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Three Things That Surprised Me About Having Small Children

The minute you get pregnant and announce it to the world, the advice and opinions start rolling in. People do not hesitate to tell you how a baby is going to change your life. (And as much as I said I would never do this to people, I totally do it. Sorry!)

You won’t sleep for the next 2 years.

Diapers . . . all the endless diapers . . .

They cry, like, all the time.

And while all of those things are SO HARD in the moment? You at least knew it would happen and are not completely caught off guard when they do.

What I was not prepared for? Small children. They start walking, talking, and gaining small amounts of independence. What happens then?

I currently have a four and six year old and have said many times, “No one told me it would be like this!”

I could easily list 100 things that no one told me. But these are my top three things that have caught me completely off guard in the last couple of years:

They Fall Down. All the Time.

This seems seems so obvious. But it has really surprised me. I knew that a toddler learning to walk would fall. And even 2-3 year olds would fall quite often. I guess I just never realized that at four and six years old they would still be falling all.the.freaking.time.

I never knew that I would eventually become desensitized to the falls. When they are babies, we watch their every move. We hover with arms wide open, ready to catch them before they fall. Now? I can hear a thud from upstairs, followed by blood curdling screaming, and feel nothing. No need to rush upstairs. No need to check on them. In the one million times they have fallen? Only ONE time has been serious and stitches worthy. That is a 1 to 1,000,000 ratio for all of you keeping count out there.

I really just need my kids to learn how to walk already.

They Spill Everything. All the Time.

Just like the falling, the spilling seems like it would be obvious. But it is another thing that has angered surprised me. I guess I just thought it would stop after age three — or at least slow down. But there is not a day that goes by where I am not cleaning up something that has been spilled. 

I have also learned that a spilled drink sends a white-hot rage through my soul. I get REALLY worked up over spilled drinks and completely lose my cool when it happens. Stay calm is my goal. But, y’all. I am ONE spilled drink away from having to be committed. 

Cups with lids and straws, water bottles—and even those snack cups for toddlers that have the top on them have been purchased. But my kids have found a way to spill from all of those contraptions.

If I’m looking for a silver lining? I guess it’s that they are now old enough to clean their up their own mess. That helps a little. Only a little.

This was a Cheerio/Fruit Loop mix I made for her in her snack cup—with a lid. She then shook it—one second later—and spilled it all on the floor.

They NEVER Vomit IN the Toilet.

While I have six years of parenting under my belt, I have yet to get a kid to vomit IN the toilet.  

My kids only get sick in the middle of the night. In the past six months? I have cleaned three vomit-covered beds. I couldn’t even prepare by placing a bucket by the bed. These sicknesses came with no warning. Each time I sent a healthy, happy, kid to bed only to be woken at 2am with a child declaring, “I frowed up.” One of those times was when my son had the stomach bug. I cleaned up his vomit bed and told him he could sleep in our room that night. Shortly after getting him settled in our room, he said he might be sick again. So I, of course very calmly, said “RUN!!! RUN TO THE TOILET!” So he ran to the bathroom and threw up.

Right in the floor. BESIDE the toilet.


Don’t get me wrong here. I feel so bad for them when they get sick. And as their mom, I will gladly clean up a vomit bed with no complaint because I feel so bad for them. But really though. At what age will they be able to sense what’s about to happen—and be able to get to the toilet in time? Because I’m telling you right now, it ain’t four and it ain’t six.

Sweet babies. I guess I’ll clean your vomit beds. Again. Sigh…

While to some these things probably seem small and insignificant, I think we can all agree that sometimes it is the small, insignificant things that just drive us batty!

What has surprised you about small children?  What were you not prepared to handle?

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