Getting a toddler strapped into a car seat requires more than supermom brilliance. It requires godlike patience, superhuman strength, and creativity that rivals J.K. Rowling.
If you have a toddler, you know this.
Thanksgiving is over, which means that Christmas is coming, which means your house will soon be filled with new toys. Most of them, I'm sorry to say, will be toys that you hate. This is because they'll be chosen by relatives who either a) have never had children or b) have children who are so old that their parents no longer remember what it's like to have a house full of annoying toys. The likelihood that any particular toy will be given to your child by a relative can be calculated using an equation involving the noisiness, messiness, and general annoyingness of the toy. The higher these factors are, the more likely your kid will get one for Christmas.
Happy New Year.
You may have heard of mothers who get stuff done without babysitters.
These mothers don't actually exist.
But for some reason -- probably for the same inexplicable reason that ideas like unicorns, garden gnomes, and The Abominable Snowman persist -- the myth of this Supermom survives. Women all over the world keep dreaming that somehow, someday, they could truly have it all. They could make actual income without spending 99.7% of it on childcare. They could get laundry folded
before bedtime. They could pick up all the toys and the shoes. No one can really do this, at least not until their youngest child is six, at which point they have
a (free!) daily babysitter (it's called public school). But the belief that maintaining a home and taking care of a toddler are not incompatible activities just won't disappear. And so, every day, unsuspecting moms wake up and think, I could get stuff done today.
Most classic fairy tales -- the oldest form of children's stories -- have a simple moral: Do what you're told, or the goblins will get you. Think Hansel and Gretel. Little Red Riding Hood. The Boy Who Cried Wolf. If a fairy tale character is told not to do something, they're guaranteed to go straight out and do it -- and then look what happens to them.
Any mom who hasn't had her head under a rock for the past ten years knows the ugly truth about screen time. Screens are bad for kids. TV is bad and iPads are bad and smart phone apps are equally bad. They fry baby's brains and they make toddlers even more impatient than they already are and they ruin older kid's creativity, destroying any possibility that your child will ever become the next Steve Jobs, which is ironic since screen time was invented by Steve Jobs. The light from screens is the reason why your kid won't sleep at night, and the radioactive waves from screened devices will give them cancer, and the evil little-kid characters on the shows will make them whiny and rude and violent.
That's the truth about screen time.
But it's not the whole truth.
Before you had kids, you thought tantrums were preventable. You probably thought they were the parents' fault. You may have even thought they had some kind of logic behind them. You thought that if a kid is throwing a tantrum, it's because something happened
Now, of course, you know better.
Don't be offended. I'm not saying your toddler is actually a dog. Okay, I am. But what I mean is that he acts
like a dog. He thinks
like a dog. He may think
You know it's true.
Apparently there are some people on the interwebz
who think it's a bad idea to get your kids to help take care of their siblings. These sanctimommies think that since you're the one who gave birth, you have to do all the things for the baby till age 18. Maybe age 21.
If you are one of those people, leave now.
Ah, sleep. That long-ago dream. That faraway fairy tale from once upon a time. You remember it, right? Before you had kids, you used to sleep.
When your baby was born, you had a lot to worry about. How to hold him without breaking his neck. How to change his diaper without getting poop all over your hands. And most worrying of all: how to feed him.