Getting ready with toddlers around is near impossible. They are needy and they get into everything! Now that I am on number 3, I have become an expert on getting ready and entertaining a toddler at the same time.
The trick to getting ready with a toddler is simple, include them. Toddlers just want to feel like they are being helpful! Toddlers like to be involved! The process usually starts while I am in the shower. Yes, my glorious 6 minute shower. Any more time spent in there and the whole system falls apart. While in the shower, Franki and I play several games. One game is where I place my hand on the glass shower door and she mimics from the outside. This lasts about 2 minutes. 4 more to go until I am semi washed. Next, I ask her to go get me things. The goal of this game is to HOPE your toddler gets distracted by something else and totally forgets that you are not playing with them.
Nicki used to get distracted and would never come back. Unfortunately, Franki always comes back. I will ask her to get simple things like her baby doll. And then once she brings it, I will tell her to get a bottle for the baby…you get the idea. This game lasts a few minutes. Again, if your child gets distracted easily, you could get a nice long peaceful shower out of this!! Once I am getting ready to get out of the shower, I try to get her to start putting the things she got back into her room. This is key to this game, no one wants a bathroom filled with crap all over the floor. But, Franki is not a fan of this part of the game, so I usually have to fetch my towel while nakedly dripping over the mine field of princess crap!
Ok, you made it out of the shower. The state of your unshaven legs and shampoo filled hair says otherwise, but hell you got wet didn’t you!? Three cheers for you! Now onto the dreaded part of getting ready that many moms of toddlers skip right over….the make up phase. Stop being afraid! You can do this! I put Franki right on the counter. Before you get all judgey, know that she has been sitting on counters since she could sit up alone…ok that sounds bad. She is fine, none of my kids have ever fallen off of counters! If you are nervous, just have your toddler sidekick stand next to you while you do your make up. But know this, sitting on the counter is kinda key to a successful make up application!
Save your empty make up stuff. I let Franki use my empty makeup stuff while I am using the real deal. She feels special and pretty. I know she feels pretty because she tells me 100 times…over and over again! I will also pretend to apply makeup to her. I can successfully put on my makeup in 4 minutes. I know this because this is approximately how long it takes for Franki to realize she isn’t really getting anything out of the old makeup stuff!
Brushing teeth is easy. I just let her sit on the counter and brush her teeth while I am brushing mine. Then I tell her I need to check her teeth…basically this lets me brush her teeth for her. Let’s face it, toddlers can’t be trusted to brush alone! How do I get her to let me brush her teeth? I have a few tricks. First trick is to sing like Ariel in the Little Mermaid when she is giving away her voice. You know the tune….and now it is stuck in your head! Another trick is to count her teeth…I count nice and slow and brush really fast! I have also held her nose…she no choice but to open her mouth! And my husband likes to play the “Is that a giraffe stuck in your tooth?” game. He names different things he is “finding” in her mouth. She thinks it is funny and her teeth get cleaned. Win win!
You are almost done…you are just about ready to go!? See wasn’t that easy? Now you just have to get dressed. Again, let your toddler help. I open my drawers and let Franki “pick out” my clothes. She feels helpful and I am dressed and ready to go! Think of the Toddler Years like being stuck in a rip tide….fighting it will only make you tired and you will probably drowned. Figure out a way to go with the tide so you can make it to shore safely!