It’s coming. Here are 19 ways to get ready for your child’s pending toddlerhood.
1. Stock up on yoga pants and running shoes. You’ll need to dress like an athlete to keep up with your half-naked 25-pound track star.
2. Purge anything smaller than a Ping-Pong ball. To a toddler, her mouth is like a pocket for her face.
3. Keep 14 snacks in your purse to streamline the bribing process when you’re in line at Target.
4. Buy 40 birthday presents. This will last you through one year of preschool birthday parties.
5. Buy four large plastic storage bins to hold the 10,000 toys your child will own by age 3.
6. Start collecting coupons for stain-removal pens.
7. On a map, locate the three nearest Starbucks. Let them know you’ll be the slightly incoherent one in the drive-through line with the sound of screaming in the background.
8. Make sure your freezer is full of ice packs for any accidental injuries you sustain from your mini mixed-martial-arts champion.
9. Make triplicates of all your keys. Don’t ask why—just do it.
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10. Buy stock in bleach. You’re going to wipe down more surfaces than a Denny’s waitress at lunchtime.
11. Rent a rodeo bull. Put a diaper on it. Keep trying. This is good practice.
12. Memorize the opening song to your kid’s favorite Disney Junior and Nick Jr. television shows. Misspoken lines will earn you wrath and scorn. Don’t mess up.
13. Get rid of all your nice clothes. To your toddler, your shirt is basically a giant paper towel.
14. Delete your contacts from your phone, but not before letting them know you’ll be connecting with them on Facebook and serving up 600 daily photos of your child.
15. Locate and discard every permanent marker in your home.
16. Invest in the smartphone case preferred by Navy SEALs. You’ll need one that can withstand a 40-mph stream of urine and being thrown from a moving vehicle.
17. Pre-address thank-you cards to Mr. Clean for his Magic Eraser.
18. Hoard boxes of Band-Aids for all of the fake boo-boos you’ll be treating.
19. Wine. All of the wine.
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Bunmi Laditan is a mom and the funny lady behind The Honest Toddler: A Child’s Guide to Parenting and Toddlers Are A**holes: It’s Not Your Fault.