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Confession: I Hate the Toddler Years

There, I said it. I know you may be thinking, “hey, don’t you have a toddler?” The answer is yes. I do have a toddler, and I still hate the toddler years. Out of all of the ages and stages, toddlerhood is the worst for me as a parent. Sure, they’re super cute, and I wish I could pause time to etch the memory of their chubby dimpled hands and elbows in my mind, but toddlers are just not my cup of tea.

Infants? Man, I love infants. The smell. The tiny noises. The tiny everything. I could hold an infant until my arms go numb. If I see a brand new shiny baby out in the wild, I have to talk myself out of being the creeper asking to hold, and subsequently sniff some strangers child. Infants sleep all day and make the sweetest of sounds when they wake, eat, or just exist. Even their cry is sweet.

Toddlers on the other hand are savages. They’re constantly accidentally trying to injure themselves. They open any door, drawer or cabinet that isn’t securely bolted with metal forged by cyclopes at Mount Olympus. Toddlers don’t listen. They are easily frustrated because we can’t understand them. They hit, kick, and throw things. Toddlers scream. A. Lot. For no reason.

I really could go on and on about all of the things I don’t like about toddlers, but we would be here for a very long time. Knowing that toddler years are short makes my heart leap with joy. Oh, how very short they are. 2 years to be exact, and I’m not sorry that I look forward to the preschool years with the clearly understood dialogue and a child’s ability to use the bathroom outside of a diaper.

Preschool is where I shine. It’s my golden hour of parenthood. Imagination? I got that in spades. You wanna dance to silly songs? Done. Finger paint until paint is caked under our nails for days? Sign me up! Dress up, exploring for bugs and clovers, giggling until we have belly aches? I live for that.

Though I can give you a laundry list of reasons that toddlers aren’t my favorite group, I know that there are some people out there killing it at the parenting toddlers thing. If you’re one of those people that just eat up the chaos of toddlerhood, I’m curious if you’re a witch. Like, an actual can cast spells that work, live with a black cat, fly on a broom, witch. If you are, just don’t tell me. Don’t let me know that me disliking the toddler years is this horrible thing and I must be the devil incarnate.

I honestly just don’t want to know if I’m alone in this vortex of conflicting emotions. One minute wanting to gobble your kid up because you love them so much, and the other wanting to rip your hair out as you pray for bedtime while contemplating lying about the time on the clock. I don’t want to know if you’re the type of mom that lives for every destructive thing your toddler does while you clean up spills and sharpie marks with a smile and a lighthearted shoulder shrug.

The truth of the matter is, I wish with all my might that I was one of those “oh, red dye on the carpet, no problem sweetie, I got it” type of toddler moms. I’m just not. This is the only time period in my kids lives that I would wish for a time warp a year into the future, and I want desperately to know I’m not the only one.


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