15 May 2009

50 Things you love and hate

...about raising a toddler.

I chanced upon this article from the latest issue of Working Mom and found myself relating so much with what the author wrote. So, I'd like to share it here.

50 Things You Love and Hate about Raising a Toddler
by Chary de Guzman-Mercado
Working Mom vol.9 no.4 (May 2009)

My children's toddlerhood is becoming a distant memory. But I do remember a few things - some of which are simply adorable and make me wish I could have another baby just to see it all again. But some are so annoying I am glad my kids are past that stage. Here are some of the most endearing, and most irritating moments to expect from the average 12-24 month old.

1. Budding independence leads them to insist of feeding themselves, even if they end up getting more mush on their clothes and the floor. They also treat food on other people's plates as open game for sinking in their grubby little paws.

2. The fussy eater has discovered a new trick to end feeding time struggles - just push the whole plate off the table and smile.

3. They discover food they like and eat more than you think could possibly fit into their tiny bodies - and then prove you right by barfing it all out in the car.

4. The threat of choking is ever present. Older siblings can't wait for toddlers to turn three so they can finally own toys with small parts.

5. Even after taping rags or styrofoam pads to table edges, they find some random corner to bump into.

6. Your TV is now devoted solely to playing Barney and Baby Einstein in an endless loop. Your sanity hangs by a thread. [this is also true for reading books! - che]

7. They discover how much fun it is to paint. Too bad they discover this gift while wielding your favorite MAC lipstick on the cream-colored sofa.

8. They rummage through your bag or dresser to "hide" your things in the trash, the laundry basket, or your shoes!

9. Instead of shape sorters, they prefer to see how things fit in sockets, electric fans and drains.

10. Your bed, the couch, the rug and random corners all smell like the ghost of a very large, not-yet-toilet-trained dog.

11. These unsteady eager walkers have no sense of gravity, and you constantly try to break their falls. You now have a slipped disc that can only be fixed with surgery.

12. Drool, drool and more drool...On your shoulder when you carry them. On your parents when they greet them. On someone's birthday cake when they join the blowing.

13. They disregard you, and you constantly need to redirect them. Wait for me to get a tissue!! Keep your diaper on! Don't wipe your nose with your sleeve! DON'T TOUCH THE POOP!

14. For toddlers who love baths, the struggle is getting them out before your water bill bleeds you dry.

15. For those who hate baths, it's rushing to get them clean before the neighbors complain from all the yelling.

16. In either case, the bath is always followed by a chase around the house to rein in a wet, naked toddler.

17. This is the age when "advanced" toddlers get a handle on toilet training, and demand to be brought to the bathroom to expel two drops of pee...

18. ...while the happy slacker celebrates donning of a new diaper by promptly pooping into it.

19. They holler during haircuts like it's a trip to the guillotine, making everyone wonder if you abuse your child in private. You resort to cutting his hair at home, and people wonder why your kid has that odd bowl haircut.

20. At the toy store, they want to buy expensive, development-stunting toys. When you summon the backbone to refuse them, they hurl their bodies to the ground crying. When you try to heave their dead weight off the floor, they act like all their muscles have atrophied.

21. At restaurants, the sight of all that sharp silverware and breakable china is the ultimate turn-on. Nothing short of a Baby Einstein video can break their determination to see if these objects will break when thrown.

22. They talk away when you want quiet, but when you try to impress your friends with their advanced speech, they turn mute. [or pretend-talk away into a cellphone but when someone is actually on the other line, they just sit there, listen and smile - che]

23. They cry at the top of their lungs the minute you get on the phone with your office.

24. Everything at the playgroup is "mine". Any child that violates that understanding must have her hair pulled, preferably when that child's parent is watching.

25. When a toddler's toy is "grabbed", biting the offender is a great option for settling differences.

But for all that pain and humiliation, the payback is more than adequate. No longer the newborn that seemed preoccupied only with drinking, sleeping and defecating, toddlerhood is when you see how their minds work, how their preferences are formed and their fears faced. Even fathers who were perplexed and alienated by the newborn become more comfortable dealing with the less fragile toddler.

26. Toddler's chubbiest and juiciest parts (like cheeks and toes) - can be peppered with kisses by Mom and Dad, because they are big enough to be handled with ease. Unlike older kids, they don't wipe off your kisses either.

27. They can say many words in the cutest, sometimes most inexplicable, ways, i.e. "oosh" for shoes and "tappity" for food. [or "o-wa" for Dora and "mo-mo" for Elmo -che]

28. When they cannot explain what they want, you have to read body and face language to guess. The expression for "I want to poo" is a killer!

29. Some walk only on tiptoe, making them look like they are ready to fly into your arms.

30. Everything they put on their bodies looks great - be it the latest fashion trend sized down to fit them or just a diaper.

31. They still have that baby smell of milk and powder, unlike the smell of sun and sweat that comes with older children.

32. They never ever have bad breath, even after chugging eight ounces of milk and taking a nap. [Amen! And the smell of their breath...ooh, I just love it. In fact, I purposely breathe in Ethan's breath while he yawns hehehe - che]

33. They have no hang-ups about dancing in public, including flashing their underwear to get laughs.

34. When they fall asleep in your arms, they mold their bodies into yours, and it's pure bliss. [and their faces, ah, you'll never see how much of a dynamo he is once awake -che]

35. They can be sitting on a monobloc chair and believe they are riding a horse, driving a race car, or piloting a spaceship into outer space.

36. They innocently wave at complete strangers and stare openly at gas attendants, street vendors, and, their favorite - bald people. [this list includes salesladies, people queueing with you, waiters/waitresses, etc -che]

37. They think they can enter a TV show or movie the way Steve "skidoos" into a Blues Clues scene.

38. They pretend to be reading, even when they are holding a book upside down.

39. They have no preset notion of tune or melody so are extremely forgiving of your tone-deafness.

40. Their idea of "pretty" is not dictated by fashion magazines. You could still be wearing your old pajamas and still be called "beautiful" by your adoring toddler.

41. Eager to be grown-up, they distinguish themselves from other babies by pointing and saying "baby".

42. They can dispense hugs, kisses, smiles, and other tricks on demand, or just when you are about to lose your mind. [ooh love these especially those hugs na madiin (haha ung may tunog) and those kisses with sound - che]

43. When you enter the door after a long day at work, they yell "Mama" and reach out for you in a way that melts all the stress away.

44. As the rebellious stage is still about a year away, they will do the "close/open", "beautiful eyes", "where is the light?" routine whenever you prompt them.

45. They have a look of pure amazement when they taste goodies like ice cream or chocolate for the first time.

46. They show inestimable happiness at the simplest of things like birds on the ground and the moon in the sky.

47. They never fake joy, sadness or anger - their emotions are genuine and communicate rather than manipulate.

48. They remind you to pay attention because everything in their eyes is new and fresh.

49. They already seem to know that being with Mama and Papa is better than being with Yaya...the separation anxiety when you leave is a heartbreaker, but the joy of reuniting is priceless.

50. They have that light of intelligence in their eyes as they begin to understand the world around them - that demonstrated affection breeds reciprocity , talking is the fastest way to get what you want, and actions like scampering towards birds elicit delightful effects.

See, I really enjoyed reading that article. :)

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