|Who needs toys when you can suck on Dad's chokable earbuds?|
|playing inside a suitcase, of course|
|cookie-face, diaper, necklace, smile: perfect!|
I've been rolling a list through my head of dead serious and hilarious guidelines for staying (mostly) sane while spending time with a toddler. Here are a few I stuck to today:
- Develop listening and/or not listening super-powers. I can power through a conversation over a din of whining like a pro. (A professional conversationalist?) And I can run to the next room when things get eerily quiet (which is likely a sign of choking, artistic material misappropriation, or toilet paper roll discovery). I can not hear a request for more cookies. I can hear "I need your love" through a sobbing squeal.
- Create a consumer map of child-friendly establishments. For example, I like to check Kid 2 Kid for things that don't really need to be new, or on days that I have the itch to buy something like look-new red sparkle shoes two sizes up, which is the size Baby A will likely wear when she first views The Wizard of Oz ($3.99 = score!), while Baby A likes to play in the designated area always within peeking distance.
- Always, always carry a snack. For Little, and for you. Because grouchiness and hunger are correlative by 95%. (I have studied this at length while grocery shopping and bringing the car in for repair.)
- Only supply the amount toys/clothes/books/food you are willing to tidy/wash/read one million times/mop up. At least half of Baby A's toys are in her closet, rotated every Friday with the ones in her bedroom. And she can have as many helpings of dinner as she wishes, but her plate only gets one paper towel-ful at a time.