01 May 2014

My Truth on the Toddler Years



I have read a lot of articles, blog posts, and social media comments from other parents who say that the toddler years are "the best" and "really fun" and that it's "the best stage ever" but if you want my opinion? 

Ehhh...

Don't get me wrong. It's a tremendous feeling of awe, pride, and amazement to watch your child grow, learn, and discover the world. Truly, there is nothing better than to watch them experience all those firsts in life: first steps, first words, first slice of Birthday cake, etc. But all that other shit that comprises the 99.9% of time in the toddler years? 

Ehhh...

And you guys know exactly what I'm talking about - the endless, sleepless nights. The teething. The potty training. The sleepless nights. The transition from crib to bed. The tantrums. The attitude. The dreaded two-year-old molars. Did I mention the endless, sleepless nights??

And you guys also know that I'm telling the truth. 

Looking back on my journey as a parent up to this point, I have to say that without a doubt I enjoyed the baby phase with Chickie far more than the toddler years that I'm experiencing right now {Which I would never have thought I'd ever think}. Once we got past the first few hard months of adjusting to our new roles as parents, life with Chickie was a breeze. She slept through the night, had a sweet and cheerful disposition all the time, was extremely low maintenance {Which seems weird to say about a baby} and keeping her entertained was so easy. 

But now?

Now I have a dictator living in my home. A sassy, independent, three foot, 25 lb. dictator who shows absolutely no mercy to her subjects, AKA Mom and Dad. It's amazing to me how someone no taller than a fire hydrant can cause so much chaos in the lives of two grown adults. How does this happen? One minute I'm cooing and rocking my sweet baby girl while she's curled up sweetly in my lap and the next minute, I'm begging her to stop punching me in the tits because you know, for a toddler, that's apparently great fun.  #myboobswoulddisagree #homemadepunchingbags

Let me be clear. My child is by no means a bratty, monstrous, hateful demon. But let me also be clear when I say that she is extremely challenging, stubborn, strong-willed, incredibly independent, and has more attitude than Barbara Streisand on steroids. And it's not that I'm wishing time away with her...it's just that I want what's coming down the road more. I'm yearning for the age where she can talk fully and in complete sentences so that I can understand her wants and needs better. I want to lay with her in bed at night and have girl talk where she tells me her dreams, her secrets, and we share all the silly things that girls do together. I want to carry on conversations with her about boys and friends, music, clothes, and all the things she's interested in and going through. I guess when I really think about it, I want more of a mutual relationship with my daughter instead of simply feeling like the one way street parent that I am at this moment. I know that those moments will come...just not right now. 

Right now, all I feel like is a prison warden and kill joy because with the toddler years comes an even bigger responsibility as Chickie's parent to discipline when necessary all the time. I constantly feel like the bad guy and while I know that discipline is a constant in the parent/child relationship through the years, the reality is that it's all pretty much hard discipline right now because this is the time in Chickie's life that she's starting to figure out choices, independence, and how the two go hand-in-hand. It's almost like building a house - you have to lay the foundation correctly in order for the home to be strong. Sure, the home may have things here and there that occasionally need fixing but as long as the foundation is solid, all is well. I think the same could be said for raising toddlers. So I forge ahead knowing that while the work may not be fun, it is necessary and that this too - like all things - shall pass.

So, no. The toddler years aren't so hot on my list right now and that's just the truth, y'all. Well, at least it's my truth {Although, I'm willing to bet both of my bruised tits that there are other women out there who feel the same way whether they want to admit it or not}. I know I'm probably the lone mom out here on this and that it's probably not the most popular opinion around but I'm OK with that. I still remind myself daily how lucky and blessed I am to have this beautiful creature in my world and how she has made my life all the more meaningful simply by her presence and being. Everyday, Chickie inspires me to be a better woman, a better mother, a better mate, and a better person. In so many ways she has saved me and even through this crazy roller coaster ride of parenthood, I wouldn't trade her or the journey for anything...because...she's my everything. 

Be well friends,











Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup
Courtney @ Shiraz In My Sippy Cup

Courtney is a published author, mom, taco enthusiast, and a Star Wars and Tennessee Volunteers fanatic. She's never met a piece of sushi she didn’t like and enjoys an amazing glass of wine and a great cut of meat. You can read more of her wine-induced, sleep-deprived adventures on The Huffington Post and Scary Mommy.

8 comments:

  1. I haaaaated the baby year! I mean lex was good- she just wasn't "fun". At least now she has a sense of humor and can make me laugh? But it's true- some days I feel like a giant nag between her and the puppy!

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    1. Very true about the humor! And Lex has such a great sense of one. I've thought many times that I would love to see her and M together - hysterical.

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  2. Love your honesty!
    But, truth be told, I'm on the flip side. Year one was a real bitch - I just didn't know it then (thank God). While there are definite struggles and challenges that come with toddlerhood, there is at least some form of communication, and not just a cry in which I'm supposed to play the guessing game of "what's wrong."
    Chickie is pretty lucky to have you to share all of her moments with - now, and the ones you'll create down the road!

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    1. Thanks, Desiree! I will agree that the better communication is a definite plus. I remember the days of playing the guessing game too and thinking, "Just spit it out already!!" haha. There are certainly no boring days as a parent regardless of the age! ;-)

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  3. Ah lady sorry to hear she's giving you a hard time! I'm sure some of it is all the change - hang in there! I totally hear you about wanting those real connections and communication. I think those years will be a blast! The toddler stuff is super hard but so far still easier than the baby days. I'm sure some of it is a growth or transitional phase. Besides without it you would get the awesome chickie quotes you get! :) HUGS!

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    1. We do manage to get some great quotes. I mean, where do they come up with this stuff??!!

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  4. Dude, this age is HARD! I agree with so much of this. Our children sound so much alike. Mac runs us ragged and we are constantly trying to stop a tantrum, stop the hitting, prevent an accident or something. He pushes every single button we have, just because he can. It's exhausting and I also feel like I'm the bad guy ALL THE TIME, which I hate. But this will pass. Or so I've been told over and over and over. Toddlerhood is definitely fun at times, but boy is it tough.

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    1. It is hard. It's also rewarding in so many ways but definitely hard. I try really hard to keep a perspective of "I have to teach her, she doesn't know/understand." but I'll admit that I lose my focus sometimes. It would be much easier if these things came equipped and fully loaded! ;-) Hope you're having a great week, Sara!

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