This is how it goes…
The food your child thought was amazing yesterday, the thing they considered a treat, the meal they ate ravenously, they’ll hate it today. They’ll glare at you from across the table. They’ll act like you put fried liver on their plate. They’ll spend hours refusing to eat it.
When you stay up a bit later than normal to watch a show or enjoy the quietness and calmness that your house permeates after the kiddos slumber, your children will wake up well before the sun the next morning, possibly before 5. They’ll want breakfast before your coffee is brewed.
They’ll never lose the toys with batteries, especially the ones with no volume control. You know, the fire engine that goes off in the middle of the night. They will, however, hide their most beloved toys in the couch cushions or under their car seats or in the sand box. Then they’ll ask you to find it. Commence screaming and crying.
They collaborate on their torture. When one child is having a bad day, they all will. When one cries, the others join in. When one screams, the other one outdoes the first. When they are crying and screaming, they need to be held. That way, they can project their volume directly into your inner ear.
It’s not your children that will need an ER visit, its you. As ridiculous as it sounds, a three-year-olds line-drive to your eye will really do you in. When will there be workman’s comp for stay-at-home moms?
Scratch the last one. Your children will require ER visits as well. Also they always fall down the stairs the day before a doctors checkup.
If you attempt to nap while they nap, they’ll wake up and start yelling just as you drift into sleep. Then they’ll stop. You’ll begin to doze again. Then they’ll yell. Their timing is so perfect, you’ll wonder if they have a video monitor watching you.
When you need them to nap on a three-hour car ride, they won’t. They’ll stay awake the whole time, so they can be a mess promptly when you arrive. When you go for a 5 minute ride back home just before nap time, they’ll fall asleep but wake up as soon as you stop the engine. And the break you were looking forward to? It vanished.
Apply the same principle to T.V. When you feel desperate for sanity, you’ll turn on a show and plan on sitting alone in the other room. They’ll follow you in, refuse to watch their favorite TV show. But on another day, when they’ve been watching T.V. for over an hour and you declare that T.V. time is done, they’ll scream like a wild animal.
They will be the worst versions of themselves in public, preferably around people who will really judge you for their behavior, or places that require them to be quiet. They’ll bolt at speeds you’ve never seen. They’ll scream at decibels you’ve never heard. And they just might say words you had no idea they knew.
They’ll ruin their nicest clothes. Stain your new cloths, spill milk on your white chair.
It’s psychological warfare, no doubt. Crying that lasts for more than 10 minutes really starts to do a number on someone’s nerves. But toddlers really know how to mess with their parents psyche because in the middle of the chaos, they might hug you, tell you they love you, kiss you or say your name like you’re the most precious being on earth. And you remember, this is worth it. No amount of torture can ruin your love for this kid.
But your house and your sanity will surely crumble under the pressure.