Parenting is one thing. Parenting a toddler, on the other hand, is a whole other thing. A whole other Twilight Zone thing.
When you have a toddler, you can take everything you know about being a mom or dad and throw it in the trash. Most likely because your toddler has probably already destroyed it beyond recognition anyway.
Study this list carefully of 10 things never to do with or near a toddler. You can thank us later.
Toddler No-Noes (A Guide for Parents) 1 of 11You're welcome.
Leave Them in the Presence of an Open Laptop 2 of 11Particularly if you have something even remotely important pulled up on the screen. They just have a way of ruining what's on there and then innately knowing how to push "send."
"My toddler ruined in my life" is the new "The dog ate my homework."
Eat 3 of 11Family meals are important, but if you thought you could eat the food on your plate with a toddler present, think again. From their perspective, the grass is always greener — and tastier — on your plate. Even if they have the exact same food on their plate.
On second thought, it is a good dieting strategy.
Get Attached to Your Plans 4 of 11The road to hell is paved with plans you made that didn't include your toddler.
Sleep 5 of 11Toddlers like their sleep. Emphasis on their sleep. If they see you sleeping, on the other hand, they will poke your eyes until you open them.
After all, if a toddler is awake, everyone should be partying.
Leave Them Diaperless 6 of 11It doesn't matter if they haven't had a bite to eat or a sip of anything to drink in a week.
The second the diaper comes off and they're given the freedom to stand butt naked on an heirloom rug, sit on your light-colored duvet cover or be held in your arms as you're dressed and ready to go out, you will regret it.
Leave Them Alone with an Older Silbing 7 of 11You might try showing your toddler the proper way to act and behave throughout the day, but an older sibling, if given the opportunity, might just show them a glimpse of what death could look and feel like.
Payback's a toddler.
Leave Them Alone with a Younger Silbing 8 of 11If you're at all attached to your younger child, don't ever leave them alone with your toddler.
Enjoy Some Quiet Time 9 of 11There is no better time to make some significant noise then when they know it'll really be quiet.
In some ways, they're like artists and the silence is their blank canvas on which to create some aural performance art. If you think of it that way, it may lessen the severity of your stress-induced migraine.
Wear Clean Clothes 10 of 11Regardless if they were just bathed and you're only kissing them goodnight for a second before leaving them with a babysitter as you're on your way out for the evening — don't do it.
If you are wearing clean clothes, they will find a way to wipe snot on your sleeve, smear remnants of their dinner on your pants, find a patch of wet paint somewhere in the world and rub it on your collar and tag you up with the only non-washable magic marker in the house.
Expect to Have a Good Time 11 of 11Toddlers are totally the life of the party. Any party. Any time.
You know, except when they're not. And only they'll know when that will be. But don't worry — they'll let you know when it is.
Photo credits: iStockphoto
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