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8 Things I Wish I’d Never, Ever Let My Toddler Do

Live and learn. If any motto applies to parenthood, it’s that one.

I’m by no means a perfect mother. Along the way I’ve made bad choices and done things I should never have done, such as purchasing yogurt that comes in tubes or ever letting my kids know that there was such thing as preschool iPhone apps.

Toddler parents, take heed. Here are 8 things I regret allowing my toddler to do.

Don’t be like me. If you’ve not yet made these mistakes there still may be time for you. Stay strong, toddler parents. Stay strong.

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  • Play Games on My iPhone 1 of 8
    Play Games on My iPhone
    Seriously, not only has my phone become a glorified toddler gaming device, I now spend more time searching between the couch cushions for it than I do using it to, you know, TALK ON THE PHONE.
  • Push the Cart at the Grocery Store 2 of 8
    Push the Cart at the Grocery Store
    We've all been there. After a long day we make a "quick" grocery store run for necessary provisions (read: wine and/or caffeine) and the toddler in your life refuses to sit in the cart. You tell yourself that you'll just allow her to push it this one time. Welcome to an eternity of apologies to the store manager for your child knocking over the display case.
  • Convince Me to Separate the Raisins from the Bran in Raisin Bran 3 of 8
    Convince Me to Separate the Raisins from the Bran in Raisin Bran
    I purchased Raisin Bran because I thought it would be a healthy, nourishing breakfast for my kids. Little did I know that I should have just bought raisins since my toddler acts as if bran flakes are booger flavored cardboard. (Bad example since she'd probably actually eat that.)
  • Play Dress Up in My Clothes 4 of 8
    Play Dress Up in My Clothes
    I don't know what it is about my clothes that she finds so utterly appealing. Hers are generally more fashion-forward and definitely cost more!
  • Use Ketchup Not as a Condiment but a Sauce 5 of 8
    Use Ketchup Not as a Condiment but a Sauce
    There's no food (except Raisin Bran) that can't be doctored up with a little— or a lot— of the red stuff.
  • “Help” Me Cook 6 of 8
    "Help" Me Cook
    Sure, it's a great way to bond with your toddler and full of fine motor and sensory skill development. Forget all that. It's a huge mess. They can learn to cook in Home Ec class in high school.
  • “Just Say Hi” to the Person I’m Talking to on the Phone 7 of 8
    "Just Say Hi" to the Person I'm Talking to on the Phone
    I created a monster the first time I thought it would be "so cute" for my toddler to "just say hi" to Grandma. Now it doesn't matter who I'm talking to— the elementary school principal, the power company, the man trying to sell me Omaha Steaks— she wants to chat. Come to think of it, that may be the best strategy yet for ending those annoying sales calls.
  • Draw with Sidewalk Chalk…on the House 8 of 8
    Draw with Sidewalk Chalk...on the House
    Sidewalk chalk is a fun and inexpensive toddler activity. However, as we unfortunately found out, a power washer is required to remove it from 100 year old masonry work, making the whole thing a lot less cheap and fun. Live and learn.

More by Mary Lauren:

Things I Didn’t Realize Until My Toddler Started Walking

You Asked, I Answered: How Can I Get My Toddler to Listen?

Halloween Costumes Inspired by Children’s Books

Mary Lauren Weimer is a social worker turned mother turned writer. Her blog, My 3 Little Birds, encourages moms to put down the baby books for a moment and tell their own stories. Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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