I love my little men but my life has truly changed since my pre-children days. While things do become easier in many ways as they graduate from babies to toddlers, there are many challenges when raising a three and a half year old and an eighteen month old. Here are 10 things I know for sure about my life at the moment.
1. If I hear crying, odds are one of my cherubs has hit/pushed/kicked the other, despite innocent protestations such as, “It wasn’t me, it was the wall”.
2. If I hear silence, the children are probably destroying something of Mummy’s or Daddy’s. Likewise, if they are playing happily together, they are probably plotting against me. “How can we drive Mummy crazy today? Perhaps we’ll shovel dirt all over the back verandah/draw on the walls and couches/crush polystyrene into pieces and scatter them all over the house/climb onto the highest pieces of furniture/empty drawers and shelves entirely/smash a window with plastic hammers…” True stories.
3. I can make appointments but the Universe will stop at nothing to prevent me from attending them. A toddler who is a rubbish sleeper normally, will suddenly have no problems sleeping a marathon two or more hours when there you have to be somewhere. But, have nowhere to go and suddenly said child will not sleep at all. Murphy’s Law.
4. Band-aids fix everything, even sore heads and tummies. “I need a band-aid!” my three year old will wail. Truth be told, we go through a lot of band-aids. Case in point, the image below.
5. “Sharing” is utopian ideal. While my lovely three year old will preach about sharing to his friends at creche, it’s very much “Everyone should share when ‘I’ want said object but not when ‘I’ have it”. Doubling up on most toys doesn’t solve the problem either because there is distinctly a more desirable mower/trike/tool set, you get the jist. And even if the two objects are exactly the same, two is always better than one. Just can’t win the sharing war…
6. “Poo” and “wee” are just two regular words in my vocabulary that will be mentioned shamelessly any time, any place. I still occasionally cringe or lower my voice if I’m discussing toilet training in a cafe, but I can’t recollect how many times I have asked, “Do you need to go to the toilet?” or “Do you have a poo/wee?” in the last year or so. Too many, I suspect. Not to mention the need to get excited every time there was success. “Are you impressed, Mum?”, my little man asks. Am I impressed? Absolutely! Thrilled every time I avoid scrubbing, soaking and washing underpants.
7. If you have toddlers, most likely they’re going to get sick and you’re going to get sick. Times the likelihood of this by ten if your child attends creche or kindergarten. You can disinfect, sanitise and separate all you like but at some point, one child is going to drink the other’s drink, eat the other’s food, sneeze in his/your face, stick their hand in their mouth and then yours. I would list the amount of bugs and illnesses my children and I have had in the past year but I fear none of my friends would ever visit me again…
8. You need to get toddlers outside. Over this winter we have had some consecutive days of rain and bitter cold and my children have gone stir crazy stuck indoors. They. Need. To. Get. Outside. So, whether it’s visiting friends, grandparents, going to the library or supermarket even, we get out of the house. Rest assured, if we don’t, the children are literally hanging off the walls and the place looks like a bomb has hit it. (Well, more than usual).
9. Having a clean house and having clean clothes (the ones you are wearing, I mean), is a gift. A gift you can enjoy for the ten minutes that they remain that way. Sometimes I send a photo to my husband of the clean house as proof that it WAS clean, because you can rest assured, by the time he gets home, it will look as it was when he left that morning. And with regards to clothing, it’s a good day if I can make it without getting food or dirt lovingly wiped across my top or on my jeans.
10. I will find random objects in random places. Despite the fact that I already feel like I’m losing it, my children leave me gentle reminders, like some tinned food in with the plates and bowls, or toy cars under my doona, or the can opener in a drawer in the lounge room. Actually, it almost always makes me laugh. The kicker was when my little men took my only set of car keys(!!!!) and it took me about a week to find them after turning the house upside down. Of course, they were stuck into a hole underneath one of the ride-on trikes!
There are infinitely more things to share but I will leave it there. While these things I know for sure may seem negative in many ways, I, of course, could not live without my little men and feel that they have enhanced my life a hundred-fold. Two little boys can be a handful but life is definitely always busy and interesting!
What do you know for sure about your toddlers? I would love to hear any comments related to the above points, particularly the strangest object you’ve found in a random place, or any stand-out points I’ve missed.