I sat at the kitchen table with What to Expect the Toddler Years, a book that isn't quite as necessary as its predecessors for many reasons, some of them being: mucus plugs are none of your concern anymore; you've actually birthed the baby, so if you ate soft cheeses during gestation and your child grew a third arm because of it, you know by now; and finally, the size, color and frequency of your child's bowel movements are no longer a nutritional barometer, since at this point it's obvious he can survive on Cheetos, M&Ms and the occasional mandarin orange slice.
What to Expect the Toddler Years is more of an empathetic friend than a personal physician or hovering know-it-all. It's one of those go-to books you reach for in moments of desperation, just to be sure that other people's toddlers prefer to go pantsless as well.
For the uninitiated, every chapter features Q&A between parents and experts under various subheadings. As I paged through Month 24, I felt as though the room was closing in around me. If my life were a movie, this scene would feature a number of quick-zoom shots and perhaps some ominous Watch This Revelation Unfold music. My heart sank reading each subheading for Month 24:
Tantrums in Public
What's Behind Your Toddler's Tantrums
Heading Off Tantrums
Tantrums Aren't Just for Kids
Dealing With Tantrums
That list is not even a joke.
And now for a moment of confession: I may have hoped that Ethan had an ear infection, so at least there was a definitive reason for his devilish behavior, other than the onset of Terrible Twodom. In the end it turns out that he didn't have an ear infection (thank goodness), but neither had he morphed permanently into a Naughty Child. The impishness was merely viral.
Now that the nose has finally stopped running, his persistent demands for candy are again honeyed with hugs and kisses. All is right with the world.
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Elsewhere, I am now the Friday contributor to the inimitable Sarah Von's Secret Society of List Addicts. Mosey on over to read my first post, "Risks I took that yielded much Awesome." While you're there, why not divulge some of your own risky business?