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Baby 2.0 — Your Survival Guide To The Next Year Of Parenthood

Congratulations you survived the first year of parenthood! It was rough but worth it. This article is an INTERVENTION to any parent thinking it gets easier from here on out. In the coming year, your adorable little one will be hitting a new set of developmental milestones.

You thought the first year was rough? The year ahead will have you longing for little annoyances like a diaper blowout. Forget everything you learned — that was merely the warmup — you are about to embark on Baby 2.0.

Here are a few things you can expect:

Walking — You knew it would happen — you either looked forward to it with anxious anticipation or dreaded it like the plague. Walking is a game-changer — it’s crawling on steroids. A walking baby means now more than ever you and your partner must work as a team, keeping watch on, and chasing after your child. Those teams on The Amazing Race have nothing on a set of parents chasing down an eager toddler headed for an open doorway or towards a flight of stairs.

Tantrums — I’m going to let you in on a secret, toddlers throw tantrums. Boy, do they throw tantrums. Thought you had a year of tranquility before the Terrible-Twos tantrums kicked in. Surprise! Fear not, tantrum support groups exist — they meet at most local bars.

Curiosity — Besides walking your toddler is developing a sense of curiosity, as in how much will it take to piss Mommy off, or what can I do to make the vein in Daddy’s forehead bulge? I’m not talking about crawling under the kitchen sink or banging pots and pans — today’s toddler goes after the big-ticket items. Nothing stimulates the mind of a fifteen-month-old baby more than an iPhone, iPad, or Smart TV remote. They become adept at swiping the iPhone from Daddy’s pocket or grabbing the unattended iPad or remote sitting on the end table. See the previous paragraph on Tantrums when you try taking one of these devices away.

Mommyitis — Also known as Daddyitis (if Mommy isn’t around) or Separation Anxiety. Your adorable social-butterfly child, the one who smiles at anyone in supermarket checkout lines or the mall, now emits ear-piercing screams, similar to those an adult makes upon stepping in a bear trap. This happens when Mommy tries handing him off to Daddy or anyone else. Simple things like leaving for work or using the bathroom are now handled with the same covert urgency Seal Team Six uses in planning its ops.

Bedtime/Sleep — Come on, you didn’t think the sleep thing was going to improve, did you? Do you also believe in unicorns and the tooth fairy? Besides being awakened several times a night, bedtime becomes a Darwinian survival of the fittest. Who will outlast who? We’ve held the upper hand, but more than once the last one standing put the baby in his crib before taking care of the sleeping spouse. Who thought the baby’s bedtime required Red Bull or a strong cup of coffee?

Writer, Father, Autism Advocate. Follow my blog