As someone in my mid-40's, I never thought I'd get to be a mother. (You can check out my previous VETgirl blog on infertility and why you should stop what you're doing to have kids now HERE). I'm loving it, despite never having thought of myself as a "toddler" person. It's changed me for the better - for the most part - in making me a more relaxed, laid back person. What's bad about it though? I'm no longer the hyper-efficient veterinarian that I used to be!
So, I wanted to share a few tips on how to be a more efficient veterinarian and mother. Find out what you really need to help you survive those toddler years to help you survive. If you missed our top 10 baby items, you can check it out here. Here, the top 10 things that I found necessary to help me survive my toddler years as a veterinary specialist-mom!
P.S. Wine, Netflix subscription, an uber-supportive spouse, a moms' group, and good reserve of babysitters or nanny not included in the list...
1. Bathtub letters & numbers These were the best gift I ever got for tub time. They keep my kid occupied during bath time, and it lets us practice how to say certain letters. They stick to the tub, your forehead, and walls for lots of entertainment and bath time giggles.
2. Amazon Prime Now One weekend night, my husband was out ice fishing and I was all alone with a sick toddler. And we ran out of Children's Tylenol. Seriously. I almost ran down the block to Walgreens, but I couldn't leave the kid alone! And then I remembered: Amazon Prime NOW. I'd never used it. Does it work? Within 2 hours, 4 bottles of Children's Tylenol and Children's Motrin (plus 1 pint of Ben & Jerry's) arrived delivered to my door. Reasonable prices. Plus easy to tip. And I wanted to weep with joy.
3. A library card! Support your local library. Mine has a story time twice a week, great toys to play with, and an incredible selection of board books to read and return.
4. Silicone bibs to catch all the food that your toddler doesn't throw on the floor to your dog and cat. To the "I'm-on-really-expensive-hypoallergenic-food" cat, at that.
5. I-love-these-like-crack-cocaine-crunchies I mean, what's in these things? My kid purposely digs into the diaper bag and pantry closet to get these things out.
6. Crayola color Wonder markers! Save your walls. These markers only work on special paper, which saves the rest of your books, magazines, journals, etc. Worth the gift!
OK, the textbook answer is that these "tactile, colorful translucent Magna-Tiles" are easy to use and let you create 3-D shapes that help with "patterning, shape recognition, building and motor skills."
The real reason? You can step on them in the middle of the night and they don't drive you to a 4-out-of-4 Colorado Pain scale like stepping on a mother-fatherin' Lego!
I mean, why don't these slippers come with these Lego pack automatically? Why can't you make child-rearing less painful?!
8. Cooking shears to cut up toddler-sized food!
My husband makes in fun of me for using scissors to come up everything in the kitchen. I use these to cut noodles, PB&J sandwiches, blackberries, etc. into non-choking-sized-bites for kids, etc.
9. Boogie wipes I hate the idea of paying money for saline-infused wipes just for boogers, but these really are so soft... and as you will soon discover, toddlers snot constantly...
10. The automatic kitty litter box: Litter-Robot I'm actually surprised how much this $500 splurge improved my QOL dramatically. Apparently one of my anal retentive stressors was making the house not reek of cat feces and kitty litter. And this thing has brought me so much joy. No scooping ever. I dump the box every 7-10 days. And I can neurotically look at my app for the Open Air to make sure my cat doesn't have FLUTD.
What hints or items are a MUST HAVE in your toddler house? Share!