me of those trying, but oh-so-precious years:
Baby Feet I could just eat these little flat feet! But they grow… and grow… and grow… now, I can easily slip into his Crocs to walk the dog. Another year and his feet will be bigger than mine! Note that I had to take a picture of a photo – digital photography was just starting to come of age way-back-when!
Early Bedtimes – Gone are the days where I could tuck him into bed at 7:00 and he’d actually stay there. Now he wants to stay up with me and watch TV…you can see how that ends. Observe that the dog has claimed the comfiest spot in the house!
Music without sexual references – There is something unsettling about your 10 year-old belting out, “I’ve got the passion in my pants and I’m not afraid to show it…I’m sexy and I know it.” Those annoying Music Together tunes are starting to sound pretty good right now. LMFAO could bring a whole new meaning to “Hello Everybody”.
Math that Makes Sense – I remember the days when math was simple and uncomplicated. One apple plus one apple, equaled two apples. Now I have to Google the terms in his math workbook – commutative property, distributive property, partial product…this is fourth grade! He’s totally on his own in middle school.
Sport Free Weekends – After “A” was born, we would reminisce about our B.C. (before child) days when we could dash away for a long weekend somewhere. When you have a toddler, your biggest weekend outing is typically going to the local park for a few hours. Well, our weekends are once again filled with travel…travel baseball, travel soccer, travel basketball…not exactly the relaxing weekend at a B&B that we had in mind…
Footie Pajamas – How I loved those fleecy, one-piece suits that were oh-so-snuggly and warm. Now it’s an oversized give-away t-shirt and boxers -not as cute.
Bedtime Stories – Reading a story was always part of the bedtime routine. Some had meaningful messages, some were playful and silly, but all had gorgeous illustrations. It really wasn’t about the story, it was about taking a quiet time out and winding down from the day. I don’t remember exactly when he stopped requiring (several, let’s face it, it was never just one book) bedtime stories, but it was a while ago. Now, his idea of an illustrated storybook is “Diary of a Wimpy Kid”.
Yes, life can suck with a toddler (or two, or three!) – the constant whining, nuclear-size meltdowns, potty training bribery, binkie-weaning, and seemingly never-ending-trapped-in-the house days. But I can assure you they will end…and you will miss them.