Life with a Toddler

Luke is 1 year, 9 months old. He’s a funny toddler that enjoys cookies and, oddly enough, raw onions. His favorite pastime is pushing our Roomba around the house and turning it on and off.

When he isn’t running around the house with his stuffed animals or rolling a toy car across the floor while making car noises with his mouth, he’s laying down the law with Angela and I. He’s a ball of energy and angst.

These aren’t things you typically hear when someone is describing their family members. It is, however, to be expected when the subject is a toddler.

Toddlers Get into Trouble Quickly and Often

Being in a room with a toddler is a lot like being in one with a wild chimp. They climb all over everything, run around aimlessly, and try to play with every object within reach – no matter how dangerous.

Toddlers are strange people. They’re old enough to understand how to get into trouble, but too young to understand when it should be avoided. Luke will grab a glass container if one is within reach, not knowing that his playful tossing could result in broken glass and possibly stitches.

Luke regularly gets himself into jams, and more often than not, Angela or I are there to prevent him from getting hurt. But, even with us watching him like a hawk, it takes a second or two for him to find trouble and dive into it with both feet.

Over a period of one minute, Luke has pulled two power cords out of the wall, jumped on the couch, and knocked over a half-dozen objects sitting on an end table.

Time Goes By Very Quickly

When Luke turned 1, we thought the whirlwind of parenthood was largely in control. What surprised me about his second year is how quickly time is passing by with the routines of life with a toddler.

We wake up in the morning just in time to take him to his Grandmother’s house, then come home with him after work with just enough time to feed, bathe, and put him to bed. Two hours after he goes to bed, so do we. That gives us a solid two hours to do all the things we used to spend five or six hours doing in the evening.

Weeks pass in what feels like days. The only thing outpacing the passing of time is his growth. It feels as though he grows by inches each week.

Separation Anxiety is Real

Every time my wife leaves the room, Luke panics. Not just a little bit, he goes into a full-blown scream fest.

This is a common situation with toddlers. Apparently, they’re just starting to get used to being an independent person and part of them rebels against being away from their parent of choice. They feel comfortable with that person in the room.

Distracting Luke from the fact that his mother has gone into another room for a few minutes is a real challenge. Sometimes, it can be as easy as putting on his favorite show. Other times, nothing short of a miracle will work.

Everything that is Yours is His

If you want to give yourself a real challenge, try doing anything on your phone, tablet, or laptop within reach of your toddler. He will climb up the side of a mountain to get to your device and take over whatever it is you’re doing.

Want to eat something around him? Even if he has the exact same item in his hands, he will throw a tantrum until you give him your treat. Everything is better if it belongs to someone else.

The Good Times are Really Good

Despite all the frustrations that come with raising a toddler, the good times absolutely outweigh it all.

Every day, Luke learns something new. He surprises us by singing along with songs we didn’t know he knew the words to. He says new things and makes new noises that have remarkably humorous timing.

Despite all the thrown food, temper tantrums, and broken objects, life with a toddler is as rewarding as it is insane.

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Ryan Matthew Pierson