As soon as the calendar flips from December to January, we become convinced that we can become healthier, more productive, financially savvier versions of ourselves—even if we’ve failed a thousand times before. But I’m not failing this year. This year, instead of plotting my own road to self-improvement, I’ve decided to set some goals for my toddler.
Don’t get me wrong: like all moms, I’m thoroughly deluded into thinking he is a perfect little creature. However, who among us—besides Beyoncé—couldn’t stand to better themselves just a teensy bit? In that spirit, I’ve come up with nine resolutions I’d like my toddler to tackle in 2019. (A mom can dream, right?)
1. “I will sleep in past 7 a.m.” I admire the go-getter instinct that propels my kid to be bright-eyed and bursting with energy before dawn. But until he lets me in on the secret to his caffeine-free pep, Mama’s gonna need at least five more minutes of shut-eye.
2. “I will eat a vegetable that has not been hidden in some sauce or muffin or otherwise inoffensive-looking just-for-toddlers dish.” Just one. Just one time. That’s all I’m asking. It doesn’t even have to be a green one. I’ll settle for a carrot. Even a single cube of a potato would be an improvement.
3. “I will articulate with perfect clarity exactly what I want without yelling or throwing myself onto the ground.” I have to admit, that when my toddler goes into wet-noodle mode while simultaneously emitting an ear-piercing scream, he certainly gets his point across in one respect: he’s upset. But does he need a snack? Are his emerging molars stabbing his gums? Did I insult him when I pointed him away from the oven knobs and toward his toys? If he could just be a touch more specific, that’d be great.
4. “I will not get sick—and I will especially not get sick when it’s nearly impossible for Mom and Dad to take a day off work.” If he just put his mind to it, I’m sure my kid could cultivate an iron-clad immune system that would prevent him from picking up any of the approximately 20 million viruses passed from kid-to-kid at daycare. Right?
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5. “I will charm everyone I meet with my gap-toothed grin and contagious giggle.” Hey, there had to be one attainable resolution on this list.
6. “I will not partake in activities that put me in even the slightest bit of danger.” Instead of taste-testing mysterious foliage, trying to go head-first down the slide, or attempting to scale the bookshelves, maybe my toddler could seek thrills elsewhere in 2019. As for new hobbies, might I suggest: curling up with a good board book, quietly playing with some non-toxic blocks (throwing them across the room doesn’t count), or baby meditation (which I’m sure exists somewhere).
7. “I will pick up after myself.” Crushed Cheerios. Torn tissues. Threads of dried string cheese. Orphan socks. Sharp plastic toys that, when stepped upon, can bring a grown woman to her knees. These are just a few things my toddler leaves in his wake. The whole world is his garbage can/toy box. Perhaps in 2019 he’ll adopt a less cluttered, more Marie Kondo-like lifestyle for himself.
8. “I will embrace naptime.”…and more specifically, nap at times and in durations that are most convenient for his parents. Out: Falling into a deep sleep 20 minutes before we really have to be somewhere. In: Sleeping long enough on Sundays that Mom and Dad actually get stuff done and enjoy a cup of coffee while it’s still hot.
9. “I will stop growing up so fast.” The last time I checked, my kid was a squishy baby who fit neatly into the crook of my arm. Now, he’s a blur who appears to gain new skills and another inch every time I blink. Maybe he could humor me and slow it down for a second, so I can savor these days—no matter now tantrum-laced, sleep-deprived, or vegetable-free they may be—while they last.