Lessons from a One Year Old – Year Two of Parenting   Leave a comment

I can’t believe it’s been a whole year since I wrote about the 50 things I learned in my first year of parenting. Rereading it made me tear up a bit, in a good way. And I was surprised by how many of the lessons still apply for the second year 🙂

I actually wrote most of this list as things happened throughout the year. After reading last years list I have repeated myself! Totally unintentional. I guess that just makes it all the more true! (and I deleted some of the ones that were repeated… so I could get that magic 50 number. Wouldn’t want an uneven blog post list!)

So this year, in addition to writing about what we’ve learned as parents I wrote about what having a one year old in the house has taught me about life… You can learn a lot from a one year old!

We have learned as parents:

1. I have to say it, even though I said it last year, you will be amazed by how much you can love.

And just when you thought you couldn’t love any more….

….you do.

2. A two day runny nose for a 1 year old will turn into a deadly lieonthecouchalldayandsuffer week long cold for Daddy. (and sometimes mama too)

3. Be prepared for repetition. Be prepared for repetition. Be prepared for repeition.

If Wheels on the Buss was annoying for you/fun for her the first time…. just wait till you have heard it 50 times!

4.  Poop still happens, less frequently but more stink and stick!

5. Just when you think you think you’ve got a handle on this walking thing they go vertical… Or at least mine did. Little monkey!

6. You have to reevaluate your baby proofing when your toddler becomes a mountain goat and a hanging monkey.

7.It is  amazing how in the middle of the night you will find yourself in your childs room and not even remember getting there. And if you are like us and room shared for the first year, it is amazing how far away their bedroom seems when they begin to sleep in their own room. So very, very far away….. sniff…..

8. It’s incredible how excited you can be for the sound of pee hitting a toilet!!

9. They will make you laugh…

again and again….

….. and again…

and again….lol

10. Toddler’s are a lot less easy to change than they were as a baby. Which means when they have a poopy diaper it still gets ALL over!

11. If it was your child’s favorite food last week and you just purchased/prepared a lot of it…. they probably don’t like it anymore.

12. You will find yourself more excited than a child to go to Disney world (or theme park or zoo)…. only because you know what is coming (and they don’t!)!
And it will probably be the last time that you are more excited than they are!

13. Someone will say something like “Oh you have a little girl?” When she isn’t around. You will marvel at their perception until you realize your shirt is covered with flowery stickers.

This will also happen to your husband and his golf bag earning him the nickname Princess from his buddies.

14. If a crawler shows you just how dirty your floors are a walker shows you just how slow and old you’ve become!

15. Nothing in the world is sweeter than a full body, baby monkey, toddler hug (you know if you’ve had one of these… if you haven’t, you are missing out!)

16. It would be easier to try to put an octopus in a tuxedo than to fully change, wipe and dress a toddler who doesn’t cooperate.

17. Your dogs are no longer just dogs, they are pillows, pony substitutes and excellent toddler lunch clean up devices.

18. You brush your dogs hair to discover that the root of the matt is….. a sticker!

19. Tears and tantrums are an excellent way to reduce stress… This explains why they are so smiley immediately afterwards. It sometimes works for moms too 🙂

20.   Those things you said you’d never do. You’ll do at least one of them.

We are still holding pretty firm on the no junk food, but sadly have relaxed a bit on the TV rules, although from what I hear we are stricter than some 😉

21. Mama spit works.

22. Just when you think “I’ve got this” they will change it up on you.

23. You suddenly are sure that she will be a veterninarian or a doctor because she loves to play with a stethescope!

24. Sleeping through the night feels so good.

25.  Not sleeping through the night feels even worse when you have recently been reintroduced to sleep.

26. As they develop that amazing personality you will also run into some differences of opinion….

…And you learn what a tantrum is.

Oh did I mention tantrums already…. get used to them. They happen, more frequently than you’d like.

27. You learn that it doesn’t make you a horrible parent if you find some tantrums kinda funny.

28. You hate when they get hurt but you love how they immediately come to you for comfort.

29. You will marvel as you see their own unique personalitites develop. They are truly their own person… my little one has a “thing” for sunglasses 😉

Class……

…. and unique…

…and oh so cool 😉

30. You’ll want to swoop in and do things for them, but if you give them a minute they will do it…..

31. They will amaze you with what they can do. 🙂

32.  I know I said this last year but watching your husband bond with your child just makes you love him all the more, especially when he puts aside his dignity to do it…

and just for how he loves her…. and how she loves him…..

(And housework is still an aphrodisiac… in case you were wondering. Men take note!)

33. I can’t speak for little boys but little girls will start being little girls. LA now has her baby that she carries around and kisses. She wants to brush my hair, daddy’s hair and the dogs hair… she is just so very girl 😉

34. You will want to beat another child for taking a toy, hitting your child, or just being a “bad” kid.

35. You will cringe and want to crawl under a rock when your child takes a toy, hits or just generally is misunderstood 😉

36. If you planned a meal made up of things that they previously loved to eat and that has some nutritional value they will not touch it. Here is an actual example….

 btw… this is an after picture… notice how it is completely untouched.

and this is a bowl of apples she attacked, just a few bites each 😉

Oh and you will spend weeks trying to get them to try something (in my case chicken) only to have them crawl up on their Poppy’s lap and down his chicken curry of all things.

I swear to get her to eat more I should just leave food around on the floor… then she’d be sure to eat!

37. You will learn all of the characters on their favorite show. In our case we know all of the Sesame Street characters. Steve jokes that he now knows what a gerbicorn is, he never knew he would need that information.

38. You will find yourself thrilled when an episode of Sesame Street (insert your child’s favorite show) comes on that you have never seen before.

38 part two… you will also become very appreciative for all that Elmo (or other character) teaches your child. Here is LA wearing her helmet, she has to have it on because Elmo does…. Go Elmo as good role model!!!!

39. Your house has been hit by a TOYsunami! It’s amazing how one little person can make so much mess.

 We have about 497 balls in our house… we live with a ball addict 🙂

40. In your pre child life you got catchy songs from the radio stuck in your head. Now you will wake up singing “There are Three Primary Colors,” “The Wheels on the Bus” or “Potty Time”… or something else hip like that.

41. I did know I had OCD until puzzles entered my life. It drives me crazier than I can describe wanting to keep all the pieces together.

42. You will come to hate stuffed animals.

43. If you have just cleaned a room and/or put all the toys away understand that to a toddler this is the equivalent of waving a red flag before a bull. Try not to cry as they trash all of your hard work (or at least try to cry privately).

44. You may have spent big money on that gift you just got them but it is guaranteed they will prefer the Styrofoam it came in. One of LA’s favorite things at the moment is a rock she found at the park, she carries it around and kisses it. Baffling.

 This looks like a loving picture of the two of us…but is actually kissing a rock, her new best friend.

45. You will learn about creepy toys. Toddler toys start to sing in the middle of the night… for no good reason!
You will struggle between wanting to hire an exorcist because you are just THAT creeped out that Oscar the Grouch is asking if you want to play at 2 am and being seriously angry that it may have woken your toddler. And you are angry enough that if it is some malevolent force playing with your child’s toys it should really run and hide….

46. You learn what toddler problems really are. At the beginning of the year LA decided she had to have her pony to go to bed. One pony quickly became two…..

…. then we added baby….

…. another pony, a baby Elmo, a stuffed doggie, and now a musical baby Minnie Mouse. Other animals make the “list” from time to time. Remember when I said you will hate stuffed animals, yeah, well your child will not. They will develop problems concerning how to hold all of their precious babies in one go. Or even bigger crisis like how to carry them all!

Thank God we have not had to deal the tragedy that is losing a favorite friend. Knock wood!

47.  I cried watching the Olympics because they had those adorable/sappy commercials concerning how the parents supported their child to get there. And how to a parent they still look like a two year old standing up on the high board, track,etc….

For the record my LA is currently training for the Olympics 2024… or so she thinks. 🙂

48. You will appreciate your parents more… and love watching your family and friends love your child.

49. Having a child will teach you the true definition of pride, love, wonder and definitely joy.

50. You get to do fun things because you are with your kid! Steve and I love jumping on the trampoline and going to the bounce house place 😉

…. apparently I stink at sticking to 50… here are a few more….

51. They will develop a skill you don’t love. LA has the ability to ignore me (or anyone else) that rivals the most petulant teenager. I shudder to think how this skill will have developed in 10 years or so.

52. You won’t mind sharing your favorite foods (at least not as much!)

52. They will want help. When this involves helping put lotion on me (or her) I smile and laugh. When it involves helping me “sweep” or writing on my work pad I struggle to smile 🙂
…. although it is still pretty darn cute.

53. They will force you to think outside the box!!

54.  They will teach you a sense of wonder you didn’t know you had forgotten.

….and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t learn from your child. Just watching her grow up has taught me so much about life….

What my one year old taught me about life:

1. If you’re happy show it!

2. If it was exciting to do the first time…. do it 50 more times!

 This is LA washing her hands for the gazillion-th time in a day….the girl loves clean hands!

3. Even if you look or sound silly people will be happy if you try (example  when mama sings “lalala”  and LA sings “Wawawa” everyone is delighted, even if it’s not “right”)

4. Toddlers don’t hold grudges … Neither should we. They forgive.

5.  If mommy or daddy like it… I must have it.

6. It is just as exciting to see your good friends (the dogs, the fish, Imma, Poppy) today as it was yesterday…why not show it?

7.  Do everything at full speed and 100%!

8. It doesn’t have to be a real toy to be totally awesome! (i.e. water fountains, pens, boxes, water bottles, pans, etc)

9. Forget mistakes and just move on.

10. Nothing is better than snuggling with one of your favorite people.

11. Life is one big adventure… enjoy it!

Just like I said last year parenting is an amazing journey. I can’t even begin to describe how blessed I feel. Parenting is a rewarding experience for all of the joy and love you receive. It is terrifying because you want to protect them so very much. And it is bittersweet as you look forward to the future while missing the past. I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

But how did we get from this…..

to this….(a year)….


To this little girl who breaks my heart with her beautiful heart and smile….

Happy birthday baby girl!

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