Ahhhhhh, toddlers. Le petit fleurs! I think it’s safe to say that A is officially a toddler. Lord, help us all! She’s walking around everywhere, getting into everything and if something isn’t as she wants it, well, we better watch out! I was recently reading an article about the 5 Languages of Love and it got me thinking. There are totally 5 Languages of Toddlers!
Kids aren’t always subtle and charming like the cherubs we imagine when we decide to get pregnant because “our kid will never do (insert bad behavior here).” I can talk all day about the sweet and special moments involved in parenting, but sometimes I need to pull back the veil and show you the good, the bad and the ugly of parenting a toddler. I love my gal so very much, but kids can have their rough moments! So here is my tongue-in-cheek description of the 5 Languages of Toddlers and what’s helped us through this stage so far.
- Words of aggravation- We all know it, that moment where your young toddler, who is just learning her first basic words wants something but doesn’t yet have the actual words to express her specific need. In our house this is generally identified as an incredibly high-pitched, whining “eeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!” that only gets louder as she goes. I wish I could say this was charming at first, but let’s be honest, there was never anything cute about it. I’ve heard it only gets more delightful once the word “No” worms it’s way into the equation. Suggestions: try teaching the phrase “help please” as per our pediatrician, pour yourself a nice, big glass of wine and pray that she hasn’t inherited Mommy’s attitude (this last part may just be specific to me!).
- Acts of disservice- Since words aren’t always readily available, it makes sense that your Snowflake could favor letting her actions speak for her. Often this involves a tantrum of epic proportions complete with arched back, flailing limbs and noises that you didn’t realize were humanly possible (see #1). This can be the result of a variety of situations such as Mommy not letting her kid play with the big bottle of Tylenol or the mere knowledge that they’re about to be told no. Other times it could be as simple as Little One not liking the look of that sippy cup over there (did this happen in our home? Maybe…). Suggestions: Set boundaries, don’t engage the tantrum, redirect, wine.
- Giving “gifts”- Who doesn’t love receiving gifts? Likely the recipient of a half chewed, soggy animal cracker. There’s also the diaper filled to the brim with a rainbow assortment of remnants from last night’s dinner. Or worse, the sneaky bathtub poop, that you only realize is happening when that floater makes it’s way to the surface. Then there’s the rogue bugger that your sweetie digs deep to find and then meticulously places on your shirt. And of course that giant string of drool that stretches down right as you are holding Junior over your head and staring up at them trying to have those quintessential “moments” that you see in ads depicting picture perfect parent/child bonding. Suggestions: Good quality sanitizing products, a not-too-sensitive gag reflex and once again, wine.
- Quality time (on their schedule)- You know that moment when you get reunited after work (or a long nap) and your Snowflake presents you with a big smile and a “kiss-kiss”? It’s glorious for all three seconds that it lasts before Precious moves on to much more interesting things like emptying the contents of your tupperware drawer. Of course this will change on a dime when you find yourself standing at the stove scrambling to keep from burning dinner. All of the sudden, your Toddler will be trying to climb your leg and will not stop for anything until they get picked up and carried with you from now until infinity. Now imagine this situation when Mommy is on the phone or talking to someone else or in general not actively trying to hold Little One’s attention. Suggestions: Once again with the boundaries and yes, you guessed it, wine.
- Physical touch aka all up in your grill- There are varying levels of enjoyment for this particular language. It can often be endearing; nothing charms me more than a big, drool-covered kiss from my favorite gal! It can be sweet; I’ll be the first one to tell you that my heart can barely handle the cuteness the moment when she smiles conspiratorially and gently bumps her forehead with mine. It can be a little painful; because while a putting her finger in your belly button is cute the first fifteen times, it begins to chafe after a while (ask J about that!). It can be slightly horrifying; when you think she’s going in for a hug and she instead puts her head on your shoulder with the sole purpose of wiping her runny nose on your shirt. Suggestions: Teach and enforce the concept of “being gentle,” my favorite word: boundaries and don’t forget about that glass of wine!
You guys, parenting is so glamorous. I can only imagine the magic that will present itself once full-on talking becomes a part of the equation! Keep in mind that I’m not mentioning many of the absolutely precious, lovable things about parenting a toddler. But I think this at least provides an honest look at some of the other side of parenting a toddler.
What slightly gross or less than desirable things have you come across in your journey as a parent? Or if you’re not a parent, have I completely scared you away from the idea of eventually becoming one?