I’d be lying right now if I said having two toddlers was easy. We wanted them close in age so they would have someone to play with growing up and hopefully turn out to be the best of friends.
But do you know how many times I question that decision? Daily. Maybe hourly.
Most of my day is spent playing referee; someone’s touching someone else’s toy or food. He hits her so she hits him back. He gets mad she ripped his paper towel in half and throws a tantrum for another one, even though he’s done eating the waffle that he once needed it for.
The rest of the day I’m a maid. I’m cleaning up trails of socks, underwear, and pajamas that they took off once piece at a time when they woke up in the morning. I’m sweeping crumbs from under the table, wiping slimy bananas off trays, and doing endless loads of laundry.
Sometimes I’m a magician; making toys disappear because one can’t keep from punching the other one in the stomach with a Hulk hand. Or hiding the fruit snacks because they already had one pack and they can’t have another. Why? Because we don’t have any. “But mom I just saw them”… no you didn’t. We’re out (shoves box in oven).
I’m also a medic. I wipe boo-boos, open bandaids, and treat with snuggles. I’m on call 24/7 so you can sometimes find me sleeping on the job, only to be woken up by an alarm of screams and cries. I throw on my glasses, step into my pants, and I’m off to save the day.
Often times, I’m a mediator. I take on new clients but I have a lot of repeat couples. My most frequent visitors are a strong-willed three year old male and a one year old female, small but fierce. They’re working on their communication skills and the male usually dominates the conversations. She’s very affectionate and loves to hug him, and he doesn’t like her being so clingy. They’ve been living together for two years but they still struggle with their personal space. It’s a work in progress.
I’m also a dietician and chef. I prepare a variety of meals with a combination of food groups, but it’s never good enough. Oh I made this chicken parmesan from scratch? And you would rather just have waffles? Okay, great.
I’m a teacher. I work with them on their numbers, alphabet, and colors. We have music class in which we watch, sing, and dance to country music videos on You Tube. We head outside for recess when it’s nice and not 100 degrees humidity, and we have art class once in awhile. Which normally consists of their favorite, finger painting, and then is immediately followed by a bath.
I wear a ton of other hats throughout the day too. Some are more fun than others, but I love them all. Toddlers are crazy asses but it’s amazing to watch them grow and learn. They are so impressionable at this age and it blows my mind how much they can pick up on in such a short period of time. They can go from sweet to sour in 2.5 seconds and lose all control of their emotions. But I often forget that they’re just toddlers. They don’t have the mental capacity to always control their actions or know how to handle them. Which makes them even more frustrated and more likely to meltdown at the drop of a hat.
We have it hard but they have it harder. They’re curious, they’re confused, they’re overwhelmed, and they’re quick to lose interest. Toddlers are so interested in what’s going around them that in their opinion, there’s not enough time in the day to do and see everything in the world. So when we get frustrated they just won’t sit still and watch a movie while we get dinner ready, we have to remember it’s because their minds are moving at a mile a minute. What’s that cord? What’s that button do? Why is this here? Why is that fuzzy? What happens if I touch this? Can I drink that? What’s that taste like?
We struggle to handle toddlers and they struggle to handle us. Why do they have to listen to us? Why are we always saying don’t do that or don’t touch that? I’m sure that gets just as annoying as we think it’s annoying to have to yell at them all of the time.
The toddler struggle is real, but the parent struggle is real too. And most of the time, they’re probably just wondering when they can put us down for a nap because we’re so cranky.
If only that’s the way it worked… if only…