Ten Signs You Might Be the Parent of a Toddler.

Given the standard issue puffy eyes, disheveled hair and shirts stained with spit-up, it’s always easy to spot a new mom. But I thought once Tori passed infanthood, my momness would become less apparent. I was wrong. It’s easy to tell I’m the parent of a toddler—and here’s how.

Whatever my toddler ate for lunch ends up wiped on my shoulder. I thought spit-up was bad. Turns out those stains are easy peasy to get out compared to chocolate pudding and strawberry jam.

I am a booger picking machine. Not my own, of course. But when I see one of those little green buggers peeking out from Tori’s nose? I swoop in for the kill—even if we’re sitting at the table in a nice restaurant (I kid. I can’t remember the last time I saw the inside of a nice restaurant).

I know all the names of the Sesame Street characters by heart. And not just the obvious ones, like Elmo and Big Bird. No, I can name minor characters, like Slimy, and Barkley. And even the humans (Maria has the best singing voice).

8 a.m is sleeping in. I never thought I’d see the day when I automatically woke up before 7 a.m. But now that I’m on Tori’s schedule, I do. If I open my eyes at any point after 7:45, I feel positively lazy. I don’t think I could even force myself to stay in bed till 10 anymore.

I automatically cut food into teensy tiny pieces. And not just Tori’s. Nope, every time I sit down with a fork and knife in my hands, I find myself chopping things into micro-bits. So far, I’ve refrained from cutting up my adult companions’ food for them. But I’m afraid there will come a day that I forget.

I walk with a slightly lopsided gait. Holding the hand of a 32-inch person while keeping your posture even isn’t possible—even for a shorty like me. Now I often find myself stooping ever so slightly to the left, whether she’s with me or not.

My purse holds everything but lipstick. Right now, I’m carrying a small book (featuring Elmo, of course), a sippy cup, two smushed granola bars, and a few stray crayons. There’s also a couple boogered tissues, a half-eaten cookie and a rock that she picked up during a walk. But my lipstick? Is usually in my computer bag.

I don’t know the words to any of the songs on Billboard’s Top 20, but I have a favorite Wiggles song. It’s “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing,” in case you wondered.

I have a new appreciation for a closed bathroom door. I never realized how nice it was to be able to take a leisurely poop in private—without a toddler screaming “MOMMMY!” like her heart is breaking. Now every bathroom trip is done as speedily as possible—preferably during a long Sesame Street segment.

I have added  amateur wrestler, terrorist negotiator and translator to my resume. Somewhere between getting her dressed in the morning, coaxing a few bites of food down her throat at lunch and identifying what stuffed friends need to bed down with her at night, I have added a whole new skill set to my repetoir. Those terrible twos? Are definitely a learning experience.

Those are all the ways I know I’m the parent of a toddler. What are yours?

16 Comments on Ten Signs You Might Be the Parent of a Toddler.

  1. Meagan
    March 8, 2011 at 9:36 pm (5 years ago)

    Chris came home from work the other day to tell me that his boss had a laugh at him because he had cheerios inhia laptop bag courtesy of the boys.

    And I hear you on the sleep. We have the boys trained to play until 7:30 when the alarm goes off. I have a terrible time sleeping later than 7:45.

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 9, 2011 at 11:42 am (5 years ago)

      But oh, how I miss those sleepy mornings…I have learned to embrace the nap instead.

      Reply
  2. Rebecca
    March 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm (5 years ago)

    I like the pooping in private part because if my son catches me pooping he rushes to the bathroom and stands right next to me and puts his tiny hand on my back and says, “I know, mommy. You can do it. Good job” in such a soothing tone. I’ve actually grown to like these times.

    I also find myself saying things like, “We do not kiss the car. Stop licking the car!”

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 9, 2011 at 11:42 am (5 years ago)

      A cheerleader. Everyone needs one of those!

      Reply
  3. Gail
    March 8, 2011 at 9:53 pm (5 years ago)

    “Not for kids” is big in our house. As in…”Sam, knives are not for kids.”
    Taking longer to make dinner with more of mess b/c “I help”.
    I swore I would not be that mom with Cheerios in her car, but yet I am. And I found one in my purse this morning.
    Also? Forgetting why you walked up the stairs, and asking the toddler why I did so. And she can tell me, b/c I just told her.
    Oh…and posting videos of said toddler on my blog.
    I am the proud parent of a toddler:)

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 9, 2011 at 11:41 am (5 years ago)

      Oh yeah. I’m always forgetting why I went somewhere. Tori can’t tell me why yet – I look forward to the day when she can!

      Reply
  4. Sarah @ This Heavenly Life
    March 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm (5 years ago)

    Ha!! These are great :) I know I’m the mother of a toddler because my voice frequently takes on hugely dramatic shifts in tone and enunciation in order to coax desired activity out of my two-year-old. I sound doofy, and it works. Sometimes.

    I also know, because I’ve had to utter such phrases as “We do not take our panties off at the dinner table,” and “Please keep your tongue to yourself,” and “Don’t touch the cat’s bottom.” And I’ve done so with a straight face. Sometimes. :)

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 9, 2011 at 11:40 am (5 years ago)

      I laughed out loud at “we do not take our panties off at the table.” It’s amazing what comes out of your mouth, isn’t it?

      Reply
  5. Sara Butler
    March 9, 2011 at 8:27 am (5 years ago)

    I know I’m the parent of a toddler because I’ve managed to pick up rudimentary spanish from constantly watching episodes of Dora and Diego. Ayuda!

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 9, 2011 at 11:40 am (5 years ago)

      We’re not into Dora yet, but I’m sure it’s only a matter of time!

      Reply
  6. Stacey
    March 9, 2011 at 12:55 pm (5 years ago)

    My son is 8 and I still find myself cutting his food into teeny tiny pieces.

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 10, 2011 at 8:45 am (5 years ago)

      Ahhh. Good to know the habit doesn’t easily fade. Perhaps by the time they reach high school?

      Reply
  7. Melinda
    March 9, 2011 at 4:47 pm (5 years ago)

    I just found your blog and this post totally cracked me up!

    Oh, and my favorite Wiggles song is “The Shimmee Shake.”

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 10, 2011 at 8:45 am (5 years ago)

      So nice to meet you! That Wiggles song is a good one too. My least favorite is the dang “Big Red Car” song. How many times do we have to hear it?

      Reply
  8. BalancingMama (Julie)
    March 9, 2011 at 9:04 pm (5 years ago)

    My car CD changer is full of preschool tunes. I often sing along on my way to work, realizing a good 20 minutes later that my kid isn’t in the car anymore. And even then, sometimes I don’t bother to change the CD.

    Reply
    • Amber
      March 10, 2011 at 8:44 am (5 years ago)

      I loooove Family Time by Ziggy Marley. It’s always on my iPod! Nothing wrong with a dose of cheerful, ain’t-got-a-care-in-the-world music every now and then.

      Reply

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