10 Things Nobody Tells You About Raising a Toddler

Unspoken Toddler TruthsYou’ve heard all about those terrible two’s. But, is having a toddler really hear-pulling-out crazy bad? Like any other stage of parenting, from 1- to 3-years-old has its challenges, setbacks, drama and absolute moments of joy. That said, there are a few tidbits that no one seems to talk about. What do you need to know about raising a toddler that nobody tells you?

  1. Toddlers are gross. Seriously. Your precious little angel will slurp her apple sauce, smear it all over her face, let it dry into a greyish crusty film and go on with her day like nothing’s wrong. Toddler’s pick their noses, eat what they’ve picked and do all kinds of stuff that’s beyond yucky to you. You can clean and correct, but you’ve got a few years before she becomes Miss Manners.
  2. Toddlers are gossips. Not by intention, of course. You’re thrilled that your tot is finally speaking. But, not so happy that she’s acting like a parrot. When you ‘secretly’ tell your husband that, “Shelly from work has gotten so fat,” keep in mind that your tot may just repeat it at the most inopportune time – like when she’s in front of Shelly from work.
  3. Toddlers are style-makers. Okay, so not really. But, they do have a sense of style that’s 100 times more unique than even the most off-beat, eccentric designer out there. Expect tutus, and super hero t-shirts over corduroys paired with a tiara and sneakers. Or maybe your tot will accent each and every outfit with a Superman cape and winter hat. People will stare, but don’t you want to let your child be who she really is anyway? Let the crazy garb go. In a decade or so she’ll be totally embarrassed by everything you wear too.
  4. Toddlers need to run. Even the most patient toddler needs plenty of physical exercise. Add in the fact that she may spend half her day strapped into her car seat and stroller, and you’ve got a mix that makes it hard for her to sit still. Go to the park, fence in your yard and head outside or move all of the living room furniture to the walls and chase your little runner around.
  5. Toddlers are escape artists. You think that she’s strapped in tightly, but when you turn around she’s freed herself from her stroller and is toddling down the mall’s halls. The better your child’s fine motor skills get, the more adept she’ll be at unbuckling, unbuttoning and unsnapping just about anything.
  6. Toddlers don’t have BFF’s. Schedule all the play dates you want, you 18-month-old is still into parallel play. While she’ll play next to her ‘friend’, don’t expect them to giggle and hold hands.
  7. Toddlers don’t care that you’re tired. You just spent six hours at the pool, two hours at the park, drove 30 minutes home and you toddler still wants to play. It doesn’t matter that you’re about to pass-out, your tot has no empathy for that right now.
  8. Toddlers don’t care if you clean. You just got one whole naptime hour to scrub the kitchen floor, put away all of the toys and rinse down the family room walls. What does your tot do when she wakes up? She immediately spills grape juice (the purple kind) on the kitchen floor, pulls out every last toy and draws all over those pristine walls with markers.
  9. Toddlers are purists. Even though some kids are adventurous eaters, it’s completely common for toddlers to want each and every food separated. Try one of those compartment-style plates to keep everything nice and neat for your tot to eat.
  10. Toddlers aren’t terrible. Yes, yes, yes – in some ways it’s certainly true. But, along with the temper tantrums, whining and sticky faces comes high-pitched laughter, pudgy-cheeked smiles, cuddly hugs and love. And, if you ever begin to miss those days when your child only wanted to be independent, stomped her foot in a huff when she didn’t get her way and ran around the house slamming doors, there’s always her teen years to look forward to!
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