Getting Real with Kira Hazledine
I had a short debate with some mom friends who had experienced both infants and toddlers, and I was in the minority when I claimed that toddlers were harder. Sure, infants do their fair share of crying, and it’s honestly a guessing game as to why those tears are flowing. At the same time, I will never be convinced that the infant stage is harder than the toddler stage. This is war, and my toddler takes no prisoners.
- Toddlers have teeth.
When my toddler was an infant, one of her favorite activities was to chew on something or someone. It was so cute, until she had teeth. Now that she has several teeth, biting remains a favorite and painful activity.
- Toddlers can argue.
Not only can toddlers talk, they can argue. The amount of times I hear “no” and “I don’t want to” each day are immeasurable. And sometimes, their arguments actually have some logic, which leaves me scrambling to come up with good excuses.
- Toddlers whine.
Even if I try to escape for just a few sweet seconds, I can hear my toddler shouting from other rooms, “Mama, where you are?” They cry because they are given goldfish for snack when they wanted pretzels, but they said goldfish. They whine because the ball won’t roll the way they want it to.
- Toddlers don’t need you.
Realistically, my toddler still needs me but not the way she needed me as an infant. I feed, bathe, and house her, but she would disagree that I’m a necessity. If I piss her off there are other adults she can turn to. And since refusing meals is common, I assume she’d find her nutrients somehow.
- Toddlers have opinions they can voice.
It doesn’t matter what I want my child to wear, eat, or do. She has opinions and she is not afraid to use them. We have arguments over wearing the right shoes for playing outside and eating a small bite of fruit instead of a bag of chips. Toddlers know what they want.
- Toddlers have longer waking hours.
Babies sleep a ton! I’m lucky to get a two-hour nap out of my toddler. This leaves a lot of time for arguments, whining, and biting in a single day.
- Toddlers are mobile.
I can set an infant down in a crib and know that they will still be there when I get back. I would be stupid to leave my toddler unattended for more than a couple minutes, and that’s being generous. Mobile children are dangerous children, because it only takes a second for marker to be all over the walls or pee all over the floor.
- Toddlers are creative.
There are unending adventures that my toddler discovers each day. New sound effects, games of climbing shelves, and strategies to stack the furniture in her room as high as possible. Every day brings something new, where infants, I know what to expect.
Toddlerhood is unpredictable, but I’m glad I get to be a part of it. Sure, there are some days that I question my parenting skills and end the day in tears. I mean it when I say that toddlers are hard, but this phase is temporary. Soon we will be on to new challenges, so I’ll cling to this sassy girl while simultaneously looking forward to when she’s a bit more reasonable.