She wiggles and squirms.
She tosses, turns and flips.
She walks and runs.
Welcome to the 'hood: Toddlerhood.
When life brings you to the place where one resides in your home, there are a few things to keep in mind.
* Let her stand on the couch for endless amounts of time (keeping her within your reach of course, because you know what happens if you don't) staring out the window and
* When she is old enough to walk and make the decision to walk right out of your church pew, hand her over to daddy and let him be the pew police for an hour. Many fathers have grown buff with this simple workout routine. On top of the Catholic calisthenics (stand, sit, kneel), the twist-turn-flip-flop-don't let me drop additions give him a well rounded workout.
* No matter how much you baby-proof your house, a toddler will find plenty of ways to get into things. She will explore and therefore find new ways to scare you half to death when she shows off her new findings. When you got rid of the coffee table because of the dangers it posed and replaced it with a cushy ottoman, you probably didn't realize that one day it would be her new favorite climbing obstacle.
* Don't let her innocence fool you. The cute look is either disguising
a) the bug she just ate off the dining room floor
b) the poopy diaper she is waiting to surprise you with later or
c) her plans for yet another toddler tornado in the near future
* Give her a book to quietly read (because she's brilliant for her age, of course) in the corner because it makes you the best parent ever for giving her the love of literature at an early age. If you find that she's grown tired of her cardboard and paper diet, feel free to move all of those beloved books to a high bookshelf.
* Introduce the sippy cup as soon as possible and by all means keep that thing full throughout the day. Many a problem is solved with the lure of the sippy cup and it serves as a much needed diversion on many an occasion daily.
* Be careful not to introduce the use of screen time too early for your toddler, but when the day is rough and it's only 9 am, technology is your best friend. Free children's apps (hint: Color Drops is colorful, makes sounds and lets your toddler doodle) on your iPod will take priority and you will soon rid it of anything else. It's ok, because your sanity is worth it. You're trying to keep her busy while you teach your two students, after all.
Lastly, remember that it hasn't always been this way nor will this last forever. Be happy that she is healthy and thriving. And especially grateful when it's bedtime and she goes to sleep. Quickly jump in to bed yourself because tomorrow you're gonna do this all over again.