I spend most of my days domesticating feral humans. I didn’t expect this to be the main portion of my stay-at-home-mom job description, but here we are. Babies are born with no social awareness, and it’s my job to give them that expected social construct.
Little kids don’t know you’re supposed to say “excuse me” (and/or laugh hysterically) when you pass gas or “poot” (our word, though potentially not yours). They don’t know how to sit quietly in church or to wipe a booger discretely on your pants (my husband’s recommendation to our son when George tries to hand him a booger). They’re bad at being modest when they leave the bathroom, and they like to say inappropriate things in the grocery store using their outside voices. Good times had by all, to be sure.
Basically, I find myself asking them, “Why would you do that?” over and over and over.
Then I remind myself: “They truly don’t know any better and surely (SURELY!) (Ahem. Don’t call me Shirley!) this is only a short phase!”
I also find a certain level of predictability in the 3-and-under crowd. I lie to myself all the time, pretending they won’t do the thing that I know they’re going to do. I’ve decided to keep a record of these “laws,” which my kids abide by unswervingly.
Five Laws of the Littles
If you do it once at bedtime, you’ll have to do it every night for the rest of your life.
And this is how I got sucked into the time vortex that is the toddler bedtime routine. About six months ago, we ended up with a whole post-bath saga:
PJs, socks, book, Bible, sing the states song while pretending the stuffed rabbit was hopping on him, sing the ABC song with a different stuffed animal (if he laughed, he’d get the hiccups, and that was a whole extra issue), prayers, kisses from every stuffed animal (five slept in his toddler bed), hugs from every stuffed animal, hugs and kisses from Mama, turn on sound machine…
And, of course, he’d come out asking for a sip of water 30 seconds later.
If you briefly consider that she may put something in her mouth, she absolutely will. Every time.
My sweet baby girl is still in the must-taste-everything phase. George was playing with coins at her age, and I didn’t think twice (first-time-mom naiveté?) Olivia would swallow a tollbooth’s worth in eight seconds flat.
If you think she’ll never find it to put it into her mouth, you are wrong.
Alternatively, if you think you’ve baby-proofed enough, think again, because, for a determined baby girl, where there’s a will, there’s a way.
He’ll only want that deserted snack after you’ve eaten it.
This happens to me All. The. Time. Maybe it’s because I tend to stuff my face too quickly? I’m like, “Hey, man, if you run off to go down a slide and leave a handful of Goldfish, those are fair game.”
If you stay up past your bedtime, your children will inevitably wake up in the middle of the night.
I’m about to get bitten by this one. However, it’s the weekend, and I will, once again, convince myself that I can get a nap tomorrow if I don’t get my full eight hours tonight (hopefully not during the sermon!).
And so, there you have it. Even with all of the unpredictability of a little kid’s life, here are five tried-and-true laws by which they abide (at least for today. And potentially tomorrow). Now, I need to hit the hay before #5 comes true. Though, since it’s a factual law of the toddler world, I’m guessing it’ll come true regardless.
What are some laws you’ve noticed with your kids? I’d love to hear them to prepare!