My daughter is now 18 months old, so I am getting into the
thick of the toddler phase. And as much
as I LOVE it, I’m also getting my ass kicked. Anyone who has or has had a toddler knows that the toddler phase is intense. In fact, it’s so intense that it may serve
parents well to prepare for this stage in advance. Here are some tips for gearing up for the
You need to build strength, endurance,
flexibility and discipline to meet the physical demands of enduring a toddler
tantrum, picky eating, and the hellish nightmare that is the bedtime ritual
(with “ritual” being loosely defined).
2. Master the Skill of Meditation
Practice finding peace amidst chaos, letting
stress and negative energy flow through you leaving you unbothered, unscathed. Train yourself to not lose your shit over
Caillou, that annoying Canadian cartoon character whose voice is clearly a lady
in her early 40s named Deirdre.
3. Work on Your Will Power
Work on your ability to be immune to your
toddler’s pleas to rescue her from the crib. Maybe even strengthen your will power and
practice your conviction on a fluffy, big-eyed puppy. You must be able to avoid caving for
cuteness. You must be able to withstand
cries for help in the cutest damn voice you have ever heard. She will call your name, she will say “peez,” she will say peez and your name together. Then she will throw herself dramatically against the side of the crib or
simply bang her head against the slats to appeal to your sympathetic side. She will pull out all the stops, and not easily
back down. You need to prepare for
hard core face-offs.
4. Train in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu
Or any other martial arts discipline which
teaches you how to spar.
5. Prepare to be Able to Function in a Next to Comatose State
You must learn to be
able to operate a vehicle, have coherent conversations, use knives and other
sharp utensils with which to cook, and also be able to chase down and catch
your daughter before she throws your favorite lip gloss in the toilet. And you must be capable of doing any and all
of that being only half-lucid.
It’s so cute that you die.
6. Learn how to push a fully-loaded grocery cart
throughout a grocery store with one hand while holding a lurching, spasmodic 30-pound human in the other arm while remembering to avoid the snacks aisle.
7. Prepare to Nearly Die From Cuteness
Toddlers are not just cute, they are friggin’
adorable. And sometimes when you see
their chub cheeks and hear that cherubic giggle, it’s overwhelming. It’s so cute that you die. Like, you can’t go
8. Polish Your Psychic Abilities
So that you can
anticipate and dodge forceful head lunges to your face and sleep kicks to your
9. Learn how to strap a child with a stiffly arched
back into a car seat.
10. Learn How to Say “NO!”
Practice the word. Say it into the mirror. Become one with the word.
Get used to it mocking you and
repeating everything you say. Become
aware of how you occasionally speak like a gangster rapper using the “F” word
way too much before you have it pointed out in a painfully jarring way when you
hear your toddler say it.
12. Go to a Tony Robbins Seminar
giant within. You need to believe that
you can do it. Although walking on coals
is NOTHING compared to getting a toddler to put on her shoes.
13. Listen to Tapes of Goats Being Slaughtered
Like the ones the FBI uses for torture methods. Condition yourself to hours of endless torture that is children’s music.
Costco Supplies of Magic Eraser
At least one for every crayon in the box.
15. Practice Keeping Your Cool
Especially in front of strangers in a public place when your toddler
drops your cell phone into your coffee or throws her cream cheese bagel into
the lap of the man eating at the next table over.
for the Endorphin Surges
This will happen repeatedly when your toddler spontaneously
kisses or hugs you and increasingly is able to show you love.