You know that you can’t rush a toddler, right?
Because if you do you will be 3 hours 13 minutes and 56 seconds late for whatever it is that you are trying to get to. It’s true. Try it. If you aren’t a parent borrow your niece or nephew or a neighbor kid, then wait until the last minute to get in the car or better yet put your coat on and then try to get the toddler to put his/her coat on.
Go ahead try it, I’ll wait…Do I hear screaming? Oh no is he on the floor? What, oh he wanted to do it himself? No, not that coat? Huh? What? Oh, so now YOU’RE yelling at him? That helps a lot. You should yell more. Because yelling really does diffuse the situation with a toddler, a toddler who, according to the brilliant Dr. Harvey Karp, is like a Cave Man. Seriously it is THAT bad. And yes, I have yelled at him on more than one occasion.
And it has taken me a long time, which is relative in toddler years, to get this fact. Approximately 2 years 5.5 months to be exact. Well that isn’t exactly true I did learn it when my first was born. I read all the books and applied an abundance of common sensical advice, and left a plethora of ridiculous information for someone else. One logical fact I learned was that transition is difficult for toddlers. This is a very important fact so I will capitalize for you so the emphasis isn’t lost on you.
IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE TODDLERHOOD, YOU MUST GIVE THEM FAIR WARNING WHEN YOU TRANSITION TO THE NEXT TASK OR FINISH DINNER OR CHANGE THEIR DIAPER OR WASH THEIR FACE OR BRUSH THEIR TEETH, CLIP THEIR FINGER NAILS, TAKE OFF THEIR COAT, THEIR HAT OR PUT ON THEIR HAT OR COAT OR BOOTS.
Oh sorry about that, the list is exhausting, and often ridiculous, but you get the picture. In order to successfully traverse the toddler years you really do have to have patience and slow down.
From my experience 18 months and older is the time when you can no longer “run out to the store”, it is an ordeal and as such you must plan your life. You have to be constantly thinking about if you are running low on laundry detergent, milk, coffee, diapers, wipes, whatever. It is so tiring, to always be thinking and planning. But as we both know becoming a parent isn’t about you it is about that beautiful baby, the one you birthed or the one you adopted, it doesn’t matter how you got that way, a parent is a parent. The toughest job in the world and boy am I glad I filled out my application.