By Jordan Miller
Sometimes significant life lessons are easily learned–someone tells you the fire is hot, you believe them and don’t touch the fire. Other times you have to stick your hand right in the flames because what if they’re wrong and you’re missing out on something wonderful? Toddlers often learn things by way of the second route. Here are a few of the lessons my son has managed to pick up in his many years (both of them).
*Please note, very few of these lessons have actually had any sort of lasting impact on his day-to-day activities.
1. The cat has anger issues. For some reason, she seems to dislike being ridden like a horse, being aggressively cuddled, and having her tail used as a leash to lead her around backward, and she eventually lashes out. And, yes, she does have claws and they do hurt. Perhaps some intensive therapy could help her control her volatile emotions.
*Related: Mama will put a band-aid on your hand/face/leg after the cat has scratched you, and band-aids typically hurt when removed.
2. Sometimes when you ride a toy that is not made to be ridden, it flips over and throws you to the ground. Hitting the ground back does not improve the situation.
3. You do not always get to choose what is on the television, and other people in your house do not love Mickey Mouse half as much as he deserves.
4. When you resolutely refuse the balanced dinner your mama has made (the same dinner you devoured last week, by the way), then walk over to the snack cabinet demanding “go-fish,” prepare to be disappointed.
5. Mamas are stiflers of creativity. No matter how many times they say, “The world is your canvas,” they stop you every time you start to color on the walls.
6. Despite expertly delivered tantrums, you will always have to be buckled into your car seat before the car starts moving.
7. Eventually, you always have to leave the park, and it’s because Mama doesn’t love you enough to permanently move there.
8. Coats, mittens, and hats were designed as instruments of torture, and Mama must have taken a special class in how to employ them. (This really applies to all winter apparel.)
9. At the end of every snow cone is the bottom of a cup, and that’s where happiness goes to die.
10. Drapes are not for reenacting scenes from Tarzan.
11. Daddy gets all nervous when you run and jump in his lap, knees first.
12. Inexplicably, the dog would rather be outside in 105-degree weather than inside having fun with you.
13. Other kids have the best toys, but Mama apologizes to the other mamas when you try to claim them. She just doesn’t want you to be happy.
14. Naps are for sissies, but Mama will still insist you sit in your room and be bored for an hour. Every. Single. Day.
*Some great ways to make use of this otherwise wasted time include:
-Doing laps around your crib to ensure you do not accidentally drift off
-A good bowel movement (extra points if you can take the diaper off without Mama’s help)
-Screaming like someone is trying to murder you
15. Throwing yourself down in anger on a pile of Legos might hurt you more than it hurts Mama.
Apparently, some things can only be learned(ish) by going to the school of hard knocks. Yes, fire is hot, Buddy.
About the Author
Jordan lives in Texas with her husband, two-year-old son, two cats, and one eternally patient dog. She has a special talent for finding a Steel Magnolias quote for every occasion and fancies herself a Clairee but is probably a Ouiser at heart. She is a regular contributor at motherhoodcollective.blog.