5 Things I Want to Tell My Toddler Right NOW
Warning, this post is NOT censored. Ok, maybe it is….but if I could have a potty mouth today (yes, pun intended), I would. There’s definitely a few words I would LOVE to have with my toddler, if I wasn’t a responsible parent. Do you see where this post is going yet? Today, I’m venting. Because I have a 3 year old strong willed child. Because parenting isn’t perfect. Because sometimes screaming (or in this case ALL CAPS) is completely necessary for the sanity and survival of the toddler years. There are 5 Things I Want to Tell My Toddler Right NOW….and be warned, I’m not so nice.
The relationship with my toddler isn’t always roses. In fact, we butt heads quite a bit. Stubborn. It’s in our blood, our genes and 100% in our heads. So when the sparks fly, I really want to give it to her. Literally. But I’m a respectable parent, right? So I write it here instead.
I am NOT a swearer. In fact, I cringe when I hear curse words and you won’t hear a peep of them from my household. But sometimes, there’s just no words to describe the aggravation, frustration, and the moment that I’m feeling right then. Like when I just spent 30 minutes trying to convince my child to sit on the potty and 5 minutes after she gets up, she poops. Then ensures that she sits somewhere while you are watching so she can SMEAR the poop into her diaper area. Oh yes. 10 wipes+. Or that time when your angelic toddler throws a tantrum in the middle of Target. On the floor. With everyone watching.
You just want to belt out that curse word at the top of your lungs, maybe a sing a song replacing all words with that one GOOD word, and do a fire dance as you utter. SHOUTY CAPS is completely acceptable. Knowing the ultimate result of your actions (a fresh toddler who now has a new vocabulary word), I stay silent. Ok, maybe I still scream…but least not THAT word.
I’m Burning All of Your Princess Dresses
Put it where it hurts, right? Potty training these days is a constant power struggle. I KNOW she can go. She chooses not to, because she knows it kills me. The reality of buying packs of diapers months after I swear this is the last pack…….the growing flame of potty training anger, it’s the real deal. So what is my child’s kryptonite? Her princess dresses. The very being of her drama queen role, the collection of dresses are like prized trophies. And right now, I’m holding them hostage. Yup. I’m that mom. She goes pee on the potty, she gets to wear a dress. That’s how we roll.
Starve. See If I Care.
She begs me for a grilled cheese. She continues to pull on my leg, complain how hungry she is, and watches intently as you make the sandwich. You finally place the golden food in front of her, ready to eat and what does she do? Yup. The sound of the grilled cheese hitting the floor is like a DJ scratching a record. Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, it gets to me. All of that work to make the 1 thing my child begs me for, now covered in doll hair, dust bunnies and stale Cheerios.
I’d love to shout back that line from Beauty & The Beast. “GO AHEAD AND STARVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVVE!”
Let her miss a meal. Then I see those ribs poking out and her eyes sinking in right before my eyes. I can’t do it. I either brush off the sandwich (don’t tell me you haven’t done it before!) or calmly make another. And though I really want to spit in it, I smile. Hold my tongue. And continue with our day.
Seriously? Just You Wait
The anticipation that one day my child will know exactly how it feels, it gets me giddy. When she throws a tantrum I want to laugh back “Oh I’d love to see how your husband would deal with this.” Or when she goes into a screaming fest I’d love to sneer and wish just as “lovely” a child on her. I think about stopping and praying that to God (oh yes, it’s crossed my mind a few times). Evil, I know. But thinking about payback, it sometimes is what keeps me going.
No Matter What You Do
Reading the same books with my child everyday, you’re hoping those memorized words start to sink with her. And while she still is refusing to learn any letters of the alphabet, I didn’t realize that I would be the one getting the life lessons from the toddler books. It’s a common pop-up book she likes to take out….even though most of the heads of the animals have long been decapitated. But the theme runs true. “No matter what you do……I still love you.” And taking that to heart (and even shouting it back at her when upset), these words have been gospel to me. I love this stubborn, beautiful and absolutely maddening child.
The point is, I’m not perfect. I’m never going to be a perfect parent. She’s never going to be that perfect child 100% of the time. But it’s our imperfections that make the memories.
So when she smears that poop in her butt for the umpteenth time, I know it’s because she deep down loves me (and knows how to push my buttons).
It’s because we so each other so well and love each other so much that we can have those BAD days. I’ll laugh about these days. I’ll wish to have them back (though the thought right now is soooooooooooooo preposterous). I’ll wish her to stay 3 years old forever. And while I may not have physically said ANY of these things to her (c’mon, don’t you know me better than that?), venting as a mom, showing my vulnerability and incapacity to keep it together says something about our character as moms. Seeing it all written up, I know that I’m going to be ok. You’re going to be ok. We’re going to be ok.