There’s nothing I love more than being a mother. Most days – we’ll go with five out of seven – I am so proud to watch my son explore and learn and grow. He’s energetic and curious, and always on the move. He’s also somewhat of a flight risk, as all toddlers are. One minute he’s laughing hysterically at a ball bouncing down the hall; the next, he is screaming his head off because his cruel parents won’t let him stick his fingers in the electrical outlets. Though he’s too young to intentionally cause tantrums, there are many moments where I think his outbursts are 100% premeditated, and he has been waiting for the opportune moment to unleash hell. Dramatic, I know, but I’m fairly certain every parent can relate to this. If you don’t believe me, just check out this recent CNN article by Kelly Wallace.
Anyone who has had a baby has been there. We have ALL been there. And somehow we all end up on the other side. I’m talking about the grueling process of teething, folks. It’s a force to be reckoned with, and no matter how even-tempered your child is, there’s a 98.9% chance you and your little one have shared a good cry or scream as the first few chompers reach the surface.
Introducing solids into your toddler’s diet can be exciting and confusing. As those little teeth begin to pop through the gums, your baby’s palette becomes as adventurous as his personality. But knowing what to feed your kiddo for optimal health can be confusing. My son only has a couple of teeth, so I’m cautious about giving him anything that doesn’t dissolve, yet I know Cheerios, crackers, and blueberries can’t be giving him anywhere near the proper vitamins and minerals his growing body needs, so I conducted my own research to find out the best foods for a growing mind and body.
Whether you’re expecting a little bundle of joy, or are already chasing a spunky, explorative toddler around the house, baby-proofing your home is critical in keeping potentially hazardous items out of reach and your little ones out of trouble.
If you’re like me, you spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. From preparing food, to putting away groceries, to entertaining with a glass of wine and a plate of cheese, this is without a doubt my favorite room of the house. Naturally, curiosity leads my son into this area as well. To a pint size explorer, the cupboards, cabinets, and drawers are like a jungle gym, providing endless opportunities for entertainment. For me, an overly cautious parent, this room spells out TROUBLE in big, bold letters.
You did it, son. You’re officially one year of age! You may not realize it just yet, but you’ve come a long way in your 365 days of life. Every second of every day, you’re making strides in becoming a rambunctious, fearless, and a little bit clumsy toddler. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since I sat in that delivery room in your home state of Colorado, impatiently waiting to meet the little bun I had been cooking for nine months. From that very first minute I saw you and heard you let out your first cry, I knew I was the luckiest person in the entire world. You had chosen ME as your mom. And to that, I will be forever grateful.
Patience is not in my genetic makeup. I was not born with the outstanding ability to rationalize and keep my cool in hot situations. Temper tantrums were second nature to me growing up. And if you were to ask my husband, I’m still pretty good at pitching a fit today.
Far too often, we hear advice from veteran moms and parenting experts who tell you that having a baby will change how you see yourself and will open the door to this magical world where nothing is worth crying over. I wish I could tell you that was true, but the reality of the matter is this: becoming a parent does not change your traits. It doesn’t deliver patience on a silver platter. What it does is changes how you react to frustrating or less-than-stellar situations. It builds patiences. It brings attention to your ability to cope with stress and find a way around the speed bumps of motherhood or fatherhood. It’s a skill we will probably spend our entire life trying to master, though none of us will ever feel as though we have it all figured out.