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Something Happened to toddlers while my back was turned!
My daughter, Nikki, has been sick and it’s not easy being sick when you have a 20-month toddler wobbling around the house. So it was grandma to the rescue (that’s me).
Now here’s a little piece of info for you new grandmas out there. Toddlers aren’t like they used to be. Or at least not like you remembered them to be.
My toddlers weren’t like the toddlers of today!
It seems to me, my toddlers woke up with a big smile. I’d take them out of their cribs and, after changing their own diapers, they would toddle happily to the breakfast table where upon they would eat their entire breakfast consisting of something marvelously healthy, then play quietly with their toys, watch a little Bert and Ernie before taking a nap for the rest of the day.
Hey! What happened to the bliss?
Ok, I admit there’s a little fuzziness in my memory here and there, but basically I remember the Toddler Days were filled with love and tranquility and happiness and harmony bathed in a pink cloud of light with the Sesame Street theme song playing sweetly in the background.
I’m sure I’m remembering it right, maybe
But having taken care of my 20-month-old grandson, Clayton, all day for a couple of days now, I have been forced to re-evaluate that perhaps I was remembering things a tad differently than how they actually are when it comes to the care and feeding this tiny creature known as the Toddler.
You see, Toddlers are a double-edged plastic knife. A dichotomy if you will. They are so completely and utterly, heart-meltingly adorable that you can hardly takes your eyes off them. While at the same time they are so creatively attuned to getting into dangerous situations that you can hardly take your eyes off them.
This makes for an enormous amount of intense eyeball time which can sometimes lead to crossness.
these are some of the things I’d forgotten about toddlers:
It’s impossible to get a toddler to:
Hold still long enough to eat their breakfast, lunch or dinner. Hold still long enough to change their diapers. Hold still long enough to put on their coat, shoes, comb their hair, brush their teeth, wipe their faces, wipe their hands, put on their shoes, take off their shoes, change them into a dry shirt, change them into dry pants, change them out of their wet shirt into a dry shirt and back out of a wet shirt and back into a dry shirt. Phew!
I’d also forgotten that toddlers’ TV viewing habits tend to be repetitious:
It’s Barney, Barney, Barney followed by Barney and then Elmo, then Elmo, then Elmo, then Elmo then back to Barney, Barney, Barney to be repeated in this order until Toddler tires of activity or grandma starts to babble more than toddler in which case an intervention could possibly be in order.
And when it comes to reading material, Toddlers can be fickle
Just when you’re getting used to reading “I Can Help” 14 times in rapid succession as they listen enraptured, thumb-in-mouth;- they suddenly decide they don’t want you to ever read “I Can Help” again, and it will be “What Do Babies Need?” 14 times in rapid succession or it will be NOTHING AT ALL!
I’d also forgotten toddlers’ are so very gifted when it comes to rapid emotional changes:
For instance, they can hurl themselves to the floor face down and cry bitterly into the shag carpet when corrected for wanting to play with electricity; but can just as quickly make the tears running down their cheeks screech to a stop, reverse direction, and roll right back up into their adorable little eyeballs stat! when confronted with a cookie.
Yeah, my pants are full of poo — Aren’t everyone’s?
They can also get quite testy when you try to get them to eat the rest of their applesauce, while simultaneously being cool “just hanging out” with a pant-load of poo.
Always Take into account the Toothpaste Factor
And finally, I’d forgotten that toddlers are like toothpaste. Once you take them out of the container they are in, you can never get them to go back in again.
So a reminder to new grandmas everywhere. Remember that if you let them out of the shopping cart, the high chair or the car seat to run around on their own, there’s no going back, EVER!
You will be completely screwed until they reach the age of six.
Until next time . . . I love you