stories from life in toddlerville

I'm going to be honest. I think the terrible twos/threes/whatever have already hit us. I've been able to tell since her newborn days, but I'm realizing more and more that I have a very strong-willed kid on my hands. It's terrifying and wonderful but mostly terrifying. She is the love of my life and also the most annoying person on the planet. Don't worry, I can type that because I would totally say that to her face. She's been living by the three Ts lately: tantrums, tears, and teething. Consequently, I've been living by the 3 Cs: coffee, chocolate, and crying. I love her more than life but I AM EXHAUSTED. I'm sure the two molars that are taking a century to come in are responsible for the state of life lately, but my evening runs when James is watching her have been the most relaxing and rejuvinating part of my day lately. And I hate running.

Taking a baby to the grocery store is an entirely different experience than going solo. I realize that is not brand new information, but hear me out. Suddenly everyone wants to be my friend. The produce man (I have a new produce friend; produce lady apparently doesn't have time for us anymore) gives us free fruit to eat while we shop. I know the names and ages of all his kids. The deli man always sneaks us some cheese on the sly. Random people will comment on Gracie's hair (always the hair) and when I smile they use that as an open door to show me pictures of their grandchild's birthday party. People have no problem stopping me while I'm checking the dates on yogurt to question me on her milestones. It's an experience, and I am never short on stories from the grocery store. I'm also never short on granola bars that someone has hidden in her lap and thus we have accidentally stolen.

A conversation from a recent trip to Kroger:

Kroger Cashier: How old is she?
Me: 16 months* tomorrow.
KC: Are you throwing her a party?
Me: I wasn't planning on it.
KC: How could you not throw her a party?
Me: I don't know...
KC: She's turning 1! She has to have a party!
Me: She already turned one. She'll be 16 months.
KC: She's already 1? Then how old is 16 months?
Me:  A year and 4 months.
KC: Huh. 

*For the record, I never want to be that mom that says my kid is 57 months old. But I feel like it's still acceptable to use months until 18ish months? Two years? Maybe? I don't know. It's just that there's a HUGE difference between a 12 month old and a 16 month old, plus with her hair people tend to think she's 2 or 3 and don't understand why she's not having a full conversation with them.

Speaking of the grocery store. We were in the cheese section (naturally) a few months ago, and two attractive firemen in uniform walked past us. Gracie, typically terrified of all strangers, smiled and waved to them. Women of all ages love a man in uniform.

She recently discovered how to open the fridge. One day last week I found the battery from the TV remote on the bottom shelf of the fridge. Five seconds later I found my car keys in the pantry next to the sippy cups. After grabbing all the pilfered paraphernalia, I found Gracie banging the dining room wall with a soap dispenser. This is a pretty typical moment in my life lately. More than once she's managed to open the pantry door where she is later found elbow-deep in a bag of goldfish crackers. The apple doesn't fall far.

Gracie has been obsessed with taking her clothes off lately. Within minutes of putting her in the crib at bedtime, she'll take her sleeper off and toss it across the floor. There's no outfit she can't remove in seconds. But the most insane thing was when she managed to remove her romper while buckled into her carseat. I watched her do it and I still can't figure out how she pulled it off--pun intended.

The days are long and difficult lately, but I know I'll miss them. Just like I thought the newborn days were the hardest thing ever, but now I look back and think BUT SHE SLEPT ALL DAY! HOW WAS THAT HARD? Yet it was excruciating at the time. Thankfully she's just hiding my car keys and not asking me to borrow them. May those days never come. She may drive me to the brink of sanity, but she's still never allowed to leave. 


  1. molars and teeth in general are the devil. they make everything twenty times more terrible. also, may I say that I am extremely impressed that she can take all her clothes off? pretty sure that Amelia doesn't even know how to do that yet, so she's way ahead on that milestone!

    1. Count your blessings! I don't even know why I bother dressing her anymore.

  2. Everything you just said is exactly true. We're going away next week so I can't pretty much GUARANTEE Parker's fourth bottom tooth will be coming in, probably when we're on the airplane. I love him so much it hurts, but he's a freaking terrorist.

    1. parents calling their babies "terrorists" and "the most annoying person on the planet" are my new favorite things. It cracks me UP. Please tell me you've read Ryan Reynolds' tweets about his daughter- it kills me.

  3. Why is she so stinking cute?!?!?!?!?! You have your hands full, Momma!

  4. That conversation with the cashier... oh my gosh. People make me laugh :) Your life sounds exhausting, but it sounds like it's super entertaining and you're making memories every single day :)

  5. You mean to tell me you don't throw your child a birthday party EVERY MONTH?? What kind of a mother are you!?

    "Women of all ages love a man in uniform." <--- Truth.

    At least you're not living by the three B's...booze, booze and also booze.

  6. We were at the dr yesterday for R's 1-yr checkup, and she said the terrible 2s can start between 15-18 months. Sooooo.... what I'm saying is good luck. R is extremely strong-willed, and as a newborn she would arch her back and throw her head back when she was upset. She does the *exact* same move now and let me tell you it is a MUCH different ordeal to hold a 9-lb baby when they do that vs. a 20-lb baby.

  7. That conversation with the cashier is hilarious. I don't know how long I'll do the "x many months old" thing; my little guy is only 2 months, so I have time to figure that out haha. Gracie sounds exhausting but totally adorable! The comment about her disrobing while buckled in made me laugh :)
    I totally agree on the ordeal of taking little kids to the grocery store! Last night at least 3 people at each store came up to me and gazed at my son. At the final store on my trip, he was screaming and crying and furious, and everyone who saw us got angelic looks on their faces and said, "Oh, he's so cute!" which I thought was funny.

  8. I used months until 12 months, then I would say 2 or 2-and-a-half or almost 3. Otherwise you get those people who have no idea how long 16 months is and it just turns into a confusing mess. As you found out. The problem is that we decided on a base-10 numbering system but put 12 months in the year!

  9. I promise momma the tantrums get better! It might take awhile, but eventually you get your sweet little girl back. Those teeth though are killing you guys! Hopefully you'll get a nice long break before the canines come in!

    I told Nick about your interaction with the cashier & he got a kick out of it! Everyone always thinks Evelyn is much older than she actually is, because she's so tall. We constantly get asked if she's excited to start school or where she's going to go. I have yet to broach the "well actually we're going to homeschool" conversation with strangers yet. There is even some family I haven't bothered with telling.

  10. Prayers headed your way, you tough, amazing momma. I am cracking up though that she somehow got that romper off WHILE BUCKLED IN HER CARSEAT!!! She is a little monkey. So darn cute.

  11. Ahh- I just love coming to your blog to see what shenanigans you girls have been up to recently :) They always make me laugh and/or nod along because sure, I've only been doing the mom thing for 3 months but so much resonates with me, always! Probably a month ago someone asked me how I was liking being home and before I could answer they said, "You probably don't know what to do with all the extra time while he's sleeping! You can only clean the house so many times am I right?!" .....Um, who said I clean my house?!

    Also, a man in uniform... appreciated by all ages. LOL

  12. I love it all, but the last line especially. I am sorry, but relieved to hear you've been dealing with the tantrums too. Avalon has had about 3 each day all week and sometimes she even takes swipes at me. I just cried on Scott's chest about it last night and I swore I was done with really hard weeks three weeks ago. Anyways, I so get exercise being an escape. I've been going surfing in the evening more and it brings me back.


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