Toddlers are exhausting.

Let me preface this by saying I adore my child. She is literally the answer to a million and one prayers. But she IS a toddler, and I am a fiery human being who loses her shit on occasion.

Let me also preface this by saying I made a bad decision staying up until 11:00 PM while solo parenting because there is no such thing as napping or taking breaks or getting a pass on anything.

You can see where this is going, right?


12:30 AM: I am awakened by a screaming toddler, shouting MAMA on repeat until I drag my exhausted ass out of bed to see what’s going on. When I get in there, she asks for Tylenol and tells me her throat hurts. I’m too tired to care if this is true or not, so I give her the medicine, hoping it will buy me a solid 6 hours of sleep. We snuggle for another few minutes and then I return her to her crib.

6:15 AM: I am again awakened by a screaming toddler. This time, though, she’s wide awake and ready to start her day. I’m still praying for another 10 hours of sleep, but am pretty sure that ship has sailed. So I bring her into bed with me so we can at least snuggle for a few minutes. And by snuggle, I mean have her lay on top of my head for 15+ minutes so I can pretend to sleep some more.

7:00 AM: Finally get up and go get The Dog. Who has, thankfully, been quiet up until now. She knew better than to bark as I threatened life and limb last night after she refused to poop. (Another fucking toddler, I swear.)

7:15 AM: Smoothie time! 

7:20 AM: Bored with sitting and sipping smoothies, The Babe asks to watch 2 episodes of Fia. I say no. She protests. Loudly. I say no 6 more times before she asks to go color upstairs. Up we go, still sipping our smoothies and having an all around good time.

8:30 AM: I realize what time it is and scramble to get us ready to leave the house for Gymboree. She asks to watch Fia another 10 times before throwing a tantrum about wearing socks, and another tantrum over having to wear shoes. I know, #assholeparent.

9:00 AM: We’re finally out the door. But only after promising The Babe that she can bring her Fia doll with us. 

9:15 AM: Arrive on time for Gymboree. Meltdown averted over not being able to bring Fia into class. She was napping on the floor. A doll needs her sleep, after all.

9:55 AM: The Babe is hungry and asks to have a squeeze pack and some applesauce. I give her both and she seems content.

10:00 AM: Gymboree class is wrapping up. I ask The Babe if she wants to join the other kids in the class and go sit on the parachute and play with bubbles. She says no. Emphatically.

10:02 AM: The Babe walks over to the bathroom and says, DIAPER CHANGE. I go to grab a clean diaper and the pack of wipes and walk back over to the changing room. She screams hysterically and shouts NO DIAPER 6 times before I finally give in and put the diaper back in the bag.

10:05 AM: I ask The Babe if she wants to stay for another class or go somewhere else. She says somewhere else. I ask again, because I don’t believe her. She says somewhere else. Again. So we head out of the class to get our shoes and coats.

10:06 AM: We go over to a group of chairs and sit down. A tantrum ensues and she starts to scream, NO. STAY. STAY.

10:12 AM: We finally have socks, shoes, and coats on and we walk to the car. The Babe asks for a bar. I tell her she can have it when we get in the car. She seems appeased by that answer.

10:13 AM: We get to the car and as I go to put The Babe into her car seat with bar in hand, she flops her entire body out of the seat and screams. I put her back in her car seat. She does it again. I shut the door and climb in on the other side, planning to wait out the tantrum so we can be on our way.

10:30 AM: I text The Husband asking if he had trouble getting her into the car after class when he took her. He texted back, yes. I say a string of expletives under my breath and continue to wait it out.

10:45 AM: I finally lose my shit and yell. I force her into her car seat. She screams and cries big fat tears. I’m pissed. She’s pissed. We ride home in silence.

11:00 AM: Still feeling annoyed, and likely hangry, I make us and actual breakfast. The Babe asks for the eleventy billionth time to watch Fia. I ask if she wants to go to timeout. She asks to watch Fia two more times. Into timeout she goes.

11:05 AM: We finally eat a better breakfast and all seems to be well with the world again.

11:10 AM: The dog starts barking like a maniac and scares the bejesus out of The Babe. She runs over screaming and crying hysterically. Takes another 10 minutes to calm her down. The Dog disappears upstairs knowing that her time on this earth is limited.

11:15 AM: We go upstairs to snuggle and read books. I am beginning to relax and feel human again. And then we read the same horrible book 5 times in a row. And I’m ready to poke my eyeballs out with a dull stick.

11:45 AM: I ask The Babe what she wants for lunch. She doesn’t answer. I finally give up after 6 attempts and make lunch for myself.

12:00 PM: Halfway through eating lunch, The Babe decides that she’s ready to eat and wants the piece of chicken I just put in my mouth. I look in the bowl for another piece and realize that it was the last one. I give her a different kind of chicken and she walks away with the bag. I’m pretty sure she’s feeding it to The Dog, but stop caring almost immediately since it’s quiet.

12:30 PM: I give The Babe a 5 minute warning for nap time. She says NO, I say YES. She resumes playing with The Dog.

12:45 PM: I pick up The Babe and walk her upstairs. She starts to scream, but manage to distract her by talking about a diaper change. (I know, I can’t believe it either.)

1:00 PM: Diaper finally changed. Blanket on. Chair Snuggles commence with more books.

1:30 PM: Finally put The Babe down for her nap. She is out like a light. I contemplate taking a nap myself but realize that I have a lot of work to do, so I go downstairs (to my office) and paint my nails.

2:55 PM: MAAAAAAMAAAAAAA.

2:56 PM: Still pretending to not hear The Babe, who has began to cry and scream MAMA even louder. Looks like I’ll be working late again tonight.

2:57 PM: Go in to retrieve The Babe from her nap, but it’s too late. The screams have begun. I pluck her out of her crib and as I’m walking her to my room, she manages to cry SNUGGLE BED between sobs.

2:58 PM: The Babe collapses in a heap of tears onto my chest and stays there for a solid 10 minutes. Just as I feel myself sliding into sleep, two tiny fingers yank open my eyelids and shout MAMA! I pretend not to notice, and attempt to go back to sleep. She does it again. I try to ignore it. Again. Doesn’t work. Damn.

3:00 PM: We continue to snuggle in bed, rub noses, and play hide and seek under the covers. Then we play a game of Snuggle Tickles. It’s literally the best thing ever. I give her kisses and nibble on her neck and belly, she squeals with delight and says MORE.

4:00 PM: The Cat decides to join us on the bed, effectively ending Snuggle Tickles because The Babe begins to reach for the furry thing on the bed. The Cat shrieks and runs away.

4:02 PM: The Babe is officially ready for juice. We make a deal that she can have juice if she goes to The Store with Mama. I’m beginning to questions my sanity, as I’m willingly putting myself back into the inner rings of hell where I will likely be fighting a toddler to get into a car seat. Before I can change my mind, The Babe agrees, and off we go.

4:15 PM: We make a slight detour to the Wine & Spirits store because Mama needs some juice, too.

4:20 PM: I say a small prayer to the Car Seat Gods and hold my breath as we walk back to the car avec wine. The Babe goes in without a fight. I breath a huge sigh of relief and hop back into the car.

4:30 PM: We finally make it to The Store, where I promise The Babe a special treat when we return to the car, so long as she gets back in without a fight. She gets excited because I said the word treat and she knows that something good is coming.

5:15 PM: We head back to the car with groceries in tow. I remind The Babe of our deal — that she gets a special treat when she gets in her car seat. She starts screaming for mini bagels and I cave and give it to her before we get into the car seat. Thankfully she was so distracted by the adorable bagel in her hand that she got in without incident and I, again, thanked the Car Seat Gods for another seamless reentry.

5:30 PM: We finally make it back home, unload the car, unload the groceries, and get settled. The Babe finds the receipt and asks for a pencil to color. I find a more suitable pad of paper, hand her a pencil and she does the absolute cutest thing ever.

5:45 PM: We get distracted by a phone call from The Husband and Grandma. The Babe grabs the phone out of my hands, and when the calls are over asks to watch videos. We have a big talk about how she can watch ONE episode of Fia and then it’s dinner time. She agrees. We high five. She sits on the couch and watches the iPad.

6:20 PM: The episode is over. The Babe screams to watch another one. I remind her that it’s time to eat and she shrugs and says okay. I begin to wonder who this child is, as it’s never this easy to get her away from her videos.

6:22 PM: We eat dinner. Correction, Mama eats dinner while The Babe plays with her food. She sticks her hand in the rice and then yells WASH to get it off. When I tell her to wipe her hands off on the napkin she brushes everything on the floor and calls for The Dog.

7:10 PM: Dinner is finally done and it’s time for a ba-ba. (That’s bath time for you non-native Toddler speakers.)

7:15 PM: The Babe takes her bath.

7:45 PM: The Babe finally let’s me take her out of the bathtub to dry off.

7:50 PM: There is a naked baby running through the house and giggling like a maniac. It’s literally the best thing ever.

8:00 PM: I take The Dog out and when I come back in, I find The Babe sitting in her rocking chair and reading her most favorite book ever. I can hear her telling the story and stand, amazed, watching my little girl. My heart explodes into a thousand million pieces. 

8:02 PM: The Babe gets one final snack while I wash up the dishes and get the kitchen ready for tomorrow’s mayhem.

8:07 PM: We go upstairs and get ready for bed. The Babe picks out a book to read (I bet you can guess which one it is) and we hunker down in the chair. I consider hiding The Book (in the garbage can) when I leave, but cannot convince myself to do something so mean.

8:40 PM: Snuggles are complete. Big Hugs have been given. The Babe goes down for the night.

8:41 PM: Mama cracks open her bottle of wine, pours a healthy glass, and sits down at the computer for work.

9:20 PM: The wine is gone, and so is my resolve to do work. I finish what I’m working on and head up to bed. 

9:22 PM: Lights. Out.

*This post contains affiliate links.

More about Emily Levenson

Emily Levenson is a therapist turned holistic health coach, podcaster, meditation encourager, and seeker of everyday magic. Emily recently kicked off her third #The100DayProject, focusing her efforts on daily meditation.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.