Leaving the house with a toddler is a difficult task, only to be undertaken by the bravest of moms.
Pre-baby, mom could just grab her purse and head out the door.
Post-baby, juggling the amount of items needed for a simple trip to the grocery store with a toddler, rivals packing for a week-long vacation. Then comes the realization that a tantrum will likely ensue. Toddlers and meltdowns are synonymous. So even more items are packed to avoid the meltdown.
Going out with a toddler is a pain in the arse, to say the least.
Some excursions are worth the hassle. Others, not so much. Moms learn pretty quickly that it’s often easier to stay home than to make a trek with a toddler.
Of course staying home all the time would drive a lady stir-crazy, so getting out is a necessity for moms.
So DO go out. But choose your destination wisely. Some places should be avoided at all costs.
5 PLACES TO NEVER TAKE A TODDLER
1) Public Restrooms – Most adults don’t want to go into a public restroom. Add a crawling, curious toddler, who touches everything and then puts their hands in their mouths, and YUCK.
The worst that can happen is they contract e-Coli. The best case scenario is they yell, “Mommy, I see your butt”, or “Mommy why don’t you sit on the toilet?” (yep, I hover, and yep, they have announced that to everyone in the bathroom).
So trust me, don’t bring your toddler into a public restroom. Instead purchase a portable potty for your car, like the one here. And don’t be afraid to teach them to pee in the great outdoors! That skill will come in handy.
2) Chuck E. Cheese – Or any similar kid-themed restaurant / indoor playground.
The number of disgusting germs found on each table at these places would blow your mind. Boogers, spit, poop, and pee.
If that’s not enough to convince you, the noise is deafening. All you will hear is screaming, crying and sugar-induced tantrums.
And let’s not forget – bad food. Restaurants and playgrounds should never be combined.
Trust me, stay away.
3) Home Goods, Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel – Or any similar store that has too many glass and breakable items to count.
Kids hate these places because mom has to whisper (between gritted teeth), “DO NOT TOUCH A-N-Y-T-H-I-N-G”, the entire time spent here. Which makes the kids even more curious about what will happen if they accidentally knock over that pretty vase. Or kick the glass lamp. Or throw their snack cup at the candle holders.
Something ultimately gets broken and mom has to slink her way out of the store apologizing profusely to everyone.
So just don’t go. Shop on-line instead.
4) Anywhere quiet, such as a museum, art studio, lawyer’s office, movie theater (for a non-kid movie), upscale restaurant, etc.
Similar to the “Do not touch” rule, instructing a toddler to “Be quiet”, is like speaking a foreign language to most children. It’s an impossible concept for them. If you ask them to be quiet, they will inevitably get even louder.
So avoid any place that requires silence. The constant shushing ( “SSSHHHHHHHH!”) will do nothing except raising your own stress level. Not to mention you’ll start sweating when you realize others are staring at your very loud toddler.
It’s not worth it. Get a babysitter when you need to go somewhere not kid-friendly.
5) Family Portrait Studio – Avoid it at all costs.
Instead head to your backyard and take some lovely candid photos in front of your Hydrangea bushes.
Until kids are old enough to fake that perfect “photo-ready smile”, portrait studios turn into a nightmare with mom and dad and photographer, all sweating profusely and jingling toys, yelling, “say cheese”, “look here”, “smile, dammit”.
The resulting photos will show what occurred during the photo shoot. A toddler who was getting yelled at with toys shaken in his face! So you’ll have a nice photo to take home of your child, red-faced and tear-filled eyes, looking miserable. Or you may have this….
Not to mention, the cost is ridiculous. They will convince you to purchase many copies, collages, framed too, all of the horrible photos. Trust me, you’ll buy them because it’s hard to say no to the photographer who looks like he just ran a marathon trying to get your kid to smile.
So avoid this torture. Instead find a pretty setting in your own backyard and click away.
Moms, don’t be discouraged. There are plenty of amazing places toddlers DO love to go. Places that will not induce panic and flop sweat on your part, and tantrums and meltdowns on theirs.
So DO get out of the house with your toddlers. Just choose the destination wisely. For everything else, do it on-line.