Getting in toddler shape.


The holidays are upon us and this means lots of Grandparents are going to spend time with their precious grandkids…and get completed dominated by it in the process.

It’s because they aren’t in toddler shape. 

Nature eases you into this as a parent. At the beginning you start out with a baby that can’t move. This is what I like to refer to as easy street. They can’t run away, roll over, crawl, anything! The only way they make it from one place to the next is by someone else physically moving them. Grandparents, childless Aunts/Uncles, and childless friends are ALL ABOUT this stage. It’s because the baby will sleep in your arms so you get to snuggle AND relax on the couch all in the name of service to a new parent. Win-Win.

But then things get complicated. They start moving. So you have to move with them. This is fine for about an hour or so but by the end of a 4-day visit you need a massage, a professional cleaning service for your home, another week off of work to sleep, and 24 hours of silence.

If you find yourself completely exhausted by the end of a visit with your Grandkids or nieces and nephews I have some tips to help you get into toddler shape before they hit your house next week.

  1. Buy the alphabet magnets for your refrigerator. This way your sweet Grandkids can spell out “I love Grandma” on the Fridge for you to see everyday. Now, knock them off the fridge. 10 times a day. At the most inopportune time. By picking these up over and over again you will be conditioning your body to bend over multiple times and giving those patience muscles a good workout.
  2. Start doing things with one hand. Make dinner, coffee, put your shoes on, go to the bathroom, anything! Make a game out of it and if you are feeling real crazy you can try it with your non-dominant hand. This way when little Sally wants you to hold her while you are brining a turkey you got that on lockdown.
  3. Have a peaceful, long conversation with another adult. Now, set a timer for every 34 seconds and interrupt this conversation to answer a question or listen to a comment that CANNOT be ignored.You will also need to brush up on your spellings of any words you do not want any young children to understand: B-E-D, N-A-P, C-O-O-K-I-E. This is how you will be communicating for the next few days while you have little people in the house. Spelling and incoherent conversations. This is why parents have to text eachother instead.
  4. Get a box of blocks. Next, clean your house for your impending company. Then, have your spouse or a friend “surprise” you by emptying the box and scattering the blocks throughout the house. This will help with those patience muscles and your bending over conditioning.
  5. Find your friend that can not handle silence (or someone that is super draining). We all have one in our life. There must be conversation going all the time so you are constantly “on.” Spend the day with them. When you get home you are not allowed to take a nap. You surely have more magnet letters to knock off of the fridge before you can rest.
  6. Play hide and seek with your spouse or a friend for 1.5 hours everyday. This will also assist you in toddler proofing your house because YOU NEED to be the one to discover that your Mother’s crystal china is at knee-height.
  7. Go for a walk. When you go for this walk you need to carry something that weighs 30 pounds. You can fill up a laundry bag with wet towels, bags of flour, free weights, you name it. Even better if you have a dog about that size because that will better depict the wiggliness you will experience while holding a 2-year-old. Now carry this on your hip for a mile or so. Every 20 yards or so stop and pick up a stick without dropping the laundry bag.

Thanksgiving is only 8 days from now so you need to start training. Hopefully these tips will help you feel like you’ve been run over by a smart car instead of a Greyhound bus after hosting your Grandkids for a few days.

In a pinch, Starbucks sells espresso as well.