Thursday, 4 September 2014

Why Can't We Be Friends?

A long while back I wrote about what it was like to be the first of your group of friends to have kids and how it is truly a double edged sword.  I was somehow under the impression that once some of our friends dove into the pool of parenthood that it would be a great equalizer.  I was wrong.  I understand that part of this divide comes with the fact that I have two toddlers/pre-schoolers while most other people have one infant and from time to time I fantasize about how easy breezy life would be with one child, but that is not our reality (nor would I ever really want that).

Once again we're faced with a win-lose situation with a variety of pros and cons of what it's like to be parents of pre-schoolers in the land of babies.  I thought once my friends had children that I wouldn't have to send out apologetic texts about my divided attention and the trail of chaos we've left behind after we attempt to have a conversation while everyone is distracted and exhausted.

Baby proofed is not Toddler proofed, and toddler proofed is not pre-schooler proofed
Your friend is super stoked that they secured all of their baby gates, latched all of their cupboards and their baby is barely crawling.  You come over for a visit and your children open all of the gates and knock over knick knacks that are too high for a baby to reach.  In the end you end up doing just as much hovering and recovery work as you would in a house with absolutely no baby proofing.  We regularly offer up Molly and Jack's services to "test" baby proofing, toddler proofing and raccoon proofing: their fee - Popsicles that they'll use to help destroy your new couch.  Sorry!

Sharing isn't an issue, unless it's an issue
My kids won't likely want to play with the same toys as a baby or toddler, but sometimes they'll insist on sharing an age inappropriate toy with your baby out of the kindness of their own hearts.  As soon as your baby accepts said toy (which is guaranteed to be riddled with choking hazards) they will want it back, immediately.

toddler in hand knit purple bonnet and sweater
Just because Molly has two balls doesn't mean that she's willing to share.

The more you want my kids to interact with your kid the more indifferent they'll be and vice-versa
My three year old probably thinks your six month old is boring and doesn't want to play paddy-cake with them, unless you are trying to feed them or get them to sleep, in that case they'll be yelling: "HEY BABY!" at the top of their lungs in your childs' face or insisting that you let them hold them while they stand at the top of a staircase and pour a sippy cup of juice all over them.

Toddlers can talk
This can be entertaining when they say cute things like, "I like your hair" to a friend or recite the alphabet song.  Not so much when they declare their dislike for you child/cooking/house loudly, vocally and repeatedly while you're trying to have a discussion.

Toddlers can fetch things
This is super handy when you need a diaper from the nursery, or a beer from the fridge.  Not so much when you drop your baby's binky and they take it hostage insisting that it's their own personal "plug".

Toddlers are Divas
My children used to be the only kids on the block, literally.  You used to cuddle them and talk about how cute they were, but now you've got a baby on "their" lap and you haven't commented once on how adorable they are today.  In their minds they are Beyonce* and your offspring is Destiny's Child.  It's not personal.  Okay it's kinda personal, but they'll forget because they're three.

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*This MAD TV Skit on Beyonce and Destiny's Child still cracks me up

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