I’ve been through the toddler trenches—four times, to be exact, and I’m happy to say that I survived unscathed. Okay, that may not be entirely true. My memories are blurred. Maybe I’m just suffering from PTSD (Post Toddler Stress Disorder), which explains why I don’t remember much from those mind-numbing years of motherhood.
But now that I have a young grandchild, it’s all coming back in waves. I’m remembering what I didn’t like about those years, but I’m also feeling immense pride in my daughter for being such a patient mother amidst the toddler turbulence she’s currently experiencing. I’m happy that I don’t have to deal with that kind of stress anymore on a daily basis (just on the weekends when I’m on babysitting duty, thank you very much).
If you have older children, you can finally relax and celebrate all of these reasons why it’s great to no longer be raising a toddler:
1. BEDTIME: You get to skip the nightly ritual of putting a cranky, overly-tired toddler into pajamas while she’s flailing around on the floor—-which is about as much fun as trying to put long johns on a slippery octopus.
2. FOOD WARS: You won’t have to smother every vegetable you serve with ketchup or cheese sauce and then lie to your child by telling them it tastes like chicken nuggets.
3. POOP: No more running to the bathroom at breakneck speeds when you hear an excited voice shout, “MOMMY, I DID A BIG POOPIE!” If you don’t get there early enough to help them wipe, you’ll be smelling butt vapors the rest of the day.
4. PROPERTY DAMAGE: You won’t have to live in fear that your precious little angel will scribble all over your expensive baseball card collection with a waterproof marker.
5. TANTRUMS: No more dealing with meltdowns over a sandwich that has not been cut into the shape of Simba’s head, or the entire Lion King pride, for that matter.
6. LACK OF SLEEP: You’ll no longer be prodded awake at 5:00 a.m. by a toddler who needs to pee, then claims to be thirsty and hungry. They rarely go back to sleep after they’ve made the long trek to the toilet and back. Whenever this happens, it’s like having a little person running around all morning cracked out on Kool-Aid and lollipops. Be thankful that the only thing waking you up now is an alarm clock.
7. ANNOYING KID SHOWS: No more whiney Caillou, Yo Gabba Gabba, Dora The Explorer or Bubble Guppies invading your living room each morning (which is far worse on your mental state if the coffee hasn’t kicked in yet).
8. NOISE CONTROL: You can ditch the kazoos, electronic alphabet games, talking storybooks and mini drum sets. You might even be able to ditch the ear plugs too, unless your have a teen at home who loves to blast dubstep in decibels loud enough to make your ears bleed.
9. MESSES: The word “toddler” should be synonymous with”twister”, because once these little human beings have been awake for a more than thirty minutes, your house looks like its been picked up by a tornado and tossed upside down. Now that your kids are older, you don’t have to worry about developing curvature of the spine from bending down all day to pick up their toys.
10. OUTDOOR “FUN”: Your thighs will no longer be chafed from the slide at the park, nor will you be forced to squeeze your butt into a swing the size of tight sling shot that’s ready to launch you into outer space.
Despite all of these things, if I didn’t have my sweet grandchild to cuddle and love, I’d be missing out on all the good things that come with raising a toddler. They love unconditionally, expressing unbridled affection for family and friends alike. They’re quick to forgive, trust easily, and are fiercely loyal.
Toddlers also have an insatiable curiosity and a zest for life that most of us have lost. They find immeasurable joy in the simplest things, whether it’s running through a sprinkler, digging their toes in the sand, dancing to silly songs or hugging their favorite animal. Every meltdown and struggle is worth the sound of their infectious laughter and the light in their eyes when you walk into the room. Their unvarnished souls are a glimpse into what our lives are intended to be—joyous, unfettered and filled with boundless love.
This post originally appeared on Menopausal Mom.