It is a good thing toddlers are so cute, because they require a lot of work. They're at this age where they seem to be getting the hang of being a "big kid," but they still need you to do things like help them use the potty, change their diapers, and even fall asleep. You're saying goodbye to the last vestiges of their babyhood, so this stage can feel bittersweet. Still, all that hand-holding can get pretty annoying, which is why there are a lot of things no one actually likes doing with their toddler.
When I was pulling my hair out when my toddler needed me to hold him in my arms and sing "Hotel California" to him over and over for half an hour every night in order to just begin our bedtime routine, people would always tell me I was crazy. "You should cherish these moments," they would say, which is the biggest load of cliché bullsh*t ever. People whose kids were "grown up" would tell me they loved every moment of their child's toddlerhood. Yeah, sorry guys, but I don't believe you. Did you really love all that food smashing, sauce throwing, constant "why" asking, never sleeping, consistently defiant part of toddler life? Really?
I admit there is a whole lot to love about the toddler stage, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't be real about the stuff that is decidedly un-fun about toddlers. In the end, there are just some moments we moms don't particularly enjoy experiencing with our 2 or 3 year olds, including the following:
Staring At Them For Hours Until They Fall Asleep
Yes, those sweet moments of looking at your little cherub's face as they drift off to dreamland are priceless, and you still may cherish the fact that your kid needs you in order to fall asleep. They're only little once, right? Still, when they "need you" for upwards of two hours, it stops being cute.
Both of my sons were, and continue to be, horrible sleepers. When my now almost 3 year old was 2, I literally had to sit on his floor and stare at his face for almost two hours until he was in a solid sleep coma. If he so much as detected me bailing on him before the two hour mark, his eyes would dart open and he would be fully awake and I would have to start the whole damn routine all over again.
Sitting With Them While They Don't Actually Use The Potty For It's Intended Use
As a responsible parent, you know you're supposed to at least give your child the opportunity to practice sitting on the potty. You know that by sitting on the potty, there is the slim possibility that during one of these sittings there might actually be some number one or number two happening. But until that point, as the potty training mom you're just doing a whole lot of nothing while your toddler insists on throwing your entire roll of toilet paper in the bowl, square by tiny square, as the clock ticks by.
Pretending To Want To Drink "Tea" From The Bathwater
I like pretending to do "tea time" with my kids, but when my son was a toddler he didn't get that you don't actually drink the bathwater. I didn't have so much of a problem with him drinking the bathwater (that's on him) but he would throw a complete tantrum if I didn't drink the bathwater, too. He would put the cup of tepid, soapy water to my lips and watch me with the careful gaze of a parent administering medicine to her child, making sure he gets every drop. My toddler was no fool.
Fielding Inane Questions About Fictional Television Characters
If you've ever had the pleasure of watching a Disney movie, or cartoon, or any kind of show with fictional characters with your toddler, then you are likely very familiar with the kinds of unanswerable questions that arise about those characters. Questions like, "Why Ariel don't like the fork?" or "Where the teacups, mommy?"
You do your best to patiently come up with some kind of satisfying answer, but the toddler mind is buzzing at lightning speed. Nothing satiates the beast. Toddlers will continue to ask "why" until you've pushed past reason and are driven to drink.
Going To Any Kind Of Medical Appointment
I don't know any parent that enjoys taking their toddler to a medical appointment, and I can say with the utmost confidence that this is one of those parenting tasks that fills any mom with dread. If I wanted to guarantee myself a migraine of seismic proportions, all I needed to do was take my toddler to a doctor's appointment of any kind. Even if the doctor's visit wasn't even for him, and he was only accompanying his older brother, just stepping into the doctor's office would elicit a Pavlovian response along the lines of, "Get me the hell outta here!"
Taking Them To Restaurants
No one who takes their toddler to a restaurant is truly having a culinary experience or a relaxing night. I challenge anyone on social media who posts a picture of their toddler at dinner and tags it #datenight to tell me that's really what's happening. How can it be date night if someone is taking fistfuls of buttered noodles and smearing it over the iPhone you handed over in order to keep them relatively quiet?
Taking Them Any Place That Has Stairs
When a toddler meets stairs there is only one possible conclusion: they must climb the stairs. There is nothing that can come between a toddler and stairs, and an adult is the only person between the toddler and a trip to Urgent Care.
If I ever found myself in a place with stairs with my toddler, it meant that I would have to trade off with my husband so that one of us could be on "stair duty" while the other one stayed with our older son to do whatever it was we were supposed to be doing.
Going To The Park
Sure, the idea of going to the park sounds nice. I always pictured it the same way: me, idly checking my phone with a cup of coffee from my favorite nearby spot, my toddler busily pushing around one of those cars that has been growing black mold since three winters ago.
The reality? Me having to put my coffee down for one reason or another and eventually throwing it out because it would be ice cold by the time I got to have a sip, because my toddler would want nothing to do with anything on the playground that didn't require adult assistance. Forget the push car. Ugh.