a) Keep wipes with you at all times.
b) Keep diapers with you at all times.
c) Ditto for the extra outfit (even with those wipes and diapers, you can forget it when DD's digestive tract has other plans.
d) Don't leave sippy cup on roof of car while driving.
e) If you do, keep extra sippy cup/s with you at all times.
f) Remember: your purse is not a toy.
g) If purse is (or somehow becomes) a toy, for the love of all that is holy, do not store wallet in said purse!
h) If wallet is in purse, and purse placates DD (i.e., becomes a toy), then keep all monies (paper, plastic, or metals) and important checks out of said wallet/purse ensemble.
i) If money, wallet, and purse fall into child's hands, face it: you're screwed.
j) Don't buy DD new shoes with fancy step-lights if you are immediately going to take her to the beach and let her run around near the water.
k) If this happens, better keep extra shoes with you at all times.
l) And a toy that will cheer her up when she discovers that her shoes no longer flash and look pretty.
m) If you take DD to a restaurant, don't linger over the menu's juicy adjectives and become indecisive over which daily special to try--your toddler only has a short window, people. Have you seen those high chairs? a little padding might help. and god forbid that those actually get cleaned...(restauranteurs take note) Who can blame the little tykes...I mean, would you want to sit in those things for any period of time? I didn't think so.
n) When dining with DD in public, don't fret about using your (washed) fingers if you need to assist your child (who is, let's face it, messy and only beginning to learn how to feed herself). Nevermind the obvious sideways glances from that nearby childless table. They clearly need better conversation skills. or a more entertaining date.
o) Bring stroller with you everywhere.
p) Otherwise you will be forced to carry (or chase) DD everywhere you go.
q) If DD gets sick of being strapped in stroller, allow her to run around in a safe area for a little while to burn off some energy.
r) By "run around in a safe area," I do not mean the mall, the grocery store, any restaurant, or any beach.
s) Be real: you need to strategically plan your errands around the location of the following: preschool parks, any local relatives and/or friends' houses, and several fast-food joints with play areas.
t) If visiting any of these locations, see a-c above and bring twice what you think you need.
u) If you don't have time to stop anywhere to let child run around and take a play break, avoid these places like the plague! One chance glance of the MickeyD's Play Place may send your restless, confined child into a fit!
v) If perchance, while out and about, you encounter other young toddlers, don't allow these sweet (but unknown to you) children kiss or otherwise slobber on your child's face.
w) When it's the overzealous parents of unknown children who are demanding kisses and such (between the kids, not you two!), get in there and do what you need to do to protect your Precious little one. Lie if you have to. ("I'm sorry, but my DD has a cold...") Don't let the "aw, but it's so cute when they do that" or the "argh!...but I don't want to hurt their feelings or offend anyone" in-your-head discussions take over your brain.
x) When going out shopping, always remeber how much room the stroller occupies in your vehicle and buy only that which can fit in addition to the stroller. (see o and p above).
y) Accept that sometimes following these items and more will still not be enough.
z) Most importantly,know that this (item y) is normal, okay, and completely part of the process. You'll get through it. And heck, you may even laugh at it all. someday. maybe.
If nothing else, remember that the only thing you can expect of your young toddler is, quite frankly, the unexpected.
I'll leave you with a quote:
"Being a parent is unlike any previous job--the results of any one action are not clearly visible for a long time, if at all."
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