If you’ve never dreaded running an errand in public, or spent a Friday night scrubbing “art” off your walls, you’ve probably never had the pleasure of raising a toddler.
Living with a 3-year-old is challenging on a lot of levels. A toddler has to be watched constantly, or they’ll be naked and out the front door before you can say, “Dear God, what happened in here?”
Their language skills are still developing, so they communicate mainly through screaming, crying, and more screaming. We find ourselves catering to them, mostly to avoid the screaming, as if we’re hostages in our own homes.
Toddlers need almost constant comforting, and they’ll reward you by eating all your food and exhausting all of your patience. They’ll make messes faster than you can pick them up, and no matter how hard you clean it, your bathroom will always smell a little like pee.
If I were to compare it to anything, I’d bet that living with a toddler is just like having to babysit a friend who’s had way too much to drink — all day, every day. Here are 20 ways that toddlers are basically tiny drunk people:
1. Don’t expect them to look where they’re going. They stumble a lot.
2. Self-restraint is not really their thing. “I am going to eat all of this cake, or until I pass out, whichever comes first.”
3. They have zero shame. And neither seems to be fond of pants.
4. The talking never stops. But you probably won’t understand a damn thing they’re saying.
5. THEY. ARE. SO. LOUD.
6. They cry for seemingly no reason. “WHY DID YOU BRING ME THE RED CUP? WHYYY?”
7. Their default emotion seems to be anger. Watch as they Hulk out over every single situation.
8. They’re constantly spilling and knocking things over.
9. In fact, if left to their own devices, they’ll destroy your entire house.
10. They’re inexplicably sticky. And a little smelly if we’re being honest.
11. They’ll pee anywhere. “Who needs a toilet when there’s a hamper or a tall, potted plant nearby?”
12. And probably soil themselves. “Whoops, couldn’t quite make it to the plant.”
13. They will devour every last carbohydrate in your home. No chips, crackers, or pretzel left behind.
14. They’re the messiest eaters. They will definitely spill something on their shirt. And your carpet.
15. And it’s likely that they’ll throw at least some of it up later. Keep a bucket around, just in case.
16. You find yourself wanting to get drunk in order to tolerate them.
17. They think they’re amazing dancers. They are amazing…ly bad.
18. They’ll never admit they’re tired.
19. But they’ll pass out anywhere. Hallways, bathroom floors, you name it.
20. It’s pretty much guaranteed they’ll wake up parched in the middle of the night.
Generally speaking, both toddlers and drunk people know how to party, but neither knows how to set boundaries. You have to look out for them and make sure they don’t do anything too dangerous. They’re constantly needing attention, having emotional breakdowns, and wanting to be fed.
Anyone who has cared for their loud, obnoxious, inebriated friend can understand how exhausting that experience can be. Now just imagine having to do that for a few years. Exactly. Now you know why moms like coffee (and wine) so much.
So save the judgment the next time you see a picture of a toddler passed-out, upside-down, with their hand stuck in a can of Pringles. I promise you the parent is even more exhausted than that kid.
And as for the other parents-of-toddlers out there, try to remember that they’ll grow out of this stage soon enough. For now, just appreciate that they’re still small enough to carry to bed when you find them passed out in the hall.
This post first appeared on Scary Mommy