Congratulations! You’re the proud parent of a bouncing baby toddler. This is not a “summer tips for new parents” list, this is a “summer tips for new parents of toddlers” list. Whole new ballgame. There may have been a time (last year) when you thought it was a lot of work to go somewhere in the summer. Let’s say you’re meeting friends at the beach. Not only do you need your personal beach essentials, you also need your diaper bag, baby beach stuff, AND the infant in the clunky bucket seat. Almost easier to stay home, right? Nah, you got this. Armed with innocence and a healthy dose of what I like to call “crazy sleep,” you’re ready to visit to big, brave world.
Besides, it only gets worse from here.
It’s a brand new summer, and your tiny, well-contained child is now a toddler. He runs. He demands. He takes off his pants at inopportune times to announce things like “I pee on the floor!”
You carried this child for nine months. You survived the period of crazy sleep (or you’re still in it; kudos). You brought this child, as a red-faced, round-the-clock-nursing infant to parties, church services, weddings, libraries, everywhere! Surely you can handle him as a summer toddler!
You can now! With these FIVE, LIFE CHANGING (ok, maybe not) tips…
1.) Repeat after me: “I have the power. I have the power. I have the power.”
Toddlers are amazing at sucking all of the confidence out of a room. If you don’t adopt this as your mantra, you’ll be spending your summer watching Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood and eating goldfish from the bag. Who has the power?! Not the two year old, don’t fall into this trap.
2.) Always travel with at least six pairs of toddler socks.
Your precious bundle of tiny human may be in sandals or barefoot all summer, but should you want to visit any bounce house/indoor play place, get some socks on that kid. Otherwise, you risk being turned away by the bounce house keeper, and this is a surefire way to bring on your child’s wrath.
3.) Two words: spray sunscreen.
Oh, it’s toxic and causes food allergies and cancer? If you think your toddler will stay still long enough for you to rub hard clay all over his exposed skin, you are wrong. Spray in his general direction and hope for the best. (Real tip: I do use spray sunscreen, but I spray it in my hands to apply on my child’s face/neck. He doesn’t risk inhaling sunscreen, and I’m in and out of there in about sixty seconds.)
4.) Always pack an extra pair of shorts.
Because he’ll need a change after he’s pulled his first pair down and peed on them.
So your small tyrant may have a meltdown. They may spend every second you’re away trying to escape from your line of sight. They may cry, yell “don’t hit me!!!!” when no one is near them, announce their undying love for their own private parts, refuse to wave at friends, wave exclusively at strangers, or anything else their little minds concoct, but mamas? Go. Don’t live inside and in fear of what could be this summer. Go and do and live.
And remember all of the embarrassing things your kids do so you can remind them about it at their wedding.