Photo: Shanna Trombetta ( Personal Photo)

When you’re the parent of a toddler, there is never a dull moment! You’ve never laughed so hard, or felt this exhausted and rewarded. Here are 10 signs that you have a true toddler on your hands and are more than ready for a glass of wine (or two) at the end of the day.

1. It’s 7 AM and you’ve reheated your coffee about 5 times. In the end, you resign yourself to a cold cup of coffee or burn your tongue trying to gulp it down because you resolve to drink that cup of coffee before the morning is over, if it’s the last thing you do!

2. Your walls, fridge, and floors are constantly covered with fingerprints thanks to a mystery sticky substance. These fingerprints, also reside on windows, furniture, and any other item that you love and/or want to keep nice. If it’s not a sticky substance, it’s sand from the playground falling out of every pair of shoes that you own and your bra.

3. Tantrums happen FAST! One second you are laughing and playing and the next second, your toddler is lying on the ground like a limp strand of spaghetti screaming. These tantrums also happen at the most “convenient times” like a busy parking garage or the dressing room at Nordstrom. When you see another mommy with a toddler throwing a tantrum, you guiltily smile and sigh with relief and think, “thank God that’s not me”.

4. You wake up at 5:30 AM to get to the gym at 6:00 AM for a crazy 1-hour workout session in the dark. You’ve never been a morning person, and so going to the gym at 6 AM is a pretty tremendous feat. After the gym, you rush home to shower, either shave your legs or wash your hair (you can’t do both), brush your teeth, apply makeup and get dressed all before your toddler wakes up at 7:30 AM. 

5. You’ve resigned to reading “The Pout Pout Fish” at least 15 times a day (if not more). You can recite it, and even find yourself dreaming about taking adventures with the Pout Pout Fish and Ms. Shimmer. You order “Pout Pout Fish In the Dark” because for some odd reason you personally can’t wait to read anther book in the series.

6. Going out to dinner on a Saturday night when you don’t have a sitter involves going out at 5:30 PM to a loud restaurant filled with other parents and kids. You inhale your food, ask for the check right away and give the other parents knowing glances. Before you know it, macaroni and cheese is being flung across the restaurant and crayons are scattered on the ground. You scoop up your toddler and run out the door making sure to leave a generous tip before your toddler explodes.

7. Your taste is music changes because the radio stations played in your house and the car consists of Raffi and Elizabeth Mitchell. Throughout the day, you hear yourself humming Apples and Bananas, The Wheels on the Bus, and Baby Beluga. You even start looking for Raffi tickets because in your new state of mind, you think it could be fun to see him live with your toddler. 

8. You never go to the bathroom alone. There is always a little person by your side handing you toilet paper, saying “mommy, mommy” or throwing things into the bathtub. Or your husband, who wants to talk to you and tell you about his day while you’re trying to get five minutes of sanity!

9. Naps are a marathon! In the two hours your toddler is sleeping, you run around getting the house back in order, cook gourmet meals, fold laundry (never-ending), get in a quick workout and complete house organization project. Naptime ends and you wonder, “What did I do with my time before this child?” On the days that your toddler decides to hold a “nap strike”, you are absolutely miserable and will need an extra coffee run to keep up with your toddler and an extra glass of wine after an early bedtime. 

Schedule10. The immense happiness that you get from this little creature is immeasurable! When she smiles, wraps her little arms around your neck for a hug or learns something new your heart melts. You are glad that the days are never dull and you wouldn’t have it any other way.