During the first few years of your child’s life, nearly everything they do is a yay moment. “Oh look, she’s smiling at me — yay!” But as your child becomes more and more like a toddler and preschooler not everything is a yay moment, and the major milestones you think will be become a bit like a receiving a bottle of water when you’re lost in the desert . . . you just really, really need them to be around soon. Some of these are not at all what you think they will be, though. Welcome to the world of false hope parenting moments. Not to say that these moments aren’t still important, but they may not be what you were expecting. Please share what you learn here with other parents, and add your own experiences in the comments below!
1. Potty Training = No More Wiping Butts
The first time she pees or poos (usually pee first) in the potty is a glorious moment where you find yourself doing the Pull-Ups Potty Dance, or maybe some other spectacle you’ve prepared for the beginning of what you think will be when you will never have to wipe her again . . . only to learn that it will not change much. Though you’ll be saving on diapers, you’ll need to be aware of frequent potty breaks (something you never had to think about before for your child), and even after your daughter (or son) has daytime and nighttime potty down, you will continue to wipe her for at least a few years more because she either can’t reach to wipe the poo or decorates your hand towels and curtains in the process of trying to wipe herself. Yep, you’ve traded in the Diaper Genie for a toilet, and your days of wiping continue (some say at least until age 5 or 6).
2. Puree-Free After 1 Year
Wrong! Some babies (and even kids) continue to like the taste of baby food, well after their intro to soft and solid foods. Plus, kids everywhere are digging the applesauce and other fruits offered in pouches at the store, which are pureed fruit just like baby food!
3. She Can Get Ready Without Help
It’s an accomplished feeling when your daughter (or son) can get dressed all by themselves. But, you’ll still need to check her choices before she leaves the door well into her teens. As a toddler it’s more about showing your child which direction underwear should be worn, and how to take yesterday’s clothing off before piling on today’s outfit. When she’s older it will be the opposite problem — the need to pile on more layers to what she’s wearing. Think your days of brushing the kiddo’s teeth are over? Toddlers usually don’t know how to spit out the toothpaste until at least 2, if not 3 years of age, and dentists recommend brushing for them until at least 4 (give them the brush to do it themselves after you’re done) then supervising the brushing until at least age 8!