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When I look back over the last three years of my daughter’s life, I can’t help but smile when I think about all of the ways she’s changed my perspective on life. I’ve always been easy going but with Miss O I’ve found that I have more patience and tolerance than I previously thought possible. As a parent you recognize that it’s not all about you anymore, your kids become the focus and you adapt to how they see the world. We adapt to their idiosyncrasies and although these quirks can be trying at times, this is how our children learn and develop. My hope for Miss O is that she grows up to be smart, independent and confident. In order to help with this, I find that I let her take the lead once in a while. And by lead I mean I give her two or three options and allow her to choose. Sometimes things work out and other times I shake my head and ask myself what was I thinking…for instance, now I have to clean paint off of the floor! Who can relate?

Here are a few scenarios I’ve found myself in at one point or another during this past year. Parenting a toddler has its own set of unique challenges but there are so many moments where you have to take a step back, laugh and admire the person that your little one is becoming (and accept how they’ve changed you). Do any of these sound familiar to you?

You know you have a toddler when:

  1. Your idea of a quiet, relaxing Saturday morning now involves you curling up with your little one and watching the Disney Channel or Treehouse.  Anyone else enjoy watching Doc McStuffins??
  2. Your days of going to the bathroom alone are a thing of the past
  3. Part two of the above: going to the bathroom is no longer quiet time.  Even with the door closed there’s a little one on the other side knocking, talking/singing or sticking little fingers under the door
  4. You know that as soon as your phone conversation gets interesting, your child’s “disruption radar” will go off and prompt them to say things like “Mommy, I need to go potty NOW!” or “T’m thirsty”
  5. You know all of the words to “The Wiggles” songs. My personal favourites are “Hot Potato” and “Romp Bomp a Stomp”…I’m doing a little dance right now…
  6. The speed at which you drive has decreased drastically, safety first. The slow lane is now your best friend, unless you’re dropping off your little ones at your parents place so that you can get some much needed “mommy time”
  7. Your music collection in your car now consists of nursery rhyme greatest hits and the sound track to Disney Channel TV shows
  8. You’re unfazed when you pull out a stray sock or toy from your purse while looking for your wallet at the cash register
  9. You’ve caught yourself watching “The Mickey Mouse Club House” by yourself…after the kids have gone to bed
  10. You’ve told your child to “stop eating that paint”, “don’t drink your bath water” or “put your clothes back on” at least once in the week
  11. You’ve put your child in the bathtub while forgetting they’re still wearing socks (true story, this really happened to me)

I’d love to hear about your experiences. Share them in the comments below.