Top Ten Tuesday: Lessons from Toddler Boot Camp

So, yesterday I said I was going to write about some extended family issues. But I’ve decided that I’ve devoted enough precious mental energy toward that topic.

Instead, let’s talk about Toddler Parent Retraining Boot Camp, which is where I find myself these days. Jonah is 11 months old and not totally walking yet. But he is taking up to 8 steps at a time before falling, and he’s cruising like a madman as long as he has something to hold on to.

Naturally, this means he is into everything.

And I do mean everything.

Which means that the rest of the family find ourselves re-learning what to do, and what not to do, with a toddler in the house. And the Top Ten Lessons from recent weeks are…

10. Anything up to three feet above the floor is fair game. If he can’t figure out how to get it, he will keep trying til he makes a way. So don’t come crying to me if your spelling book got gnawed, or your glasses are warped, or that cookie you sat on the end table is gone.

9. Put empty or near-empty baby bottles in the sink as soon as he’s finished. Because if you don’t, he’ll knock it off the table, shove it under the sofa, then pull it out in a day or two when the contents are like cottage cheese and stink to high heaven. (Praise the Lord I have always caught him before one of those made it into his mouth!)

8. Ditto our own drinking glasses. I learned this one tonight, when he reached beside me after a nursing session, swiped my glass of water, and dumped half of it all over me. I put it back on the table, changed my clothes, and forgot about the cup until ten minutes later, when he cruised over to it and I caught him pouring the rest of the water into my chair cushion.

7. Ponytails are a mom’s best friend. Because long hair is a toddler”s favorite pull toy. And earrings? They’re sparkly little targets for perfecting his pincer grasp.

6. Baby board books aren’t for reading—they’re for chewing. Silly adults!

5. By 11 months, a baby knows full-well what the word “No” means. He doesn’t obey it, but he knows enough to crumple into a heap of despair when you say it sternly. And then he smiles and tries the “no-worthy” action again. And again. To see if you really mean it. And then he doesn’t believe that you mean it, because he tries it again.

4. He doesn’t care if we think our big ol’ feet are stinky, dirty things. He thinks they make delightful teething objects. They are also great fun to run over while zipping around the house in a walker. Because our yelling out in pain never fails to make him giggle.

3. When you’re a toddler, sleep is for sissies. Toddlers must sign a pact to not go to sleep easily, under any circumstance, and work to make sure that their parents get precious little of it, too.

2. Baby food is for BABIES. And silverware is for wimps. Jonah demands that we bring on lots of real food, whatever we’re eating, shoveled in with his own fists, fast.

And the #1 thing I’ve learned from Jonah lately:

1. Third babies are the best at teaching parents how to relax and just enjoy this stage of madness. I may be soggy, tired, sore and busy, but holy cow, am I happy!

For more Top Ten Tuesday posts (and let me tell you—there are some good ones this week!) check out Amanda’s Blog!

2 replies on “Top Ten Tuesday: Lessons from Toddler Boot Camp”

  1. I can soooooooooo relate to comment #1!!!! 🙂 As for walking, Miriam is 8 months old & NOT allowed to walk & cruise. I will push her down if she even attempts it!!! LOL!!! 🙂

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