Until your kid is 4 you’re screwed
So I hate to break it to you but until your kid turns 4, you are screwed! Now that I have a 16 month old who is approaching the terrible twos, I am reminded of the way things used to be with my now eldest son. Back then, things were a nightmare. In fact, my eldest son was so bad as a young toddler, that my husband swore that we were not having any more children.
Enter child #2. How soon we forget with sleep exhaustion and baby brain.
When your kids are under 4, you have to deal with so many different factors and well, the Toddler Years are stacked against you.
Number #1 – Your kid is non-verbal
Between the cries, different moans, groans, screams, pointing and more pointing – you have no idea what the hell your kid is trying to say or tell you. Fact is, your LO can’t speak or speak English as yet. And if you understand baby gibberish, my hats off to you. So if your kid is sick or uncomfortable – good luck trying to figure out what the hell is wrong. After hours of incessant crying, you may just reach for that Tylenol bottle. If only your LO could just tell you…
Number #2 – Your kid does not understand reason
OK so at 4 – your kid may not really understand reasoning or negotiating. But at least, when your kiddo is 4 and older, he or she will succumb to a good bribe. If your kid is under 4, it’s my way or the highway! The kid usually wins.
Number #3 – Your kid wants to party at night and doesn’t understand the concept of sleep
Back to number #2, if you can’t reason with your kid, how can you convince him/her that it is a good idea that he/she sleeps. And if your LO doesn’t want to sleep, how can you convince your kid to let you sleep. A cranky and miserable parent isn’t good for anyone.
Number #4 – Your kid refuses to enroll in anger management courses
Back to number #2 again. Who doesn’t love a good tantrum at the most inopportune times. In the middle of the grocery store or mall, or whatever really. You can’t reason, you’re screwed. Wait out the tantrum. Apologize profusely to the strangers around you and eventually leave the public place, totally embarrassed.
Number #5 – Your kid will catch every bug out there
Your kid’s immune system is like a 24/hr drivethru. He/she will catch anything and everything. What does that mean? – you will catch it too.
Once you make it past those first 4 years, things start to get better in life. I can truly say that now that I have an almost 5 year old. Your kid will talk to you and tell you what’s wrong. He/she can tell you his/her likes/dislikes. You can reason with your kid. Sleep gets a little better. Your kid will tantrum less (you hope). Your LO’s immune system is a lot stronger than before.
Until then, take a deep breath, and remember your little munchkin is only little once so, cherish even the craziest of times.