"The soul is healed by being with children." -Fyodor Dostoevsky, The Idiot
Well... true, I have had profound healing from being with my kids, but I don't think those words were written with the toddler years in mind.
The 20 Signs You Live With a Toddler:
1. You've learned that when a toddler says "No" it means, "No and stop, and right now, and give it to me, and it's mine, and I'll do it anyway."
2. You've also learned that when you say "No" it means, "Yes, keep asking or do it anyway."
3. Your car, oh your poor car.
4. You find makeup between couch cushions nicely combined with ground-up crackers.
5. You start talking in the third person with no pronouns ever. "Sally wants a snack? Mommy will get Sally a snack. Sally, sit right there while Mommy gets Sally a snack."
6. You start talking to your husband in the same way. "Daddy wants to watch Breaking Bad? OK, let Mommy finish what Mommy is doing so Mommy can watch Breaking Bad with Daddy."
7. You have half-eaten snacks on the bottom of your bag.
8. Every piece of fruit in the house has a small bite out of it.
9. You know every lyric to every Disney song since the '50s.
10. You always have at least one particle of food somewhere on you.
11. Silence is a warning that it's about to get real.
12. It feels like a special occasion when you get to go to the bathroom by yourself.
13. Grocery shopping alone can only be compared to a spa day.
14. You yell "Doggy!" every time you see one, even when you are alone.
15. You have learned to interpret a foreign language. "Wan ha ah pizzle bop bop" easily translates to, "Mother, I would like a pretzel while I sit down to enjoy my favorite show."
16. There are hand marks and sticky spots covering the bottom two feet of every wall.
17. You've broken three toes on the baby gate.
18. You immediately start to childproof any house you walk into besides your own.
19. Your iPhone has run out of space because of all the kid apps and toddler selfies.
20. You've discovered negotiating with a toddler about going to bed is harder than anything you have ever done. Ever.
What did I miss?
I would love to hear how having a toddler has changed your life, home, body and mind in both the good and bad ways. You can chime in with your own toddler stories using the hashtag #thetoddlerhouse on social networks.
Photo of Jennifer Latch by Marcy Maloy