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. All I wanted was a piece of bread.
Hmmmm… All my two-year-old wants to eat is bread too.
After giving it some thought, I realized toddlers are like pregnant women in lots of ways. Doubtful? Think about the crying, the overly bland diet, the EVERYTHING.
Allow me to demonstrate with twelve very compelling examples.
Being pregnant was the greatest excuse in the book to make my husband get me things. “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 two-year-old is screaming for juice, right about … NOW.
My two-year-old 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, “Go 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.
When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with gazpacho. That was all I wanted to eat, every single meal of the day. If it wasn’t for bread, my two-year-old would be on a yogurt only diet. She actually likes to drink yogurt smoothies with a side of regular yogurt. She calls it “yogurt and yogurt” and that’s all she craves morning, noon, and night. “I want yogurt and yogurt!” “It’s 5am Harlow.” “YOGURT AND YOGURT!!!” Alright, fine. Just like there is no arguing with a pregnant woman, there is no arguing with a two-year-old.
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 two sizes since this past summer.
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 Frozen spoon, judging by the way she was waving it around like a crazy person. Was it dirty? Did she want the Minnie Mouse spoon instead? Would she have preferred a fork? I have no idea. She wasn’t talking.
When I was pregnant, I kept crackers on hand in case of sudden nausea. I keep my two-year-old’s crackers in case of sudden tantrums. You know, the ones where they are super hungry, verging on HANGRY, but you’re on-the-go and a proper lunch is nowhere in sight.
While I was pregnant, I was in a constant state of exhaustion. 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. Or the Anna’s cape. For the 17th time that afternoon.
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. “Thanks 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!”
If you’re pregnant, they call it “nesting.” I remember moving the furniture in the nursery endlessly before deciding on the best configuration. Likewise, my two-year-old has now decided 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 her Sesame Street playhouse belongs in the bathroom, and her potty belongs in the kitchen. And don’t even try to move the pile of building blocks on the coffee table. They might look like a mess to you, but to a two-year-old, that’s “urban planning”.
Although, to be fair, I’m not currently pregnant and I won’t pass it up either.
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 every two-year-old I know. How many times have you been asked to peel a banana, only to have it rejected when you are done?
No explanation needed.
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