Is your baby officially a toddler when they start walking? If so, Zara became a toddler a little late compared to her peers, who have been running circles around her for months. She happily crawled well past her first birthday. She did use her accelerator, as we called it, with one foot up to push herself faster while she crawled with her other knee and two hands. She took a few wobbly steps here and there, but still preferred her accelerator crawling until the day she turned 15 months. That was the day she flipped the switch to full on walking, where she would fall and get right back up and keep walking. That was five days ago, and we now officially have a toddler.
Zara was getting into some of the shenanigans below before she starting walking, but there has definitely been a surge in them since she became a toddler. Here are a few examples of how you know a toddler has officially taken over your house. All of these have happened at our house multiple times in just the last five days…
1. The indoor splash pool – Floyd is thirsty, but his water bowl is empty, and Zara is soaked. You do the math.
2. The “Where is ______?” game – Zara’s shoes are in the bathroom, her crib cuddle buddy is in the kitchen, the refrigerator magnets are downstairs in the play room, my keys are nowhere to be found. Nothing that can be carried by two little hands is where it should be.
3. So many books, so little time – All of the books from shelves lower than an adult’s knee level are scattered on the floor in front of those shelves. Bonus: a couple random pages are ripped out and you get to figure out which books they belong to. This is also true for the DVD racks. Good thing she hasn’t figured out how to open those yet.
4. Tupperware is better out than in – You can keep putting them away. You can keep stacking them nicely with their matching lids. They won’t stay that way for long.
5. Girls just want to have… shoes – She is drawn to them. Even after I donated ones I don’t need and organized the keepers on my closet shelves… she finds her way in there and pulls all of my shoes off the shelves. And just sits in the middle of them.
6. Toilet paper roll – over or under? – This problem used to be the cats. The roll keeps rolling… and rolling… Does it ever stop rolling? Yes…. eventually.
7. Flushing is fascinating – Once the discovery is made about what the little handle on the toilet does, that little handle is pushed down. Over and over and over again. It doesn’t take long to realize why parents of little kids just keep the bathroom door closed.
8. Can’t fight gravity – Zara had mastered the art of getting down the stairs. “Feet first” was what Daddy taught. She knows at the top of the stairs to turn around, lay down on her belly, and go down feet first. And she is quick. She gets right down those stairs, quickly and safely. And now that she has learned to walk… well, she tried standing up on the stairs. And she fell. That was a hard landing at the bottom. She hasn’t tried standing on the stairs again. (She’s fine, no permanent damage.)
9. Good luck, cat. There is something about our cat Phil that must remind Zara of a stuffed animal. Or a pillow. He IS soft. But Zara will see him from across the room, drop what she is doing, chase him down, tackle him down and just lay on him, pinning him down. He doesn’t like it. But he doesn’t try very hard to get away either. He’ll learn to run away. Hopefully.
10. Throwing money away – literally. – This girl loves going through my purse. It can entertain her for a long time. Her favorite discovery in there is the wallet. She knows how to open it. And she likes to pull each card out, one by one. Now she has discovered the cash. And she must have seen what we do with paper because she has left the wallet on the floor with all the cards laid out, carried the cash into the kitchen and THROWN IT INTO THE RECYCLING BIN. I guess she’s preparing me for raising a girl through the teen years – I can literally kiss our money good-bye.
All of these shenanigans are hilarious to her. I’m sure there are many more to come. Here are three simple steps to survive living with a toddler:
1. Beware of silence. Once you can’t hear her, you know you’re in for a treat.
2. Grab your camera. Go looking for her prepared to get the evidence on record.
3. Have a sense of humor. Don’t worry, be happy! She’s an explorer and discoveries are a beautiful thing. And are any of these really worth getting mad about? No, especially not with this face: