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If My Toddler Kept a Journal

My baby, Stella, is now 16 months old, a toddler already. And you know how toddlers are: Though they’re still developing those verbal skills, sometimes it’s not too difficult to know what they want, and what they’re thinking. I often wonder what Stella’s daily journal would look like, if she could write or type (after all, Doogie Howser, did it). Here’s a sample of what I think it might say.

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4/1/14

I pooped in my grandma’s potted succulents collection today. APRIL FOOLS!

We are at my grandparents’ house for a few days. My mom and older brother decided to take a spontaneous road trip to visit them. I personally think it’s because they were spooked by the latest earthquakes we were having in L.A. and wanted to avoid “the big one.” I tried to convey to them in a series of consonant sounds, “Don’t run from your fears.” But then I’d only be making myself a target for hypocrisy accusations because, the vacuum cleaner.

I love being here with my grandma and grandpa. They give me whatever I want. And sometimes I don’t even have to ask for it. It’s like they read my mind. This morning, just to test their mind-reading skills, I stood in front of the pantry for four seconds, and they immediately got me a handful of marshmallows. It’s downright spiritual, our connection. Meanwhile, my mom’s over there cutting up carrots for me, totally clueless.

4/2/14

We drove back to L.A. today. Since my dad is out of town, my mom did all the driving, which was scary. She’s always bragging about her driving skills, saying things like, she grew up on a farm and can drive a truck … yada, yada, yada. I may only be 16 months old, but I have to think that shouting with angry face at every car in front of her and muttering “oosh bag” under her breath are not skills but more a sign of high blood pressure. And in case you were wondering, seven hours in a car is a toddler’s living hell. I’m strapped into an old food-encrusted chair for seven hours. OF COURSE I’m going to cry for five of those. One hour crying was because I was uncomfortable. Two hours was because I NEVER got what I wanted at those gas stations (beef jerky and toilet-shaped ashtray). And two hours was out of sheer boredom.

Where does a 16-month-old have to go to get a horsey ride?

4/3/14

I spent most of today trying to break free from the prison I call clothes. Why must I wear them? Not only do they cage me with their mostly cotton madness and rub against my skin all day but, to get them on and off, I must lose the ability to breathe for at least three seconds; only to trust that I’ll come out of it all alive while my mom hastily and rather carelessly pulls them over my head. My mom doesn’t seem to understand my plight. She points to her clothes with a smug look and says something about how she has to wear clothes, too. OK, mom. When you are forced to wear smocking and bodysuits and clothing donning ridiculous things like ballerinas and a kitty named Hello, THEN we’ll talk.

4/9/14

It’s been a little while since I wrote in my journal. Partly because my attention span is about the same as a baby golden retriever’s, but mostly because my mom does most things in her power to keep sharp objects, such as pens and pencils, away from me. It’s actually really artistically and emotionally stifling both knowing that I am being kept from fully expressing myself on paper and also knowing that she has little faith in my motor skills and judgment. This probably has something to do with the incident in which I tried to shove the chopstick I found on the floor into the electrical outlet. If my mom had really been using her brain, however, she would have realized that lacquer is a really poor conductor of electricity. OK, now I’m bored and don’t feel like writing anymore. Bye.

4/10/14

My dad gets home from his business trip today. It was weird not seeing him for so long. I’ll be honest: He’s a lot nicer than my mom. He more readily answers my requests (e.g., giving in). And, let’s face it, he has a MUCH nicer sounding voice than my mom. His British accent and choice of words always have him sounding like Remington Steele. Meanwhile, she’s over there sounding like a cross between Gary Busey and Roseanne Barr. Anyhoo, I’m super excited to show my dad my new tricks, which includes how much I’ve grown in three weeks and some really impressive vocab words which can’t be pointed out and showcased enough. I may just wake up in the middle of the night to spend more time with dad. My mom has suggested that to me, even.

4/11/14

My dad has been home for a day now, and he’s been sleeping more than my favorite stuffed cat. He tells me that it’s this thing called “jet lag.” I don’t care what it is; he’s been gone for three weeks, and I want some damn horsey rides. My mom doesn’t seem very sympathetic, either. She said she has “waking-up-with-the-baby-for-three-weeks lag.” Where does a 16-month-old have to go to get a horsey ride?

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4/12/14

Today we went to the beach for some family time. My dad and brother played rugby while my mom tried to make a sand castle with me. But I just wanted to feed those big white birds my Pirate’s Booty. They were REALLY hungry, those birds. And I ate some sand. It was a pretty fun day.

Someday I’ll show Stella this, and we’ll probably laugh. And she’ll tell me that maybe it’s what she was really thinking. And then she’ll go write in her journal about how she thinks her mother is bat sh*t crazy.

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