People who haven’t had toddlers think these little humans just magically evolve from cribs to beds, diapers to underwear, being dressed to dressing themselves, being fed to feeding themselves, not talking to talking, having zero empathy to discovering other people have feelings…the list literally goes on.
The amount of growing physically and emotionally that happens between the ages of 12 months and four years if freaking crazy. I mean if you really think about it…totally nuts. They go from almost 100% dependency to maybe 25 or 50% dependency. That’s a lot!
So I try not to lose my mind on a daily basis when they are just trying to grow and do that thing they are supposed to do…assert their independence and become little humans. But toddler mom to toddler mom- this shit is real.
We recently took the sides off their cribs. They are two and a half, sharing a room. I mean come on. You know this is going to be just a nightmare. By the way we did it maybe two weeks after we took away their pacifiers. Don’t mom judge me. Yes we waited until they were two and a half. They were for nighttime only. Move on.
So the first night we had to go in maybe four times to settle them into their “new bed” per my kids. And we took bets on who would fall out. I said Jackson. I was right. Around twelve thirty AM I heard a thud. But no crying. I waited. A couple minutes later the crying started. I went in, and there was my little Jack-man on the floor, (the crib is only about six inches off the carpeted floor, he was fine) crying softly, and he clung to me as I lifted him back into his new bed.
Thus far we are on night two. Nap time today we were outside by the pool and we see two little heads at the window banging the glass. They know how to tell us they are up, that’s for damn sure. Tonight Jack-man decided he wanted Declan’s shirt. After we laid them down. There was a debacle which included Declan coming out of the room shirtless and Jackson coming out holding two shirts, both crying. This new found freedom is just too much for them. And us.
In the midst of all this losing the pacifiers and “new beds” daycare asks us to put them in underwear. These are the boys who have actually never peed in a potty at home. They pee in the potty at daycare. Little shits. I say with love. They also are able to get out of the pool and pee on the grass because they know they shouldn’t pee in the pool. But they won’t pee on the damn potty in the house. Nope. So that’s cool.
Then there’s the testing boundaries, “Declan don’t touch that,” I say calmly and totally Mama Brady-ish- “Declan don’t touch that” more strained, “DECLAN DON’T TOUCH THAT.” Then he cries and I’m all hugging him, and telling him it’s okay, but seriously don’t freaking touch that, then Jackson is crying, then Jackson headbutts me accidentally as they are both trying to get onto my lap and they are both huge, now I’m plugging my nose because I think it’s going to bleed, and I’m trying not to swear, “Fudgernuggets, Shishkabobs,” Then two worried little boy voices, “Mama okay? Mama okay? Mama boo-boo?” “I see Mama’s booboo, I see,” And they are both fighting over seeing my possibly bleeding nose.
Yeah, that’s how we roll in our house. We make it through a day with no blood and no bruises. That’s a good day. We make it through a night with no one falling out of the crib. That will be good. We make it through the next six months while we figure out how to bribe them onto the freaking toilets in our house…yeah I’ll be happy to survive that.
It’s like the newborn horrible-ness is a blur. I think that’s how it will be with the toddler stage. We will survive. We will end up with potty using, empathic, functional humans who can feed themselves, sleep on a bed, walk down a flight of stairs, and know instinctively not to touch a hot stove. But damn. The day to day journey to get there is rough.
The good part…saying Good-bye and I love you, and that first time when I heard a little, “Wuv you” right back to me. I burst into tears and was late for my yoga class because I was all “wuving” up on them.