10 telltale signs you’re parenting a toddler

We bet these situations will sound familiar to you if you’ve got a tot at home!

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It sure isn’t easy raising a toddler.

It’s like caring for a person who’s perpetually pumped up on adrenaline, does exactly what she wants whenever she wants to, and tries her best to get on your nerves while she’s at it.

You’ll often find yourself questioning your parenting abilities, wondering if you’re raising your child correctly. While the haze of the newborn baby days is slowly fading, a whole lot of craziness has taken its place. From shrieks of delight that turn into a tantrum at a moment’s notice, to potty training and bedtime battles.

Are you already tearing your hair out? Well, sit back, have a cuppa, and see if you agree with these 10 revealing signs that you have a toddler on your hands.

1. You’re late pretty much always…
Whether it’s a dental appointment, or tea with friends, you can bet that your crazy kid will preventing you from stepping out of that front door by insisting on wearing mismatched shoes, or bringing her entire HotWheels collection along with her.

At the very least, she’s dawdling, and taking an hour and a half to get out of her pyjamas. It’s hard to explain to non-parents why you take so long to get out of the house, but fellow mums raising toddlers ― they get it.

2. … Or extremely early
On the other end of the spectrum, you find yourself Googling to find places that open early for brunch. Simply because junior’s been bugging you for lunch since she woke up at 7am. And yes, we note that it happens most commonly on weekends, just when you think you’ve got licence to sleep in.

You’ll happily leave junior in the reliable hands of daddy or grandma, just to spend a half an hour, leisurely browsing the supermarket shelves on your own.

3. Your handbag is full of…
Wipes, wipes and more wipes.

Also, an extra set of clothes, snacks, juice packs and little toys to keep your mini-me entertained (and to prevent public meltdowns).

By the way, you realise you’re “switching” bags every week or so ― but not for fashion’s sake. You’ve just started noticing a heavy buildup of crumbs at the bottom of the previous one.

4. You love running off to the supermarket to get emergency items
Ran out of milk and eggs? Your hand’s the first one up when it comes to making a last- minute grocery run.

You’ll happily leave junior in the reliable hands of daddy or grandma, just to spend a half an hour, leisurely browsing the supermarket shelves on your own. Supermarket time is now “me time” and no one had better take that away from you!

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5. That whipped cream on the top of the milkshake….
… Is not yours, alas! When you have a tot, you’ll quickly realise that you’ll have to give up the cherries decorating the top of your piece of cake, that cream filling between the Oreo cookies and even the fish balls on your mee pok.

Oh yes, what a luxury it is to be able to slurp every last bit of that luscious cream down on your own.

6. You are always on the lookout for a public toilet
If you have newly toilet-trained toddler, you’ll soon appreciate the convenience of not having to lug around extra diapers. Although this can be overshadowed by the reality that junior will need to go when you least expect it.

You may have just sat down at a restaurant, or are in a long line at the store, and she’ll happily announce that she needs to wee. Of course, there’s nothing else you can do except drop everything you’re doing and hunt down the nearest loo.

That’s why when you spot one in public, you always, always, make a mental note.

You end up getting jabbed by a little foot or an elbow when you’re trying to catch some shuteye.

7. You’re still sleep-deprived
Your young ’un has been sleeping through since she was 9 months old, so why, oh why are you still so sleep deprived?

It probably has something to do with the fact that she sometimes wakes up in the middle of the night because of nightmares, night terrors, monsters under the bed, or simply because she needs mummy to cuddle him to sleep.

Plus, you often find her crawling into your bed in the early morning hours, so you end up getting jabbed by a little foot or an elbow when you’re still trying to catch some shuteye.

8. You can’t remember when you last enjoyed a proper meal
Have you seen those adorable “instagrammable” sandwiches, painstakingly cut into animal or vehicle shapes? What do you think happens to the crust of the bread?

Says Charlotte Wan, mum to Natalie, 3, “By the time I’m done making her breakfast, I’ve eating my fill of bread crusts, extra ham and cheese bits and the remaining half of her apple. I’ll be completely full by then!”

9. You're guilty of "toddler speak"
Even when you’re with your non-mummy pals or colleagues, you find that you easily, and unfortunately lapse into “toddler speak”. This includes announcing that you need to go do a poo poo, and that indescribable urge to go “nee naw nee naw nee naw” when you see a fire engine nearby.

10. You miss babies…
More specifically, you miss little creatures who just can barely move, don’t think about pushing their pinkies into electrical sockets, and who don’t make a big fuss about going home after an hour at the playground!

Photos: iStock

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