Monday, August 27, 2012

My Sanity-Keeping Secrets: Toddlers

I put on my tennis shoes first thing in the morning, and I feel like I run ALL DAY LONG. I run and I clean and I run and I talk and I break up fight and I answer questions and I run and I TALK and they talk at me, and at the end of the day I am WORN OUT.

How can a person work so hard all day long and yet nothing seems to ever get DONE?

The answer is not really all that complicated:

He's almost two.

This post is for all of you who look at me with those admiring eyes saying "wow, I am worn out by my less-than-six kids, I just don't know how SHE does it!" as if I've got some secret.

Here's my secret:
Toddlers are HARD WORK.  

Here are a few of our recent escapades, for those of you who missed it on facebook.

Before 8am:
Photo: I will never, ever, ever, ever be caught up.
"I will never, ever, ever be caught up."
He woke me up with happy shrieks,
He streaked down the hallway naked,
He dumped a BAG of cat food down the stairs,
he fought with the cat (over the food?)

He had a bath,
I got him dressed,
He ran away,
found his way back IN to the tub
and turned the water back on,
soaking his clothes

He threw waffles at breakfast, 
chewed on his foot, 
snotted and syruped my leg.

After breakfast, 
he took off his dirty diaper, 
laughed as he ran down the hallway,
sat on my couch,
and thought I wanted to wrestle him.
Giggles and smudges everywhere.

Another morning (same week:)
2 boys wet the bed to start the day
They sing about dirty underwear at breakfast
I say "No poop talk at the table!" 

but suddenly there IS poop at the table!
Baby had an "Up-the-Back'er"
They all laugh, "I thought it was just his raisin bran!!!" 

Boys in the tub, I start the laundry and return to find the CAT in the TUB! 
(He had been forced. He was not happy.)

Later, I found them in the tub again.
I'm glad I caught them before they turned on the water! (This time!)

 Later that week,
He thought he should paint the wall with the toilet brush.
He stole a raw ear of corn from the counter, and he ate the whole thing.
He did it again.
He tried to eat a marble.
He dumped the cat food into the cat water. 
He put his foot in the syrup and cottage cheese in his hair.
He took a bath in bleach-y dog water (long story).
He poured salt all over the dining room.
He bit the cat's tail.
He put a kitchen towel in the pancake batter.
He followed me in the bathroom, jumped on my lap, fell on the floor, and injured himself. Of course, he wanted ME to comfort HIM about this.

And I sigh and I think if I hear the word "mommy" one more time I am going to scream or cry.

But then, later, he looked at me like this:

 So we went for a swim.
He thinks he can swim on his own so really, we just wrestled in the water.
When I had enough, they "laid out" in the sun:

That's a good way to dry your hair!

I took them to town the next day.
One dove headfirst out of the van on to a curb.
Bystanders offered ice packs and sympathy.
They played hide and seek in the library while I tried to find a book I was pretending I'd find time to read.
(This mama just can't give up hope...)
They all skinned knees, slobbered on the drinking fountains,
cut in front of strangers,
asked me questions, "helped" with the grocery shopping.
There were many random bursts of crying. and laughing.
Peter licked the cart and Marcus "helped" the cashier.
I bought whipped cream for my naptime coffee.
(It's a better choice than whiskey, I reasoned.)

They ate "lunch" in the car so I could put them to bed as soon as we got home.
Marcus was supposed to help Peter eat.
I guess for Marcus, "help" means "give my brother a bag of cheese."
When we got home I found him like this:

My van is a mess, my kitchen is a mess, my floors are sticky, 
and the boys have stinky feet,
but they are sleeping, and I have my coffee,
and my silence,
and life is good.

Toddlers are hard work.

Here's my other secret:
Toddlers take naps, and coffee is good.
And it does get easier.



  1. LOVE naptime! Hopping over from A Mama's Story.

  2. You're so right. Toddlers ARE HARD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And, it's always encouraging to me to hear that other moms have the same struggles, no matter how many kids you have!

    1. They are SO HARD!!!

      But it will not always be this crazy. (It will be a different crazy! :) )

  3. What a week!!! Love the story!!

  4. I ABSOLUTELY love this post - and your other writing. Thank you for your honesty! I've enjoyed my trips over here. I'm passing on the Liebster Blog award to you. You can go to my blog for more details. Have a wonderful week!

  5. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. Omg. i literally laughed thru the whole post!
    thank you for making my morning!

    1. Marie, so glad it is funny to other people! Ok, I admit it is funny to me too... after the fact!

  7. Great!!!!!! Lil guy is still sleeping...can't wait to see our toddler adventures today! (It's raining here....he will be sooooo sad he can't "mow"!)

  8. Ah, sounds familiar (I have "only" four kids, three of whom are boys)!

    1. ONLY, ha.
      ONE boy is enough for this level of crazy.
      Glad we can commiserate/ laugh together!

  9. What an insanely crazy, lovely week for you! I remember toddlers.... :)
    Very busy, but probably one of my favorite stages.

    1. Yes, I love it too... love it and hate it... you know :)

  10. :0)...this sounds SO much like the days we had when my kids were 2,3,6, and 8! they were fun retrospect! But they were HARD days and I am convinced back then, there were either less hours in a day because NOTHING felt accomplished...or maybe more hours in the day because they felt so LONG! :0). Nap time was my fav! I loved it so much that even when the kids were MUCH older, we had quiet time after lunch! Everyone on their respective beds, book on cassette or CD, 1 toy, NO talking to one another. Timer set for 90 minutes and Mom was not to be interrupted unless someone was bleeding--which happened more than once, sad to say 0_0. Hug 'em and love 'em all you can...when they are college/high school age they are not as much fun :0)!

    1. Donna, isn't it funny how the days seem short AND long! :) Yes we also do quiet time when the big kids are home. I don't think I would make it without a nice afternoon break! :)

      Oh yes. I understand the bleeding. I've said more than once, "HOW can you get HURT reading BOOKS?!?!"


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