25 Things only people parenting toddlers understand

If you’re the parent of a toddler, kudos to you. There is no job more heroic or more challenging. And look at you! You’re currently reading and presumably wearing pants. That’s a victory in and of itself.

But have you ever wondered why it’s so hard to parent your crazy tiny person anyway? Here’s why.

1. So much weight. Your right arm makes you look like you do CrossFit.

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2. The backseat of your car has a new meaning. And that meaning is, “How long has this bottle of curdled milk been stuffed under the car seat?”

3. Flavor is a fickle thing. Just yesterday, your kid loved Goldfish and apples. Today, he or she is furious that you would ever suggest a lowly apple for a snack.

4. The hilarious statements. The complete randomness of the words that come out of your child’s mouth is nothing short of delightful.

5. Grocery shopping is a nightmare. So much flailing. So much knocking items off shelves. So much “helping.”

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6. The joy of terrible gift-giving. Your toddler doesn’t yet know how to give good gifts, but that’s totally OK. Your refrigerator is covered with finger paint artwork and you have a painted rock on your desk. You couldn’t be happier.

7. Diapers are a war zone. How can one tiny human being create such an explosion of waste? And from Goldfish?

8. But so is potty training. When potty training begins, you’ll become familiar with the concept of retaliative pooping. It’s not pleasant.

9. No more napping. Back in the baby months, naps were sprinkled throughout the day for built-in breaks. With a toddler? Breaks are no more.

10. No more guesswork. Sure, you may feel like you’re on your toes all the time. But it certainly isn’t because you’re not sure what your child wants. He or she is able to effectively communicate specific needs for the first time and that’s a huge parenting relief.

11. The volatility. The emotional swings of your little toddler will make you feel like hiding under a desk and rocking back and forth.

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12. The exhaustion. Before children, you thought that the exhaustion would diminish after infancy. No. With a toddler, you understand that you’re now dealing with 1-3 years of cumulative sleep deprivation. It’s a whole different ball game.

13. The defiance. When did your sweet pumpkin turn into a willful person? You’re living with a defiant dictator.

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14. Their ability to toddle. It means they can come find you.

15. Bedtime routines. If by “bedtime routine” you mean “two hours of nightly battle,” then yes. Bedtime routines are well-established by the toddler years.

16. A return to childhood. Finally. Finally, it’s acceptable to roll down the hill at the park again. Or swing or slide. The entry into the toddler years signifies a reentry to your own childhood.

17. The vocal strength of a screaming banshee. Oh, good gracious — how can small lungs make so much sound?

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18. Their ability to charm your allies. No one believes you when you tell the stories. No one. Your toddler is just too sweet to pose any challenges.

19. Those cartoons. Entertainment is lacking. And now that your toddler isn’t a sleepy baby anymore, you feel weird watching Game of Thrones while he or she is in the room.

20. The backsliding. Just when you think you’ve figured out potty training or bedtime, your toddler will laugh in your face and backslide. It’s all a ruse to mess with you.

21. Tantrums. Homegirl can cause serious bodily injury when she loses her mind.

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22. The return to a normal purse. Now that your kid is a toddler, you no longer have to carry seven purses and a diaper bag to go somewhere. With your child’s growing independence comes a return to your own independence from all that gear. No more scoliosis from giant bags!

23. Commentary. As soon as your little one can talk, he or she will mortify you in public. Get used to hanging your head in shame when your toddler makes comments about the features of strangers at the mall.

24. Their ability to triangulate. A toddler’s day isn’t complete until you and your partner turn against one another.

25. The existentialism of it all. At least 10 times a day, you will ask, “Didn’t I just clean that? Didn’t I just say that? Didn’t we just do a time-out about this?

Don’t worry, Mom. The toddler years pass quickly — and then you’ll move on to preschool challenges.

This post was brought to you by Enfagrow Toddler.

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