Listen, I love my son so much that is literally makes me ache sometimes. In my eyes, he is perfect and brilliant (OK, that's not true, but you get what I mean), and I marvel at his fascination with life every day. That’s not to say that there aren’t moments when I want to hide in the linen closet and beat my head against a wall on a daily basis though. Toddlers are tough. They're awesome and worth the bullshit, but you guys, that bullshit is so real.
As a person who has a uterus, I am accustomed to the emotional nightmare that my hormones subject me to monthly, so when my toddler has the occasional irrational outburst, I feel like I can relate on some level. Like, I feel you, little friend. Let your feels run free. Do you. I respect your journey. However, the daily meltdowns that my two year old experiences are beginning to lean towards lunacy. There are only so many demands that I can reasonably accommodate before I start fantasizing about diving face first into a jug full of sweet bourbon. (I don't even know where one would procure a "jug" of bourbon, but I've given it a lot of thought during those quiet moments, hiding in the linen closet.)
I just don’t understand why making him wear pants has to involve enough running around the house to burn 400 calories. I don’t get why Cheerios were happily and voluntarily consumed on Monday, but on Tuesday, they’re more-than-adequate reason for rebellion and are better used as a form of whole-grain ammunition. I understand that the Terrible Two’s are a real thing, and that Threenagers are real, and usually we navigate the rapids seamlessly; but there are days when my two year older literally cannot even.
He’s got a meltdown especially reserved for every day of the week..
Monday: I Cut His Chicken Nuggets So He Wouldn't Choke And Die (You're Welcome, By The Way)
So, I cut his chicken nuggets into perfect bite-sized proportions so as to reduce the risk of choking because the kid eats like a ravenous scavenger. These pieces are the reason why the Heimlich Maneuver is not a usual part of our nightly routine. For that same reason, my son refused to eat and sat in his high chair in protest long enough to put him at risk of bed sores. Chicken not cut = Great, awesome, will eat. That same goddamn chicken, cut into pieces = I am evil and clearly hate my child and want him to starve because obviously this chicken is not edible.
Tuesday: Pull-Ups Didn't Endorse The Correct Character
My son loves Cars so much that his only bedtime request is that his toy tow truck “Maymer” — aka “Mater” — joins him for his slumber. That’s fine. However, when his bare butt is running around in refusal like a pantless banshee because his nighttime Pull-Up has Mickey Mouse on it instead of Lightning McQueen, it is slightly less tolerable.
Wednesday: His Shadow Was Following Him
It was a beautiful sunny day, so I decided to get the kids out of the house for some good, old-fashioned vitamin D. We were having a great time swinging at the park until my son’s punk-ass shadow started following him everywhere, triggering both panic and frustration for him. It’s not the first time that the two of them have met, so I’m assuming that his shadow had to have been up to no good to merit my toddler’s version of angry, made-up baby profanity. (I honestly have no idea what the hell my kid was saying, but the anger in his voice leads me to believe that it couldn't have been appropriate language.)
Thursday: I Washed His Disgusting Goddamn Stuffed Rabbit, Which I Refuse To Apologize For
There is a stuffed bunny in our house that my son has proudly dubbed his road dog. His name is “Woof Woof.” Yes, his bunny is named after a bark. What the fuck ever. I don't care. Fine. Anyway, Woof Woof goes everywhere, so he often falls victim to the elements of toddlerhood. He smells like old cheese and fingers, and I am forced to kiss him goodnight at bedtime. Woof Woof gets a weekly bath that causes my son an extremely debilitating anxiety. While the bunny is in spin cycle, my son nervously paces back and forth down the hall like the concerned parent that he is. When Woof Woof returns so fresh and so clean, my son feels both relieved and betrayed, like there’s the scent of another human on him. Cue meltdown.
Friday: He Hated Florida Georgia Line And Loved Sharpees
What can I say? My son loves him some blues music. He may not know how to whip or nae-nae just yet, but if he hears BB King he will shake his ass like nobody’s business. Recently, Florida Georgia Line was playing on Good Morning America. Let’s just say that my son was... not a fan of the performance. He quickly covered his ears, ran out of the room screaming, and refused to return until I changed the channel. It’s safe to say that “bro country” is a taste he’s unwilling to acquire. I can't say I'm mad about this, but like, his coping skills about bad music leave a lot to be desired.
Friday, I should mention, was a special two-meltdown day. Yeah, I know, I'm too blessed.
So later that same day, he decided to have arts and crafts time on his 9-month-old brother’s face — with a Sharpee. Having had his artistic spirit crushed, he fled in anguish as soon as I removed said Sharpee from his thieving hands. And while his art skills were impressive, his brother looked like he had eyebrow tattoos for two days.
Saturday: I Had To Tell Him That Dog Food Is Not Part Of The Food Pyramid
I appreciate the fact that my son is a willing participant in household chores but he is, perhaps, slightly over-enthused about feeding our dog. Maybe it’s because he sees me taking bites of his food as I try to convince him that asparagus is “sooooo yummy” (or that the cut-up chicken is completely fucking fine to eat) but our dog requires very little persuasion when it comes to what he puts in his mouth. After removing multiple pieces of partially chewed Purina from my son’s mouth, he collapsed in the middle of the floor famished and defeated. I know what you’re thinking: My kid won’t eat pieces of cut up chicken nuggets but he’ll eat dog food? I know. Don't start.
Sunday: There Wasn't Enough Juice In His Juice
Anyone with a toddler knows that meal-time battles cause enough stress and anxiety to make us want to seek counseling and/or a handle (OK, jug, again) of vodka. Like many, I try relentlessly to expand my toddler’s narrow pallet in a nutritious and edible manner. Also, like many, I fall short of this daily. My pediatrician has advised me that juice, though sometimes beneficial, is also filled with empty calories. For this reason, I give my son 75% water mixed with about 25% juice. This tactic worked great until he visited with his great grandparents and discovered what 100% of that sugary sweetness actually tastes like. Now, when I pour his juice he eyeballs my pouring and stares me down until we reach an agreeable limit. If said limit is not reached, the refrigerator falls victim to toddler ninja moves.
Images: whosjo_mama/Instagram; Giphy(7)