Heather Dixon


I Hate Playing in the Car (and Other Toddler Things That Make Me Crazy)

Adorable and Exhausting

The following is a list of toddler things that I’m not a big fan of. Fellow parents – can you relate?

I think my toddler is adorable. She’s all teeth and eyes. She’s hilarious and smart and inquisitive – all wrapped into one ridiculously cute ball of chubby rolls.

However, the kid is also very, very irrational at times. Toddlers can be weird. They want to play the strangest games (over and over and over again), they’re a little OCD and, as a result, can make me really, really crazy.

The following is a list of toddler things that I’m not a big fan of. Fellow parents – can you relate?

1. Playing in the car. For hours.

On the hottest day of the year in the most heat-wavey of summers, my toddler will drop everything to run into the inside of our steaming van and happily play. Why?? Normally, I’d rejoice at the thought of just sitting for a minute while putting my feet up and letting my toddler entertain herself. But after about, say, 40 MINUTES of staring at nothing while she touches every button and moves every mirror possible, I grow tired of it. Go figure.

2. The absolute, unwavering insistence on having <insert item here>.

Sometimes it’s the blue cup (too bad it’s dirty). Sometimes it’s her big sister’s non-age-appropriate toy. Sometimes it’s the pointy, jagged thingy that can harm her – but: She. Will. Have. It!! Or your life will be really, really unpleasant until you can pull the old ‘squirrel!!!’ and distract her with another thing.

3. The co-dependence on the lovey. (Or blankey. Or soother.)

Hell hath no fury like a toddler who loses her special little 'thing.' In our house, it’s my daughter’s lovey. My husband and I live in constant fear of her losing it. It cannot be replaced. (We’ve tried.) And she absolutely cannot go to sleep without it. This is a healthy habit we’re setting her up with for life, right???

4. The ridiculously hard-to-understand – but also ridiculously cute – words.

My daughter calls her lovey a ‘bubby-boo.’ Cute, right? l think so. But this wasn’t the case when she first started using the term and would go pink in the face and roll around on the floor in fits of anger because I couldn’t figure out what ‘BUBBY-BOOOOOOO!!!!!’ meant. I love all the cute words. But I don’t love how frustrated and upset my little one gets when I have zero clue what she wants.

But despite all this – there are a bunch of things I love about toddlers to itty bitty pieces. And the best one is this: when she wakes up in the morning, when I come home from work, even when I’ve just been out running errands and I return home again, her entire face erupts into a giant smile. Her undying love is felt by me whenever she’s around. When she wraps her little arms around my legs and gives me a full-body hug just because. When she insists on sitting on my lap instead of right next to me. When she covers me in wet, slobbery baby kisses.

It all makes up for the insanity and irrationality of toddler life.


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