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7 Toddler Milestones Nobody Warns You About

Photograph by Twenty20

Remember thinking that your newborn baby was so complicated? How do I get her to sleep? Is she eating enough? Is she gassy? Why is she making that face? Then you look back and realize what an idiot you were, because babies are the easiest thing ever. Especially when compared to toddlers.

I thought I understood what to expect from toddlerhood, but in reality it's so much more than just walking, talking and the occasional tantrum. If there was an owner’s manual for toddlers (and there really should be), it would include warnings about the following totally unexpected and WTF toddler milestones.

Climbing Out of the Crib

Your toddler sleeps in a cozy jail known as a crib, so how the hell did he get into your bed? Once this dreaded milestone arrives, nighttime gets a whole lot more challenging. Be sure to wear your Fitbit, since you’re guaranteed to log 10,000 steps walking your little monkey back to his room all night long, like Lionel Ritchie.

Stripping Off Diapers

Your toddler figures how to work those sticky tabs and suddenly it’s bye-bye diaper, hello poop on the floor. I’ve had friends resort to duct tape to keep those suckers on their tushies. I won't tell CPS if you don't.

Getting Huge

One day, you hoist your toddler onto your hip and OMG he seems to have gained 10 pounds overnight. Yet, if you try to get him to hold your hand and walk two blocks, he’s all, “I’m just a baby—carry me!” It will take weight training, massage and possibly physical therapy to ride out this phase.

You will say things like "inside voices" and "too loud" and "shhhh!" and it will not make any difference, because who could possibly hear you over all that shrieking?

Biting You

Apparently, your thigh meat is really tasty, because your toddler just walked up and sank her teeth into it. Or maybe she’s not into biting, but she’s kicking you or slapping you in the face. It’s her way of saying “I’m mad that you’re not letting me eat ice cream for breakfast and I thought this would be the fastest way of explaining that.” Expect to feel a sense of loss as you realize your perfect baby is actually a sociopath.

Throwing Down

Every toddler makes like Sir Issac Newton, Jr. rediscovering the laws of gravity and using your home as their personal laboratory. Hey, cool! If I knock over this glass of milk, it spills. I wonder what will happen to that potted plant if I hurl it down the stairs? On the plus side, thanks to Toddler the Destroyer, your home will look as minimalist chic as HGTV because you won’t be able to keep any objects on surfaces anymore.

Screaming for Sport

It's so awesome when they learn to talk. It's much less awesome when they try to break glass with their vocal stylings. You will say things like "inside voices" and "too loud" and "shhhh!" and it will not make any difference, because who could possibly hear you over all that shrieking?

Refusing Containment

All the tools of your mom trade—from high chairs and shopping carts to strollers and push trikes—are suddenly rendered useless because your toddler wants "Up! Out! Now!" and isn't afraid to express her displeasure loudly. Forget about running errands for a while (unless you want to experience the joy of a pantless toddler rolling cans of beans down aisle 5) and be glad we live in an era of Amazon Prime. If only we could one-click some Xanax.

Good luck, toddler moms!

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