By Stephanie Johnson
My sweet, little innocent baby cooing and learning to sit all of the sudden is walking, running, and destroying our house. I officially have a toddler, and my house will never be clean again, no matter what I do.
Cleaning the house was easy when he was a baby, and it stayed clean. Now, there are random toys in our bathroom, our room, and sometimes we even get surprises in the refrigerator.
I remember organizing all of his clothes when he was a baby. I even had his socks arranged alphabetically while he sat there, smiling at me. Now, when I try to do anything with his clothes, they are getting thrown back at me. Nicely folded shirts are now in a pile of clothes, and I don’t know if they are clean or dirty, so I have to wash them again.
Knowing him, all the clothes were probably dirty because he gets into everything. If I turn my head for even a second, he’s got a tube of toothpaste and is squeezing it as hard as he can all over himself and the floor. To him, it’s a fascinating toy.
I miss the days when he would just sit there when I would use the restroom, or I could put him in his swing. Nowadays, he’s always in the bathroom with me, handing me toilet paper and sometimes grabbing half the roll, running away, laughing. I thought my cats were annoying.
The sweet coos were the best when he was a baby. Toddlers learn to talk back. My kid’s favorite word currently is “no.” He loves to say it, especially three times in a row and with an attitude.
Don’t get me wrong, the toddler phase is a lot of fun, as you can tell.
When he was a baby, he couldn’t do much other than just hanging out with me, maybe crawling around some here and there, trying to pull the dog’s tail. Toddlers think they can do everything.
But there is a sweet side to this phase. My toddler likes to help me cook, help me to wash dishes, and helps me do laundry. If he isn’t involved, he’s upset. It’s nice having a little helper around at all times, although the tasks take longer.
The other day, my hands were full of groceries I was putting away, and I dropped a box of crackers on the ground. He picked up the crackers and put them in the pantry for me - and melted my heart.
When he was a baby, it was easier to put him to bed. I rocked him to sleep and laid him down.
Toddlers need a full routine. I am talking about a long bath with toys, PJs, milk, reading books and playing. When I finally put him to bed, he wants to hear another story.
On a positive note, we are finally sleeping through the night. We got some of our life back.
Enjoy the baby phase, because soon it will become more complicated. Soon they will go from smiling at you and laughing to throwing a tantrum on the ground. It’s not the end of them world. Growing up is not easy.
The baby age is something truly special. They are learning so many skills within their first year of life, and it’s fun to watch them hit milestones. We’re now on the verge of the terible twos. It’s still fun, in a different way.
Excuse me, I have to pick up some toys and put them in a box, where they will stay for a few minutes before he rearranges them again.
“Hey, leave those cats alone. They’re trying to use the litter box.” That’s so cute. I have to take a picture.
(Please send emails to Stephanie at email@example.com, or write to The Bulletin, PO Box 2426, Angleton, TX. 77516)