Whack! Like a hand to the face, it arrived. At thirteen months of age, Dora’s first steps meant she had graduated from baby to toddler. Toddlerhood was here.
Raise your hand now if you thought this baby caper wasn’t too tricky. That was me. That is, until the walking began.
Panic set in as we rushed to toddler proof everything that was in reach. Dora’s eyes were filled with eagerness to explore. She was ready to go past the realms of the humble lounge room that had held her captive for so many months. Soon, a whole new world of discovery was in front of Dora. New rooms, drawers, doors and nooks around the house were all waiting to be toddlerfied. Her feet could not keep up with her body.
Parks were the next big adventure. No longer confined to the swing, the wide open spaces beyond the play equipment called. Bird chasing, stick collecting, dirt eating and taking off in the opposite direction to grown ups was what was in store from now. Hand holding was out, independence was in.
With her new set of heavy duty batteries charged, we needed to think of ways to deplete their supply. Play centres with their mountainous climbing frames, abyss like ball pits and toddler friendly toys were a great escape from the house. Stopping for snacks or lunch was frowned upon because there was too much to see and do.
No fear meant jumping into duck ponds, chasing crows, talking to bees and dismounting from moving trikes and that was all before lunch.
Day trips could often end with a fight to get back into the car or pram. Curbing the fun is what parents do best. And for a moment, your toddler will make you feel like the worst parent ever because you have stopped their fun. That is, until the next distraction.
Hold on to your trikes! It’s here. It’s exciting and exhausting. It’s toddlerhood.