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12 Ways Being a Toddler Is Like Being Pregnant

As I sat at dinner watching my two-year-old try her best to stomach a piece of chicken and ultimately gag it back up into my hand, I was reminded of my efforts to eat chicken while I was pregnant.

No matter how much I knew I needed the protein, the sight of it made me totally nauseous.

Ultimately, I needed to disguise it between two pieces of bread and copious amounts of ketchup to get it down.

Ketchup is what gets my daughter to eat most of her food, too.

After giving it some thought, I realized toddlers are like pregnant women in lots of ways.

Doubtful? Think about the crying, the diet, the EVERYTHING.

Allow me to demonstrate with twelve compelling examples.


  • image-267 1 of 12
    image-267
    My toddler will cry hysterically because she doesn't want to go to the playground and then, all of a sudden, she'll stop, smile, and scream excitedly, "Let's go to the playground!!!" Uh, sure, kid — whatever you say. Which is probably the same reaction my husband had to me when I would be on top of the world, catch a glimpse of my large, pregnant self in the mirror and start sobbing uncontrollably.
  • image-268 2 of 12
    image-268
    When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with gazpacho. That was all I wanted to eat, every single meal of the day. If my toddler had the choice, she would be on a dried mango-only diet. She requests it morning, noon, and night.
    Photo found on Flickr
  • image-273 3 of 12
    image-273
    In nine months, a pregnant woman can gain 25-50 lbs, popping buttons on her shirts and rendering pants zippers useless until she is forced to buy a whole new maternity wardrobe.
    Toddlers don't fare much better. Pants I bought my daughter just a few months ago are suddenly too short, t-shirts are unintentionally showing her tummy, and her feet have grown from a size 4 to a size 8 just since this past summer.
  • image-270 4 of 12
    image-270
    When I was pregnant, I routinely cried to my husband for no other reason than he should know what was wrong, even if I had no idea myself. This morning my daughter had a screaming fit about something. I think it had to do with her Minnie Mouse spoon, judging by the way she was waving it around like a crazy person. Was it dirty? Did she want the Dora spoon instead? Would she have prefered a fork? I have no idea. She wasn't talking.
  • image-272 5 of 12
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    I used mine in case of sudden nausea. I keep my toddler's in case of sudden tantrums. It's a great go-to if either is hungry, but they'd rather eat dirt than their surrounding options.
  • image-269 6 of 12
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    While I was pregnant, I was exhausted and nauseous. What little brain capacity I had left was dedicated to my day job and memorizing every page of my pregnancy books. If you asked me where my coat or my keys were? I was like a toddler trying to locate her sippy cup. Or her blankie. Or the blue crayon. For the 17th time that afternoon.
  • image-271 7 of 12
    image-271
    The surest way to get toddlers to do something is to praise them. Eat a piece of broccoli? "Well done!" Brush their own hair? "Good job!" Put the square peg in the circle hole? "Nice try!"
    Pregnant women aren't that much different. They want compliments. "You look so sexy pregnant!" They want thanks. "Thank you for trying to make dinner even though you passed out while the water was boiling!" They want appreciation. "Carrying my child for nine months gives you a free massage pass forever!"
  • image-274 8 of 12
    image-274
    While pregnant, they call it "nesting." I moved the furniture in the nursery endlessly before deciding on the best configuration. Likewise, my toddler has now decided that our bedroom duvet belongs on the floor and the pillows on the couch can be put to much better use as beds for her stuffed animals. Tomorrow she'll probably decide that her Sesame Street playhouse belongs in the bathroom, and her potty belongs in the kitchen.
  • image-275 9 of 12
    image-275
    Although, to be fair, I'm not currently pregnant and I won't pass it up either.
  • image-276 10 of 12
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    I remember telling my husband I was in the mood for Chinese and by the time it got there, I could think of nothing more disgusting. Ditto for your toddler. How many times have you been asked to peel a banana, only to have it rejected when you are done?
  • image-277 11 of 12
    image-277
    No explanation needed.
  • image-278 12 of 12
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    Being pregnant was the greatest excuse in the book to get my husband to get things for me. "I want ice cream." "We don't have ice cream." "I guess you'll have to go to the store then." I would scream his name if I wanted everything from a glass of water to a new mattress. Kind of like the way my toddler is screaming for juice, right about ... NOW.

MORE ON BABBLE:
The real reason why being a toddler is hard
The silliest things my toddler has cried over … and the silliest things pregnant women have cried over
24 habits of highly annoying toddlers
12 reasons why I want to be a toddler again

Read more of Ilana’s writing at Mommy Shorts.
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