Welcome to the wild art of taming toddlers - where these unpredictable little ones keep us constantly on high alert.
I remember congratulating myself, as my daughter approached her first birthday, that I was on top of this whole motherhood thing. Then, on her first birthday, in the middle of her party, she got up and walked across the room. Who even are you? I thought to myself as the room exploded with astonished cheers.
And from there on, it was one giant ball of bedlam mixed with chaos and a sprinkle of jitters. All. The. Time.
Here's the skinny on #ToddlerLife:
1. They think they are infallible
Inside the mind of your junior wobbler, they see everything as a game. Even traffic. I am a complete Nervous Nellie when it comes to walking near a road with little ones. Even now, I see children scooting ahead of their mum and I practically bless myself. While my children were tiny, I lived in a constant state of alert that they would just fling themselves off of something or under something. The minute they blow out that first birthday candle it is ALL GO.
2. You need eyes in the back of your head
If you LOVE finding your toothbrush in the toilet, then parenting a one-year-old is for you. Make-up smeared on your bright white bedclothes? Welcome to some of the toughest parts of your parenting journey. Three children later, and I now just shrug helplessly when I see an entire roll of toilet paper trailing down the stairs, or teddies stuffed into the bin. This too shall pass!
3. It is a bit like holding hostage negotiations with an unstable person
I once walked in to find my one-year-old standing on top of a very wobbly side table in my bedroom. I didn't dare move for fear of scaring him and sending him tumbling down. I slowly inched towards him, using my calmest voice and tried to talk him off the ledge, literally. In the end, I bribed him down safety with snacks. You need your wits about you with these toddlers.
4. EVERYTHING is an adventure
I never realised how much I would enjoy seeing the world anew through the eyes of my little ones. Everything fascinates them. Dangly earrings, ants, rainbows, lights, mud and even more mud. Even loading the clothes into the washing machine is the best fun ever for these little helpers. To see that awe in their eyes as they learn something new is just beautiful.
5. It is the most
Although exhausting, your child at one year of age is at that sweet stage where they are responding to your smiles and babbling away. They notice everything and are starting to really know their own minds. But better still, you begin to see their little personalities emerge, and you fall in love all over again. It is such a privilege to be responsible for shaping a little life, and you are their trusted guide through all these first milestones.
Enjoy every moment, mamas, you are doing a great job.