My pregnancy with my second child was way easier than my first, except for one major difference. I also had to deal with my 2-year-old, who could no longer fit on my lap. On the bright side, I got to bond with my daughter in a whole new way, because pregnant women and toddlers are basically one and the same. Allow me to explain.
1. They Demand People Get Them Things.
Being pregnant is the greatest excuse in the book to make your husband get you things. “I want ice cream.” “We don’t have ice cream.” “I guess you’ll have to go to the store then.” Kind of like the way your toddler is screaming for juice right about . . . NOW.
2. They Are Prone To Dramatic Mood Swings.
Harlow will cry hysterically because she doesn’t want to go to the playground and then, all of a sudden, she’ll stop, smile, and scream excitedly, “Go playground!!!” Uh, sure, kid—whatever you say. Which is probably the same reaction my husband had to me when I would be on top of the world, catch a glimpse of my large, pregnant self in the mirror, and start sobbing uncontrollably.
3. They Have Weird Food Obsessions.
When I was pregnant, I was obsessed with gazpacho. I wanted to eat it for every single meal of the day. If it wasn’t for bread, Harlow would be on a yogurt-only diet. She actually likes to drink yogurt smoothies with a side of regular yogurt. She calls it “yogurt and yogurt” and that’s all she craves morning, noon, and night. “I want yogurt and yogurt!” “It’s five a.m., Harlow.” “YOGURT AND YOGURT!!!” All right, fine. Just like there is no arguing with a pregnant woman, there is no arguing with a toddler.
4. They Grow At Alarming Rates.
In nine months, a pregnant woman can gain twenty-five to fifty pounds, popping buttons on her shirts and rendering pant zippers useless, until she is forced to buy a whole new maternity wardrobe. Toddlers don’t fare much better. Pants I bought my daughter just a few months ago are suddenly too short, T-shirts are unintentionally showing her tummy, and her feet have grown two sizes since this past summer.
5. They Expect People To Read Their Minds.
When I was pregnant, I routinely cried to my husband for no other reason than he should know what was wrong, even if I had no idea myself. This morning, my daughter had a screaming fit about something. I think it had to do with her Frozen spoon, judging by the way she was waving it around like a crazy person. Was it dirty? Did she want the Minnie Mouse spoon instead? Would she have preferred a fork? I have no idea. I rarely do.
6. They Lose Their Minds When They Get Hungry.
When I was pregnant, I kept crackers on hand at all times because if I ever was in situation when I got hungry and didn’t have something to eat, I would unleash a holy terror on whoever happened to be standing nearby. I recognize this same holy terror when my toddler gets hungry and I can’t find an acceptable snack in my bag. Unfortunately, the terror is unleashed directly at me. Karma is a bitch.
7. They Lose Things Constantly.
While I was pregnant, I was in a constant state of exhaustion. What little brain capacity I had left was dedicated to my day job and memorizing every page of my pregnancy books. If you asked me where my coat or my keys were? I was like a toddler trying to locate her sippy cup. Or her blankie. Or the blue crayon. Or Anna’s cape. For the seventeenth time that afternoon.
8. They Require Constant Praise And Encouragement.
The surest way to get toddlers to do something is to praise them. Eat a piece of broccoli? “Well done!” Brush her own hair? “Good job!” Put the square peg in the circle hole? “Nice try!” Pregnant women aren’t that much different. They want compliments. “You don’t look like you’ve even gained a pound!” They want thanks. “Thanks for trying to make dinner even though you passed out while the water was boiling!” They want appreciation. “Thank you for carrying my child. That’s the only gift you ever have to give me.”
9. They Are Continually Redecorating.
If you’re pregnant, they call it “nesting.” I remember moving the furniture in the nursery endlessly before deciding on the best configuration. Likewise, my toddler has now decided our bedroom duvet belongs on the floor and the pillows on the couch can be put to much better use as beds for her stuffed animals. Tomorrow she’ll probably decide her Sesame Street playhouse belongs in the bathroom, and her potty belongs in the kitchen. And don’t even try to move the pile of building blocks on the coffee table. They might look like a mess to you, but to a toddler, that’s “urban planning.”
10. They Will Never Say No To Ice Cream.
Although, to be fair, I’m not currently pregnant and I won’t pass it up, either.
11. They Are The Most Indecisive Eaters On Earth.
I remember telling my husband I was in the mood for Chinese and by the time it was delivered, I could think of nothing more disgusting. Ditto for every toddler I know. How many times have you been asked to open a string cheese, only to have it rejected when you are done?
12. Even When They Make It To The Potty, They’ve Probably Peed A Little In Their Pants On The Way.
This is an excerpt from the new book “The Mommy Shorts Guide to Remarkably Average Parenting,” by Ilana Wiles, the blogger behind Mommy Shorts and @averageparentproblems on Instagram. You can order your copy here!