Lesson : if a toddler barks are you, bark back. If a toddler gives you a wet sloppy kiss, accept it. It a toddler offers you an imaginary bite of cake off of a play spoon, do not, I repeat, do not put that spoon in your mouth. Five minutes later you will thank me when said toddler uses that same spoon to brush your stinky and very smelly old hound dog.
Last night I explained to my foster parent training class that loofah sponges ward off vampires – at least they did once upon a time to a 6 year old boy … And guess what – that boy grew up to be my awesome oldest child. And my class totally understood that sometimes the little moments of security and safety are the most important to a child – because grown ups and loofah sponges can always fight the vampires …
Lesson: toddlers, at a playground, will utter “me wing” 4,876,999 times in 20 minutes
You will leave the playground after an hour and half and your arms will be spaghetti from pushing said toddlers in swings the WHOLE time
I used to teach Pre-k. Sometimes my kids said funny things. This is one of them. Prek child : “Ms. Dusty, you hug like a boa constrictor, but you aren’t one because you don’t suck the air out of my bones” …. O.o …hahahahah
Lesson : Certain toddlers are part shark. It seems that my precious two year old foster daughter enjoys chewing on her friends violently when she is angry. She has developed significant piranha tendencies. We will get through this but in the meantime, I will probably introduce the daycare staff to my gallon of wine solution. 😛
Lesson: Let’s talk about the last baby wipe in the package. It is a good thing to stock up on said baby wipes because you will need them. Alot of them.
Here is why: It will inevitably be ridiculous o’clock in the morning and your lovely little toddler will wake with a poopy diaper. Not only will you not have had your life saving first cup of coffee, but you will probably be very groggy.
You will lay your toddler down and realize at once that this is a four wipe poop. You will reach for a diaper and the pack of wipes. You are a pro at this. You got this.
Until you realize that there is only one lone wipe in the package. You will look at the poopy diaper and the toddler who has suddenly turned into an octopus with hands flying anywhere and you will instantly wish to be on a beach with a gallon of wine. or some fruity drink with an umbrella. Either way, one wipe is not going to cut it.
You will re-seal said poopy diaper, much to the chagrin of said toddler, who will instantly launch into a tantrum and rightfully so. She is sitting in her own toxic waste.
You will bolt for the kitchen to check the diaper bag. Nothing. In the process, you will trip over a baby gate, the dog, your own feet and speck of dust on the kitchen floor. Cursing will ensue. Silent cursing because there are toddler ears listening. Even though she is screaming bloody murder, mark my words, she is listening.
Time is ticking. Toxic waste is festering. You are at a loss, looking longingly at your coffee maker and cursing your lack of forethought.
Wet paper towels make for quick solutions when you are out of wipes. Avoid this type of chaos and stock up.
And yes, I bought baby wipes in bulk on the way to work. Kroger has them on sale. I probably looked like I was stocking for a zombie uprising but I don’t care. I don’t need another baby wipe fiasco like this morning.
Lesson: you will talk to your biological and step teens in a sugary sweet voice when disciplining them once you have toddlers in your home. It will freak your teens out. They will question if they will continue life when you get home from work after a sugary sweet threatening of said life over the phone.
This is a beautiful thing. My mom called it a “healthy fear”
Baby talk wigs them out.
Disclaimer: you can never EVER threaten foster children
Lesson: toddlers are like little evil Mafia bosses. One second they will be playing nicely in their room, dancing to some ridiculously happy singing plastic zoo and the next they will be holding the dog’s water dish hostage with a homemade plastic spatula shank like weapon demanding dog dog kisses in return for water.
We should build our armed forces out of toddler leaders and use dirty, 5 wipe diapers as our weapons. Wars have been won on way less.
Lesson: Toddlers will want to get up in the middle of the night and play. It happens. They will also throw every toy they own around the room in a fit of unadulterated rage when they are calmly told to go back to sleep after at least 20 minutes of soothing back rubbing and hugs.
Avoid them at this point, if you want to keep your sanity. Check for fever, teething, poopy diapers, monsters under the bed, and random aliens in the closet. Calmly tuck them in, turn out the light (and turn on a night light if needed), offer a kiss and a stern but gentle “Stay in bed and go to sleep”.
Immediately close their door and run. There will be banshee screaming and toys hitting the door and you will question if you should call a priest. Because 20 minutes ago, that toddler was asleep in your arms like an angel and now she is possessed by some horrid scourge. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR. Unless there is proof of blood, fire or vermin, don’t do it. If you do, now it becomes a control issue, They are not screaming because they are tired, they are screaming because you dared to open the door and not cater to them.
They will fall asleep. At some point. If not, they are safe. Record this behavior for posterity and to embarrass them on prom night. In addition, avoid cursing them with 3 of their own. That could come back to haunt you.
Lesson: over a week into fostering two toddler girls and they started to run up to me with hugs when I pick them up at daycare. On the other, more insidious side, they have started to cry when I drop them off. This leaves me with sense of guilt through out my day. I think they plan that. Toddlers will one day rule the world. I am convinced they could survive a nuclear holocaust with the cockroaches just based on what I find in diapers every day.