25 Signs Your Child is not a Toddler Anymore

I get to spend a lot more time with my kids over the summer.  It hit me the other day that the boys are really not toddlers anymore.  It was kind of a sad and surreal moment for me.  Like how did this happen without me realizing it?

20180721_101604

It’s something that I want and yet don’t want at the same time.  I mean, things are a lot easier with them being less dependent on me for everything but at the same time… I don’t know, it’s just weird.  I don’t think that it was any one thing that led me to the conclusion that they are out of that phase.  It was more of a mix of different things.  So here are 25 signs that your child is not a toddler anymore.

  1. When you let them help you with the dishes or other chores, it actually saves you time instead of adding more time to the task.
  2. When they run up to you crying and you ask them what happened, the story that they tell you is intelligible and coherent.
  3. When they brush their teeth on their own, you walk away believing that their teeth are in fact cleaner than when they began.
  4. Their drawings actually resemble what they say they drew.
  5. They can buckle themselves into their own car seat.
  6. They stop constantly eating things that are not food
    (i.e. crayons, rocks, spiders, socks, etc.)
  7. The people they mention in their prayers at night include people outside their immediate family.
  8. They don’t cry for haircuts anymore.
  9. They stop growling at strangers in Wal-Mart/Aldi, etc.
  10. They stop caring as much about what color plate they get at lunch.
  11. They don’t use their spoon to drink water out of their cup anymore.
  12. They can actually sit through an entire 30 min episode of a show.
  13. You can let them eat their lunch on the couch.
  14. They realize that it doesn’t make sense that the characters in Veggietales pick things up when they don’t have hands.
  15. When they can sit still enough that cutting their fingernails doesn’t feel like you’re going to dismember them.
  16. There are several activities you can no longer do indoors because too much stuff gets broken. i.e. soccer, kickball, wrestling, coloring, eating anything spherical, etc.
  17. They understand your sarcasm and respond in kind.
  18. Having them clean up their own spills, messes, toys, etc. does not take significantly longer than just doing it yourself.
  19. You can trust them to get dressed and remember all the essentials.
  20. If they’re in a different room and you don’t hear them for 15 seconds you don’t automatically assume something has been destroyed (Again, with Izaiah, this doesn’t actually apply…we always assume something has been destroyed).
  21. They can actually chew gum without just swallowing it after 10 seconds.
  22. When you pitch the wiffleball and then flinch because that sucker might be coming back at you pretty fast.
  23. When they just climb over the baby gate so you leave it open.
  24. When naps become an “if” not a “when.”
  25. When they remember medications that they need better than you do.

Like I said, it kind of a bittersweet feeling that at least two of my kiddos are no longer toddlers.  I’d like to here some of the things that your kids did or signs that you saw to show you when you knew yours weren’t toddlers any longer.  Please leave any stories in the comments section.  As always, if you enjoyed this post, please follow the blog by clicking in the lower right corner.

Out of the mouth of babes

In, “Attack of the Clones,” the second episode of the Star Wars saga, Master Yoda says, “Truly wonderful, the mind of a child is.”  In my six years of teaching, I have found that Master Yoda is absolutely correct in this.  At times, children think so simplistically, while at the same time employing fantastical imaginations.  Either way, the results are almost always entertaining.  Take our three year old son Joshua for example.  I forget what exactly prompted him to say this, but the other day I was doing something where I was standing between him and the television.  He looks at me and says, “Come on come on, just sit down ya old man.” It took me off guard so much I just burst out in laughter.  I have no idea where he heard that.  Here are some other times from this week when kids have just said some of the strangest or funniest stuff to me.

The other day, I was buckling Joshua and Izaiah in the van.  Izaiah looked at me and said, “No daddy, I just want to hang on this time.”  I looked at him and said, “Izaiah, let’s just make it a rule that whenever we’re in the van driving, you just “hanging on” is not really an option ok buddy?”

Today in first grade one of the boys walked up to me and said, “Mr. Steidl, can I go to the bathroom?  I really have to poop.  I farted twice already and I think the other kids can smell it.”

One of our first graders stole another one’s Lunchable and had it in his desk.  It was the one with crackers, meat, and cheese.  He had already opened it and assembled a few of the little sandwiches (it was about 9:30 in the morning mind you).  When confronted, he said he shouldn’t get in trouble because he hadn’t actually eaten any of the crackers yet.

My first graders know that my bald spot itches whenever I eat something really spicy.  So now, any time I reach up to scratch my bald spot they ask me if I’m eating anything spicy.  I’m like, “No, I’ve been standing in front of you talking for 45 minutes.  Have you seen me eat anything spicy?”

Our morning discussion question was “If you had a robot and could program it to do anything, what would you do with it?”  We had some great answers.

Student – “I would have it take me to Mexico.”  Me – “Do you speak Spanish?”  Student – “No.”  Me – “Then why would you want it to take you to Mexico?”  Student – “So I could go shopping.”  Me – “You just want to go shopping in Mexico?”  Student – “Yes.”  Me – “….ok.”

“I would make it dab…and beat up my sister.”

“I would have it transform into dirt bikes and race cars and stuff…..and feed me apples.  I really like apples.”

“I just want it to play video games with me.”

“I would have it bring all my dolls to life to have a tea party with me.”

Student – “I would have it turn my lights off for me.”  Me – “That’s all you want it to do?  You can program it to do anything.”  Student – “Yeah, sometimes I get in bed and forget to turn my lights off.  I hate that.”  Me – “Ok…you know that they already have this thing that you just clap your hands and it turns the lights off.” (Five students clap their hands) “Well we don’t have one in here…but they do have them.”  (Disappointed sighs)  They spent the rest of the day clapping in each room they went into to see if that room had the clap off lights.  They were sorely disappointed each time.

We read this book in first grade by Eric Carle called, The Tiny Seed.  In it, one of the flowers gets picked by a boy who gives it to a girl.  Well, the book says that he gives it to a friend.  Of course when the kids sawthat it’s a boy giving a flower to a girl they all yelled “Eeeewwww.” One girl in the front row turned around and said “No guys they’re just friends” (Air quotes as she says just friends).  Then she winked and they all yelled, “Eeeeeewwwww!!!!” even louder.

I made the mistake of telling a knock knock joke to the kindergarten kids at lunch.  There is nothing worse than 15 min of kindergarteners making up their own knock knock jokes…except 20 min of them making up their own knock knock jokes.  That would be worse.  Here were some of them.

Knock Knock.  Who’s there?  Chicken nuggets and super stackers.  Chicken nuggets and super stackers who? (blank stare looking at me then) …….IT’S YOU!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!! They all laughed uproariously.  I didn’t get it.

Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Mr. Steidl.  Mr. Steidl who?  ……IT’S YOU!!!!!!! HAHAHAHAHA!!!  Same punchline.  I still didn’t get it.

Finally I made one up.  Knock knock.  Who’s there?  Mr. Steidl.  Mr. Steidl who?  Mr. Steidl who doesn’t want to hear any more knock knock jokes! BAHAHAHA!!!!…. now they didn’t get it.

But yeah.  That was my day today.