There are SO many things that I have learned since having a toddler, but even more random things that I have learned that no one can really prepare you for or things that just seem to happen and you wonder, why did no one ever tell me these things before? So I have compiled a list of some of the things I have learned having a two year old.
1. Just turning 2 is too young to sign your kid up for a sport – wait until almost 3! – I signed Hailey up for ballet. I was totally tricked into it because she tried on the outfit and oh my god, how freakin cute! I paid the $200 for the whole summer and it came with the whole costume and shoes, and awesome. I am thinking what a great mom I am. Fast forward to the classes starting, she will not do the class. At all. We tried twice. They won’t give me a refund. Now I want to strangle this woman, but its not her fault, they are a small dance studio and they can’t always just refund people because their kids don’t like it. They said for me to hold off until she gets a little older and they will honor my payments I made already. Well thanks… you are SO GENEROUS. Fail.
2. Hand, Foot, Mouth Disease is the DEVIL.Literally. Hailey couldnt go to daycare for the entire week with these spots on her hands and at the same time, I couldn’t really bring her anywhere else because it was a highly contagious disease, so I almost had to keep her basically inside and just with me the whole week back and forth between my husband and myself covering days off of work and keeping her isolated! And sometimes one week is not enough!! It could be TWO! And there is no shot that will cause this not to happen. Gross.
3. Embrace Daycare. I cannot even stand having the conversation with people (teachers) who keep their kid home all summer long, but have relatives and friends with kids and siblings with kids who come over and hang out etc. I don’t have that, and I have no relatives around me to even watch her for like 2 hours even. So I say embrace daycare, they need to play! Yes, it is great to spend time with her and have mommy daughter time, but there is only so much in a day that we can do, every day, together, always, with no other people around. So for friendless mom’s like me, daycare is great because it offers kids there already for her to play with and I don’t have to host some weirdos from my complex in my house or watch other peoples kids for free.
4. Otter pops – For summer days, these are easy to use and cheap to buy. Hailey can hold them by herself, eat it by herself and all is good. As long as she understands about the whole spilling the juice out when it gets warm, then for the most part this is a successful, clean snack.
5. Scheduled Routines – HAVE THEM!!!!! There are so many moms out there that I have heard that can’t get their kid to sleep at night or they wake up super early or they wake up all night long etc. Since Hailey has was born, she had a schedule at night for bath, then sleep. Now that she is 2, an acceptable time for her to go to sleep is 8-9 the LATEST. It is ridiculous when people keep their kids up to all hours of the night and let them go to sleep whenever. Kids that young cannot handle having that type of responsibility because they ARE TWO YEARS OLD. So having a set bedtime and bathtime every day really helps with sleeping routines and if you value your sleep as much as I do, i am telling you it works. It does not mean that you have to be a time drill sergeant, but sticking in the general time frame really helps. SAME goes with naps.
6. If she is going to fall, she’s going to fall. I am definitely notorious for following my kid around the playground making sure she doesn’t get hurt but I am , slowly, realizing that I need to back off and if shes going to fall, she will and then she will learn from that. But if I continue to make the environment totally safe and hurt proof, I am not setting her up for what happens when I am not there and how to deal with that. I don’t want to be a helicopter mom, I think it causes kids to want to run the other direction towards what you are trying to protect them from because they are kids and don’t get it.
7. The “No” Stage Sucks. I will just put that out there. It sucks, its annoying, I hate it, and it drives me nuts. I keep going back and forth especially when trying to get her to share and she says “no, mine” then I am telling her it is ours, not your and not mine but ours and we share. I am repeating myself constantly but it has to happen. Again, this stage sucks!
8. Workout!! You will never get your pre-baby body back unless you actually workout and make an effort. Unless you were in the most amazing shape prior to having a baby, then it will be much harder to rebound. It took me a whole year to realize that I actually had to work hard at getting back in shape again, it couldn’t just happen overnight or ever if I just sat around doing nothing.
I hope some of these tips can help you. I know for kid 2 i will be well prepared and I will already have the experience, but right now sometimes I just feel like an idiot because I didn’t know these things or was not prepared.