The other day I was walking along - I say walking along like I was not speed walking as usual - in Walmart (rarely do I go to Walmart, but sometimes the prices are cheaper and our newer store nearby is pretty nice) with three wrapping paper rolls in my hands and some ribbon. Pink - in case you were wondering. By the way, the wrapping paper rolls were only 2 feet each - which is… a total rip-off for $5 a roll.
Side note: I didn’t realize that the wrapping paper had handles on them until I was in the parking lot and after I had dropped them twice in the store (since I tried to hold onto everything without a cart). This is me driving alone to Walmart - wind through my hair:
This was one time where I did not have my daughter for about an hour and I needed to get wrapping paper (Doc McStuffins and Frozen themed seemed to be my only logical choices) for her birthday presents. This also means I did not have a CART. Yeah, you heard me - no cart!
Then, I came up behind a mother pushing her child in her cart.
I immediately veered left to pass her because I subconsciously knew she would be making an abrupt stop (motherly instinct). Pushing a cart with momentum and no stops exists only in one’s imagination if you have children. Kind of like that ‘going to the grocery store alone is a vacation’ if you have kids joke.
I was right - her child threw something on the ground and I smiled. She stopped pushing the cart to reach down and pick up the item. Then, the words came out of her mouth - something something…growl…. ‘I’m going to beat you!’.
I smiled at first because I have had those moments (almost everyday with my almost 3 year old) and understood how she felt. Then, I thought about it, and hearing it as an outsider was eye-opening. I have not said this to my daughter, but I have thought of it in my head before! I’ll admit it. You can too.
People always say the ‘terrible twos are the worst’ or ‘the threes are even worse’, etc. I learned early on to take other peoples’ parenting advice with a grain of salt and smile like I care. As my daughter grows up, she starts to learn more words and starts feeling some inner-independence. She also is exposed to other children and picks up on…. things. This is cause for trouble - or, better yet, a test of patience on our end. This is patience that I do not have. Never did. Where do I buy this patience? Does Walmart sell this for an overpriced amount?
My daughter currently uses the phrases:
- 'You go get it.'
- 'You do it.'
- 'I don't want to.'
I currently use the phrases:
- 'What did you just say to me?'
- 'Come here right now.'
- 'I'm counting to 3'. '1…..2……..2…….2…….2……3!'
- 'Because I said so.' (Which my daughter has picked up and said to me once or twice - I cringed).
Let’s admit, arguing with your toddler (3 year old) is a fun game that happens ALL-THE-TIME and for some reason, we keep doing it forgetting they have only been in this world three years and only maybe HALF of one which they comprehend. I have made jokes that my daughter is like a parrot because she will repeat herself (especially while in the car and she is in her carseat) and I find myself REPEATING as well. I think this drives the passengers that are with me crazy - however, I have become numb to it - much like having Peppa Pig or Dora on the TV in the background everyday.
For instance, here is a typical conversation:
- 'Can we go to the pool?'
- 'No honey, it is only 56 degrees outside.'
- 'Can we go to the pool?'
- 'I said no honey, it is too cold, I am sorry. We are going to the grocery store.'
- 'Can we go to the pool after?'
- 'No honey'.
Sometimes it turns into:
You know the rest…
…sometimes I will sing the ‘no’ thinking it will change things or move the conversation forward. It does not. It just further proves my lack of singing ability.
She does this all while being on
my her iPad. HOW DOES SUCH A LITTLE THING COMPUTE MULTI-TASKING SO WELL? And who taught you how to slide to unlock?!
I have found that cotton candy makes her super excited and happy for about 5.2 minutes. Yes, bribing, for sure, you heard me. ;) We relish in those moments of pure joy and absolute sincerity in their smile. Right? AND it’s over.
I found myself spelling out ‘i-c-e c-r-e-a-m’ to the waiter at Olive Garden when he asked what kind of dessert to bring out for my daughter (while she was still
eating playing with her food). I have found that I spell words quite often with most of the adults around me. I spelled ‘c-i-r-c-u-s’ to my significant other the other day when my daughter was around us and he blurted it out like I was playing learn-to-spell with him in school. No, honey, I was trying to surprise her with the circus. Welcome to the new code of language - called parenting. Right? :)
So, mothers, I understand your constant exhaustion. I understand that people you spell things to people that do not understand WHY you are doing so or cannot spell themselves. I understand that you may be snappy at other people (over the age of 5) because your day consisted of arguing (speaking) with a toddler for their own good. Sorry to my mother and significant other! I understand that the phrase ‘I’m going to beat you’ may fall out of your mouth but you certainly do not mean it (or you would do it). I understand the eager countdown to bath time or bedtime. I understand that watching your little one(s) sleep may be the most exciting and relaxing part of your day. But do not feel bad - we all seem to have gone through this or are going through it. We shall band together and rage through this war of repetition, growing up, patience-testing, and exhaustion. Why? Because we are mothers and we love those little argumentative, learning, growing, tiny adults more than we could ever spell into words.