Every parenting stage comes with its pros and cons, likes and dislikes. For example, when my daughter was a newborn, I hated when loud trucks would go by during nap time or when people delivering mail or packages would knock on our door and wake her up. Don’t they realize how loud they are?! But, I digress …
Now that I am a parent to a toddler there is a whole new set of things I can’t stand and after a lot of conferring with other toddler parents, I think it’s pretty safe to say that I’m not alone in my disdain for many of these things.
So without further ado, here’s what’s driving me crazy these days …
I’m pretty sure it is a universally acknowledged fact among parents of young children that Caillou is one of the biggest whiners on the planet. I’ve read countless blog posts dedicated to the general feeling of loathing toward this bald-headed 4-year-old, so out of morbid curiosity I watched an episode one day and all of the rumors were confirmed. Caillou is in fact the whiniest toddler on the planet and many parents who have unknowingly allowed their children to watch the show have been met with similarly whiny behavior from their little ones after the fact. Learning through observing at its finest.
I personally love crackers. What’s not to love? They’re carby and crunchy and salty … delicious. What I do not love? Crackers thrown on my floor and crushed up all over my house. You’ll pretty much never find all those cracker crumbs your toddler just spread everywhere, so you might as well just quit while you’re behind.
OK, so technically most of us probably love/hate lollipops. They are brilliant in emergency situations when you need your child to be calm and quiet for a bit and I always keep them in my purse for just such cases, BUT … I also detest them, because they inevitably get stuck to clothes and in hair and create a ridiculously sticky mess on every surface in your child’s surrounding area.
4. Oblivious servers at restaurants
You know the servers I’m talking about … the ones that put every single hot plate and large beverage within reach of your child so he or she can dump it all over the table/floor/themselves/you. Awesome. Oblivious server is also really fantastic about taking your child’s plate before they are finished without even asking you … even if the plate still had a ton of food on it. Bonus points if they ask your child if they’re done eating while you’re distracted and your child says “yes,” so they take it away despite their full plate. Ummm … seriously? You’re asking a two-year-old if they’re done eating broccoli? What do you think the answer is going to be?
5. Non-permission seeking candy offerers
I’m not one to totally ban sweets or anything, but if you want to give my kid a treat, please ask first. Unless you’re a sweet, 90-year-old grandparents type (you get a pass) but everyone else (I’m looking at you grocery store checkers) .. .please discreetly ask a parent first. It’s possible the child may have an allergy or that they just had an epic tantrum and aren’t particularly deserving of a treat at the moment. Maybe it’s almost nap time and their parent doesn’t want them to have sugar at the moment. By offering up candy, you sometimes make me have to be the bad guy by saying no and then epic tantrums ensue. Not a fun time for anyone.
6. Taking our kids to childless friends’ homes
It’s not that we don’t love our childless friends. We do — truly. We just don’t love bringing said kids to their houses. Granted, there are a select few childless friends who “get it” and we can feel comfortable doing this with, but for the most part your houses aren’t kid-proof and we know that by going over we’ll end up spending the entire time stressed out that our kids are going to break or stain something in your lovely home. I realize you’re probably sick of coming to us all the time though, but we like to think you’d rather our kid break our stuff than yours. We can also get babysitters sometimes, but please try not to be offended. It’s not you. It’s our kids.
7. Clothes with a million buttons
Most of the time parents are lucky if they can get their child into a t-shirt without a struggle. Add 22 buttons to that t-shirt and you’ve lost us forever. Ain’t nobody got time for that … particularly not wiggly toddlers.
8. “That” CD
You know what CD I’m talking about. The one that your child requests incessantly, the songs of which haunt your dreams. It doesn’t even necessarily have to be “kid music”; even adult music can have the same obnoxious effect when your toddler insists on hearing the same songs over and over … and over. They really do know how to beat a dead horse, no?
9. Endcaps in stores
Damn you end caps with your junk food and toys and shiny trinkets to entice our impressionable children! Do you even know how many meltdowns have resulted from your clever placement? And why oh why is all the candy located in line where I have to wait with my child to checkout? It’s a brilliant conspiracy to be sure, but as parents we still hate it.
10. Public restrooms
Have you ever tried to pee in a public restroom with a young child in tow? It’s pretty much near impossible. If you’re there to use the changing table, they’re often pretty abysmal and require the use of at least 1/4 cup of hand sanitizer afterward. If you’re there for a child who is “potty trained” and needs to use the facilities … well, heaven help you. And if you’re just there to actually use the facilities yourself, you know how awful it is to sit there watching helplessly as your child attempts to touch every single disgusting surface in the stall while you hastily do your business. The only saving grace for public restrooms are these child seats that have started making appearances. Seriously brilliant. But otherwise .. .public restrooms suck.
What are some of the things that drive you nuts as a parent?
Lauren Hartmann is the founder of The Little Things We Do, a blog about life and adventures in Portland, Oregon. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram or catch up on all of her posts here on Babble.