What I forgot about life with a toddler; 4 simple tips for moms and Gigis (like me) for coping and capturing the joy moments.

What I forgot about life with a toddler (4 simple tips for moms and grandmas)

Ruthie Rearing 10 Comments

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If you’ve been following the blog, you know that I have a three foot tiny tornado living with me now while his parents are in job/house transition.  (Actually, they live with me too.)

It’s been roughly 17 years since I’ve had an almost two year old in the house, and sister, I’m feelin’ it.

Strange – because I had four.

Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve still got my baby skillz.  I’m good at it.

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What I forgot about life with a toddler; 4 simple tips for moms and Gigis (like me) for coping and capturing the joy moments.



But the thing I have this time around that I didn’t the last four times is (gulp)


The ole’ Gray gal just ain’t what she used to be.  Aka getting down into the floor and back up doesn’t look as graceful as it once did.

Plus the fact that I got used to having a house that didn’t look like a Tasmanian devil was living in it.


When you’ve been distanced from toddler hood, you forget that:

  • floors are always crumby
  • floors are always sticky
  • floors always have milk dots
  • floors always have juice dots
  • floors are for sitting, lying, and licking
  • floors are for crushed cheerios
  • floors are for a butt load of toys
  • floors are swept and spot cleaned every day.
  • floors are swept and spot cleaned more than once every day.


Now that we’ve covered the ground area, let’s get on with the rest:

  • all your tv shows now have cartoon character voices
  • the couch has milk dots
  • toys are everywhere
  • you are never alone
  • fingerprints are all over your glass doors
  • diapers stink
  • you spell stuff out a lot
  • never leave the toddler alone
  • they constantly jabber
  • you need a translator
  • the gates are UP (hence, the dilemma of the less-than-limber grandma doing the hurtle 20 times a day to get in and out of the kitchen)
  • you can’t eat in front of them
  • you are ready for bed early every night


Don’t get me wrong.  I love this kid to the moon and beyond.

I think he knows it, too.


When you are a grandparent, things take on a different spin, since it’s not your kid.

You get to do fun stuff.


Such as:

  • giving him ice cream for breakfast
  • giving him blueberry muffins whenever he asks
  • washing his feet in the kitchen sink
  • lying in the floor with plastic cheese on your head while he feeds you a plastic drumstick
  • putting your schedule aside to cuddle and read
  • giving him back to his mama to discipline


I may or may not have been guilty of all of these.

I like that.  It’s kinda like the best of both worlds.


What I forgot about life with a toddler; 4 simple tips for moms and Gigis (like me) for coping and capturing the joy moments.

If you are the parent of a toddler – bless your heart.

It’s fun, funny, and a TON of work.

Daughter number one was cut out for motherhood and I tell her that all the time.  She’s good at it.  But that doesn’t mean she doesn’t have a few bad days.

My advice for you, having done it myself, and now watching my daughter is:


 1.  Hang loose with the schedule.

Your kid will not be two forever (I know you just said, “Praise the Lord”).  Your toddler is more important than your list.  Someday you won’t remember how many loads of laundry didn’t get done, but you will remember spending time with your child.

2.  Soak up every detail.

Watch them play.  Laugh at their antics.  Scrutinize their little fingers and toes. 

Someday that little boy foot will be a giant man foot. And those are NOT cute. Click To Tweet

3.  Laugh it up.

They love to be silly!  They love when you’re silly!  But mostly, they are just so freaking funny that it’s a crying shame if you don’t realize that.  Enjoy them.

4.  Write it down.

I wish I had done more of this.  Facebook is nice because you can snap a pic and jot a description of what’s happening and you have it.  But I encourage you to journal just a bit.  Have scraps of paper or post it notes handy.  Once a week, take the time to sit down and log those bits into your journal.  You will be oh so glad you did someday!  Your kids will LOVE these stories, trust me.


If you are the grandparent of a toddler – yippee

You win.  You get to enjoy the benefits without all the hassle.  My advice for you is:


1.   Support your child in his or her parent effort.

Remember trying to figure it out?  That’s where they are now.  Focus on their strengths and be sure to praise them for their efforts.

2.  Help them out.

Yesterday I walked down the stairs and right into a stand-off between Tiny Tornado and his mama while he stood up against the front door, ready to exit the building and refusing to eat lunch.  I decided to be the “bad guy”, and, picking him up, I “flew” him into the kitchen and straight to the sliced watermelon.  Now, the kid loves his “memon” so guess who won and everybody was happy.

3.  Stand back and let them parent.

There are times when you’re sure you know better, and you may.  But you had your chance.  Now it’s their turn – it’s a new level of parenting and letting go for you.  This goes for letting them pick out names, too.  For goodness sakes, leave off with the opinion, will ya?  You got to name your own kid, now let them do it.

4.  Be careful of your words.

Listen, this one isn’t easy and I fail just like everyone else.  But chances are, your kid is doing the best she can at this parenting thing, so off-the-cuff remarks and insinuations are not constructive criticism.  Give grace, just has you have been given.  And if you feel you must give advice, don’t do it without a lot of prayer and humility.  And then, “Let it go” (just like the song – which “TT” is also becoming proficient at singing, even if it is just, “Wed id do, wed id doooo—“).  At least you said it, now you must accept whatever your kid (the parent) decides.

What I forgot about life with a toddler; 4 simple tips for moms and Gigis (like me) for coping and capturing the joy moments.


When Sawyer and his parents came to live with us, I was in the throes of getting my blog up and going, with MUCH technical difficulty, which continues to be the case.

I had several personal goals and deadlines, and struggled a bit with the balance of things.





Last night, I finally threw up my hands and said, “Ok, God.  I give up ‘x’ goal.  I can see it’s not happening.  I haven’t had the time to properly prep for it, nor the technical support for the problems occurring.  This obviously is not YOUR goal – it’s mine.  So, I give up.  I’m not meeting the deadline, and You know that I’m not.  You’re the one in charge here, not me.  So, I trust You.  You have your reasons.  I’m standing down.”


And then, peace flooded my soul, and I knew I’d chosen right.


God has His reasons for what’s happening in your life too.

He’s putting those “little interruptions” such as your toddler, your pre-schooler, your teeny bopper, your teenager, your college age child, your adult child, and your married, parenting child in your life because they ARE your life.  (Oh, and don’t forget the husband – he’s important too.)

Goals are nice.  If you aim at nothing, you’ll hit it every time.

But if you aim at something and you don't hit it, don't go all kamikaze on everyone. Click To Tweet

Take a step back and look at what DID get accomplished because you had that goal.


And decide

to be ok with that.


After all, God is ok with you.  He’s the one saving you and forgiving you.  If He can give you grace,

you can give you grace.


And don’t forget to take the time to look at things from a three foot height range once in a while.


What I forgot about life with a toddler; 4 simple tips for moms and Gigis (like me) for coping and capturing the joy moments.


“Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me.  But He said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”  2 Corinthians 12:8-9



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Comments 10

  1. You hit the nail on the head. I have a toddler and a grown daughter both struggling. My heart is sometimes numb and I forget to seek my Fathers face. Thanks for the encouragement to keep moving and let God plan my steps.

    1. Post

      Sandy, we are so much better off when we seek Him early and often throughout the day. Even just keeping your Bible open on your countertop to your Scripture reading for the day or writing a verse on a 3×5. I remember so often not giving myself grace enough to catch snippets of Bible reading here and there that I just threw it all out the window so many times. God knows. He is doing great things through you, my friend! What a blessing and inspiration you have been to many in this new endeavor. Praying for you – and for Grace and baby girl. 🙂

  2. Don’t go all kamikaze. Brilliant!

    And you with plastic cheese on your forehead? Would love a picture.

    Seriously, though, the words to future grandparents are golden. Keep leading the way. I’m watching. So much still to learn!

    1. Post

      Oh girl, I’ve got the picture. Do you have an Instagram? It’s on there, but I’ll text you.
      Good to connect with you, I feel as if we are both going about 900 mph these days.
      Someday, we MUST get together. It has to happen.

  3. Oh Ruthie, I loved this! You are so right, it’s so hard but so awesome at the same time. I love the advice you have for grandparents too, I always wonder how my own parents did when we were toddlers. I’m sure they made their share of mistakes too 🙂

    It’s a rough ride but I try to enjoy it everyday. My little man makes me laugh so much most of the time and it can be a lot of fun.

    1. Post

      Marianne! I feel like God smiled down on me today and decided to bless me extra special with your presence! You don’t know how much you have already encouraged me in this venture, but to get a visit from you – WOW! I’m super excited!
      Anyhoo, I didn’t realize you had a little boy until I connected with you on Instagram – LOVE the pics! And Florida is my fave. I’m going there next wee (hub’s home office is there).
      And YES. It is a rough ride every day with little ones. But they are funny and you’re right, that makes it so fun! I’m glad you stopped by to read and thanks for the kind words. Enjoy little man today!

  4. Aww! Sounds like good lessons learned. My mom has her oldest 4 kids out of the house now, but is taking care of an extra 4 little ones 4 years old and under for some dear friends–she says she doubts she’ll ever have time to forget what toddlers are like! I know she’d feel the house was way too quite without them.

    1. Post

      Absolutely, Rachel. I know she misses the ones that are gone, but I’ve seen a big surge in parents getting back into the game and caring for others, because of such a need for foster care. It’s a great way to cope! Right now, my little grandson and his family are living with us, so that keeps the house from being too quiet! 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!

  5. I just shared this on facebook 😉 I visited your site during write 31 days and came back around looking for a post on connecting with God as a busy mom–or did we just discuss that in the comments? Well, if you have any posts about that, I’d love to read them! Thanks for making me laugh today. I can totally relate to no longer being able to go barefoot in my own home because the floor is just nasty all the time (and good for you for cleaning it…I think you forgot that moms in the throes of it all finally just give up and don’t bother with the cleaning;-) )

    1. Post

      Well thank you so much, it’s the raisin lady! So good to see you again, Leslie! I’m sorry you didn’t find what you were looking for, maybe it was in the comments – life was kind of a blur during that time LOL! I do have them, I promise. I’ll stop over and drop them off! 😉
      And yes, I do remember putting up with SO much more when mine were all younger. Except we had a pug who licked up everything the second it hit the floor so she was my only salvation back then to having a clean floor! Thanks for stopping by, I’m thrilled to see you again! And thanks for sharing my post, that was so thoughtful!

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