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Real moms share: The craziest moments of parenting a preschooler

A native of the storied coastal city of Charleston, South Carolina, Julie Sprankles has been a lover of words her entire life. As a Southerner, she certainly has what her mama calls “the gift of gab.” When she’s not writing, Julie can be...

You've just gotta laugh

Parenting a preschooler is, as Forrest Gump would say, like a box of chocolates... you never know what you're gonna get. We asked real moms to share with us their most memorable preschooler parenting surprises, from mid-store meltdowns to potty training misadventures. Their responses? Both hilarious and empathy-inspiring.

They're gross but lovable

"Yesterday, my 3-1/2 year old, Easton, came running from the bathroom, hollering, 'Mommy, mommy, you gotta see this! It wasn't my fault... it was his!' he told me, as he pointed at his private area. 'He was making crazy faces, and it went everywhere!' And, unfortunately, he wasn't joking." Kerri M.

"I had to go to traffic court recently and take with me my 9-year-old, 3-year-old and 6-month-old. Things were going pretty well, until the judge started talking and everyone in the courtroom quieted down. It was dead silent in the room, and my 3-year-old let out a huge, loud fart followed by a series of smaller ones. I couldn't stop laughing — it was completely embarrassing and insanely funny all at once." Ashley M.

"We live in a historic district downtown, and part of the course for a huge annual run is right in front of our house. Our 3-year-old daughter really enjoyed watching that morning as, over the course of several hours, 50,000 runners passed by our house. The race ended and we went about our day. The next morning, she happened to look out the window as a jogger ran by. Super excited, she turned to us and said, 'Look, there's one runner left! She must have gotten lost!'" Julie S.

"I had to run into Kohl's to buy my daughter a white shirt for school. As we were walking through the store, she got distracted in the shoe aisle by a pair of flip-flops she absolutely had to have. When I explained to her we weren't there for flip-flops, she proceeded to have an epic temper tantrum. I'm talking on the floor, kicking and screaming, crying hysterically... the whole nine yards. Between sobs, she did manage to wail, 'I want my Daddy,' because she knew he would've just caved in and bought the stinkin' shoes. When I finally managed to peel her off the floor, she wiped her nose on my shirt, leaving behind a big snotty smear. Suffice it to say, I'll be shopping at TJ Maxx from now on." Nikki H.

They say the darndest things

"I took my 4-year-old daughter Quinn to the mall one day, and as we're strolling through the very crowded food court the song 'Royals' by Lorde started playing over the loudspeakers. My daughter yelled, 'Yo, moms, turn it up! This is my song!' and then proceeded to sing her version of the lyrics at the top of her lungs: 'That kind of glove just ain't for us/hmmm hmm hmm bus/let me be your ruler/you can call me green bean.'" Sara P.

"Yesterday, my 4-year-old son Lawson looked at me and said, 'Mommy, I love you all the boogers in the world!' I guess that's a lot of love." Shannon J.

"Earlier this week as we were walking into a department store, my 4-year-old stopped and asked, 'Are those ants, Mommy?' I said yes and was about to tell him to be careful when he pulled down his pants, proclaimed 'I wanna pee on 'em!' and did just that." Alyssa S.

"My husband is a total superhero fanatic and prides himself on teaching our daughter all about his favorite characters. On the top of that list is The Incredible Hulk. She's close to being potty trained now, so she knows that when she has to go number two that she should do it in the potty and not in her Pull-Ups. If she ever slips up and I catch her doing the tell-tale squat-and-grunt, she says, 'I not going potty, I'm turning into the Hulk!'" Angel P.

"As we were driving over the big bridge on our way home, my 4-year-old said, 'Wook at all those tiny wittle sailboats!' Seeing it as an educational opportunity, I pointed out, 'They're actually quite big; they're just really far away, so they look small.' Without missing a beat, he replied, 'Yes, they're far away... and weally, weally wittle!'" Alison M.

And the kid-germs are awful

"I really needed to make a run to the grocery store, and decided to chance it even though my daughter hadn't taken a nap that day and was in a mood. It was a disaster from the get-go. My 1-year-old didn't want to sit in the cart, so I had to tote him around while trying to steer the cart and keep tabs on my rowdy 3-year-old, who had it in her head that she needed to run up and down every aisle. Just as I was about to throw my hands up and give up on grocery shopping, my daughter said her tummy hurt. I asked her if she was going to be sick, and she said yes, so I told her we needed to go to the bathroom. But I guess between being super-tired from skipping her nap and overheated from running around, she became hysterical at the idea. She found a cardboard toy display, manipulated it so it was like a little fortress and then hid behind it so she'd have privacy. And then came the throw-up. Lots of it. I somehow got her cleaned up and got out of there with our groceries, but I think we were all traumatized by the trip." Karen D.

More on preschoolers

My preschooler loves potty talk
How my preschooler became interested in writing
Teaching preschoolers how to share

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