I don’t know any moms who expect to navigate parenthood without worrying. When it comes to parenting a toddler — when are hearts are literally running around the house, bumping into things, and jumping off of furniture — it can feel like those worries increase exponentially. However, I take comfort in knowing (or, at least, assuming) I’m not alone, and that there are some weird things all toddler moms worry about. There has to be, right? There are some universal toddler-parenting experiences that pretty much require us to lose sleep. Some are related to their wellbeing, some relate to our parenting, and some relate to when we’ll get the rest of our lives back.
Thanks to a level-headed, logical partner who understands that sometimes it just helps to hear someone else say the reality of a situation out loud, I have someone to balance out my illegitimate fears. When I think my kid might be poisoned, my partner replies with a calm, “I’m sure this weird, inexplicable stain on his shirt is probably raspberry jam and not some poisonous substance he came in contact with while in the safety of our toddler-proofed home." When I lament about my inability to sit still for two seconds and enjoy some peace and quiet, my partner reassures me with something like, “I’m sure that, someday, we’ll be able to watch Netflix again.”
However, I’m not trying to downplay my own feelings, because some of them really just are legitimate. For example, here’s a few things that, as of late, have given me pause:
You'll Say Something Inappropriate In Front Of Your Kid
I don’t have the worst of potty mouths, but I’m, uh, prone to slip-ups every now and again, particularly when my coffee has sloshed onto the carpet or I’ve dropped something I fully intended to eat. While I’ve been lucky in this area so far, my son already manages to put together questionable sentences with a G-rated vocabulary, so I can only imagine what’s in store if and when he ever picks up saltier language.
What Their Weird Dreams Mean
I can still count on one hand the number of dreams my 2-year-old toddler has explained to me, but each one is more baffling then the next. When I was a teenager, I pined over glorious dream decoder dictionaries, but I never actually followed through and bought one. I’m kinda glad that this is an area I actually know very little about. since I’m not sure I want to know what dreams of wolves and giants actually mean.
They’ll Grow Out Of The Snuggles Too Soon
OK, there’s pretty much no way around this one. I worry not because I wonder if it’s going to happen, more like when it’s going to happen. I’m just trying to enjoy them while I can (and trying to figure out a way to bottle up and forever save the smell of the top of his head).
Their Shoes Are Too Small And They Can't Tell You
I’ve checked, and rechecked, and done my best to discern for myself. As far as I can tell, my toddler's shoes fit just fine. However, he literally has shoes of three different sizes in rotation, and I know that something’s gotta give. While they’re different brands and sizes can vary, and they get broken in, that’s, well, a lot of size variation. The smallest ones (that he's rather attached to) are currently hiding in the laundry room, so we'll see if he notices
Your Answers To The Endless “Why?” Questions Are Insufficient
My son’s only been at the “Why?” stage for a few weeks now, so I can only assume my patience will wear thinner and thinner on this one. I think my record so far is perhaps a string of five or six “why?” questions, but who’s counting?
The Same Things All Moms Worry About
I don’t think the fact that the color of my son’s body fluids is a focus of my attention is unique to me or to the fact that he’s 2. I also don’t think the fears I harbor about the current political climate, global warming, and whether or not he’ll ever truly appreciate Harry Potter the same way I do, are unique to his age. Being a mom forces you to face and predict all kinds of crazy scenarios that you never imagined, so it’s only fair that the worries evolve, no matter their age.
They Won't Be Able To Make Friends
So far, most other kids and their parents are pretty receptive to my son's cheerful style of greeting them and then following them around as they explore the big toys or hunt for squirrels (I’m sure the fact that he’s super-cute helps). Still, as endearing as his approach to friendship is, I often find myself wondering how it may change as he gets older.
They'll Never Eat Anything But The Three Things They Agree To Eat
I’ve never met an adult with such a limited palate, so fingers crossed that’s a good sign. Though, I look forward to the day we can serve up legit meals that are more than finger foods and dipping sauces.
You'll Never Get The Chance To Enjoy Your Favorite Show In Peace
Can I be selfish for a second? There is so much TV I’m desperate to see, as well as a number of old favorites I’ve sadly missed since my son came around (shout-out to The Bachelor franchise, in all it’s hot-tubbing, rose-peddling glory). Granted, some of this has to do with my own choices about how I handle my limited free time, but I also blame some of it on the fact that during my son’s waking hours, we’re attempting to limit screen time. When we do offer it, it’s age-appropriate programming and nothing that requires us to shield his eyes (like most of my favorites would require, sigh). Someday I’ll figure out whatever game that the thrones are playing, or what kind of lies actually are both big and little. In the meantime, you’ll find me humming along to The Backyardigans.
Their Impromptu Gymnastics Will Lead To Injury
Is it normal for a 2 year old to teach himself how to somersault off the couch into a pile of pillows? Asking for a friend. On a totally unrelated, completely separate note, if anyone needs me, I’ll just be over here, researching toddler gyms in my area and trying to figure out safe ways to channel my son’s boundless energy.