Enjoying the ride

An astute man, a father himself, once said, “When a kid hits one year old, it’s like hanging out with a miniature drunk. You have to hold on to them. They bump into things. They laugh and cry. They urinate. They vomit.”

Ah, toddlers! Can it get any better than the roller coaster toddler years? I think not, so I am happy to announce a new monthly column: Toddler Time. When I was developing thoughts for Toddler Time, I swear it took less than one minute to scribble these ideas about possible topics:

“Toddler care such as tooth brushing and bathing, breastfeeding cessation, eating problems, sleep, sleep sharing, potty training. Development and behavior: tantrums, misbehavior, habits, language, anxieties, and fears (boogiemen under the bed or even the color or texture of food can be frightening), toys, social or emotional issues…then there’s safety: childproofing, first aid, bumps, falls, when to call the doctor. Oh, and what about products—so many products for toddlers!”

If there is any age or stage that deserves its own column, clearly the toddler stage wins. Because beyond all of the serious stuff I mentioned above—toddlers are goofy, fun, sweet, and a joy to behold. I like to think of them as the floppy puppies of the kid world, all drool, big paws, boundless energy, and mess.

So, enjoy our new column, focusing on that special and notoriously erratic two-year period between the ages of one and three, written by the wonderful Jen Wittes, a mother of two who you may recognize as an occasional feature writer and who also has a career as a doula.

So this astute man I mentioned at the start? Johnny Depp, if you can believe it. He also said, “I think the thing to do is enjoy the ride while you’re on it.” The toddler stage is short, and it’s a wild, crazy and frequently baffling ride. Enjoy it—and be sure to take notes and lots of photos. Why? Blackmail fodder. You’ll need it when they get to those teen years.