A 14-Step Program To Prepare You For Parenting A Toddler

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Before your children get to three years old, you may want to practice, you know, so you don’t accidentally eat them at some point during that rewarding and calming year. Here are my suggestions – ways to practice, if you will, for the three year old you will someday have.

Step 1:  Start out strong.

Set your alarm for 5:45 a.m. Then have your partner set his or her alarm for 5:20 a.m. and have them wake you up by screaming MOMMY in your ear.

Step 2:  Cereal Test

Pour a bowl of cereal, let’s say Froot Loops. Put a little milk in it, then place it on the table. Let it get nice and soggy. Pour another bowl, let’s say Cheerios this time. Keep them dry. Don’t touch them. Wait 20 minutes. Then take both bowls and dump them on the carpet. Bonus points if you can get some milk under the couch.

Step 3:  TV Volume 

Turn on the television to PBS. Never turn it off. Every five minutes or so, turn the volume up or down. You may want to take this time to flip the lights on and off, too. Or turn the dishwasher on and off. Or open and shut doors over and over. You choose. Mix it up!

Step 4: Fridge

Open the fridge. Leave it open.

Step 5: Books

Go to the bookshelf and pull all the books off. Leave them on the floor. Take off all dust covers and crumple them.

Step 6: Sippy Cup Excercise

Pour a sippy cup of half juice half water. Use child-friendly swear words to express frustration at the fridge being open. Then pour one of milk. Cap it. Wait thirty seconds. Take the cap off and put chocolate in it. Recap it. Wait thirty seconds. Uncap it and put it in the microwave. Recap it. Wait thirty seconds then put it in the fridge. Pour a cup of water. Go over to your best sofa and dump it out.

Step 7: Nap time!

Don’t move for an hour. Do not go to the bathroom, walk around, clean anything, or even read a book. You don’t want to wake anyone up.

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