Category Archives: Toddlers

How to Tell if You Are the Mother of a Toddler

You know you’re the mom of a toddler when nothing embarrasses you anymore. I know this is true because when my second son was 3 years old he once interviewed every stranger in the fast food restaurant we were eating at, asking everyone if they had penises, even the women. (Thank God there were only 3 other families there.) I was really starting to get annoyed at this strange fascination of his, because no matter how often I patiently explained to him that “no, I don’t have a penis, only boys have those,” he didn’t believe me, so it was actually a huge relief when he came barging into the bathroom one day and whipped open the shower curtain with a strange look of triumph on his face. He looked at me as if he just knew he had finally caught me red handed. As I frantically grabbed for the shower curtain, he shouted “Ha! Mom, you do have a . . .” a puzzled look crossed his face. “A big hairy thing?” Then he smiled and said “and you have bosoms too!” Then he closed the shower curtain and left. That was the end of it, and I am really, really, really glad.

Some other things that could tip you off that you are the parent of a toddler are:

1. When your child is missing, the closet in the entryway of your home is a perfectly logical place to look.
2. You have had to look in the middle of every clothing rack in Wal-Mart at least once.
3. You often look like your shirt sleeve has been used for a napkin. (Oh wait! It really has!)
4. White is not something you wear unless you have a babysitter.
5. It’s a relief to only have to give your child one bath in a day.
6. You lock the doors of your house with a latch that has been installed at the top of the door before taking a shower or using the toilet so your child doesn’t escape, and even then you are ready to run out of the shower naked at the slightest sound of chair legs scraping across the floor . . . (the news story of a toddler who escaped with the car keys and crashed the car into the garage while his poor mother was showering comes to mind)
7. Oh wait! Ha, what was I thinking? As soon as I get in the shower, I have instant company. And supervised toilet time . . . (“eeew mommy, you stink!” “Thanks sweetie!”)
8. Nap time is the only quiet part of your day. (Please! Pray that the toddler will take a nap!)
9. Anything nice you may have is either hidden away, or on a really high shelf that can’t be reached by climbing. (Ha! don’t you know there isn’t such a place? Must be why I don’t really have any nice things . . . )
10. If your child even eats one or two bites of his dinner, sometimes that is good enough.
11. You find yourself babbling to complete strangers at the play area in the mall, because you crave adult conversation.
12. Your house has at least one wall with crayon scribbling if you’re lucky. Otherwise, it’s permanent marker and it’s on every wall in the house. This will invariably happen right after you have painted. Thank goodness for magic erasers!
13. Your house is always a wreck, even right after you have spent the whole day cleaning up.
14. You keep baby wipes in your car and/or in your purse.
15. Milk and applesauce is a good lunch.
16. You often find yourself spelling out words such as C A N D Y, or P A R K in conversations.
17. Barney, Vegi Tales, and the Boobahs are necessary evils.
18. You have had at least one conversation as if Elmo were a real person.
19. You have either gone to the store with an odd assortment of barrettes in your hair at least once because your little girl was ‘fixing your hair’ and would have cried if you took them out, or you have pretended to be a dinosaur and that pancake syrup is blood to get your son to eat (or some other equally gory thing).

10 (not so easy) Steps for Teaching a Toddler How to Blow Her Nose

1. Hold out a tissue and say “Blow your nose, sweetie!”(the child daintily holds tissue to her nose and then sucks the boogers up into her brain with a loud glurping noise. She then blinks up at you with big innocent brown eyes and hands back the dry tissue.)

2. Say “No, don’t suck in, blow, like this.” (demonstrate for her, blowing in a loud, exaggerated fashion.)

3. Repeat steps 1& 2 randomly until you are ready to pull all of your hair out.

4. Take deep breaths and DO NOT pull out your hair. (It really hurts.)

5. Since she can barely breathe, the desperate thought of actually sucking the boogers out with your own mouth may cross your mind before you collapse in total frustration. If you actually try this step be prepared for it to work much better than you expected.

6. Scream and spit into the tissue you were holding for her as your life for the next several days, (or even months) flashes before your eyes (if she doesn’t learn to do this herself!) Blagh!!!

7. Very gently, yet firmly, hold one hand over her mouth and say “blow through your nose.” While holding a new tissue ready in the other hand.

8. She will try to blow with her mouth into your hand. Do not let her. Remind her to close her mouth before blowing. (If she doesn’t do it, or if she gets upset, move your hand for a minute to let her breathe, and then try this step again. This is one case where it is possible that screaming could work to your advantage.)

9. When she finally gets it, let her hold her own mouth closed, and let her hold the tissue. She will feel more in control this way, and less scared. (After a couple of times, if you live in an ideal world, she will figure it out and won’t need to cover her mouth anymore)

10. Proudly watch her blow gobbs of boogers out on her own and hear her say “mommy I blowed it all by mysewf!”

Start over the next day, but skip steps 1- 8 (thank goodness!) you may need to add a little reminder that she needs to blow through her nose and not her mouth, and you might need to remind her to keep her mouth closed by having her hold her hand over her mouth the first time . . . much easier!