Well, Poke You, Too!

It’s no secret that toddlers are a pain in the ass. They’re demanding, emotional, and full of energy that is unobtainable for thirty-something parents. If we’re lucky, a couple of coffees can fuel us just long enough to chase them around the yard for two laps before our everything hurts.

Raising two toddlers at once – while also being in close proximity to a third – is no easy feat. If you thought the newborn stage was rough on us, you were wrong. That stage was like a bouquet of daisies compared to when the aptly-named Terrible Two’s kicked in.

Back then, we had time for things like cooking, self-care, hot coffee, and yes, even blogging. It’s no coincidence that this website suffered a lull around the same time the girls approached their second year.

Toddlers are brutal.

They now understand the word “no” and use it liberally. The multiple protests we see on the daily, they’re real.

They cling to our legs, hollering for snacks or to be picked up.

They get into places they don’t belong, like cupboards and drawers, pulling out all the things and throwing them without regard like confetti.

They squirm and wrestle with you when we attempt to change their diapers. Changing diapers was never an exhausting task until you’ve done it 6 to 8 times a day while pinning down a thirty-pound human.

When it comes to nap and bed times, it’s not unusual to redirect them multiple times to their room before they successfully remain in bed. Oh. And it almost always is followed by a demand for water. They go the whole day with drinks at their disposal, but when it’s time for lights out, they become so dehydrated you’d think they just spent the day in the sun.

Every meal we eat is accompanied by a parade of feet, two pleading sets of eyes, and monkey-like body scaling you’d be surprised to witness in real life. Their food thievery is worse than a begging dog, since the children have the ability to literally steal your fork and food while you’re fending off the second child’s hands.

I’m exhausted just typing this.

But exhausting doesn’t equal bad, it’s just that when it comes to doing other things in our life, we have reached the point of not wanting to do anything at all in lieu of resting. Going to bed early is our normal state of bliss.

And the giggles. ALL. THE. GIGGLES.

Toddlers can be funny. Hilarious even! There are moments throughout the day where we can’t stand them, but other moments where we forget about their troubling phase and melt from their smiles, new phrases, and belly laughs.

Those belly laughs. Sometimes we don’t know why they find certain things as hilarious as they do, but for the most part, we don’t mind. They can go on finding humour in fighting with each other, playing with our flabby bellies, and stealing our glasses.

But there’s one thing that they find funny that I am SO not cool with.

Eye poking.

Yaw, for real. They love to poke my eyeballs.

And the joy they experience while doing it – even with my multiple fly-swat attempts, dodges of four hands of fingers coming at me, and my continuous pleas to stop – is… confusing. And evil.

I don’t know what has convinced them that poking eyeballs is a fun pastime, but yo. This is the worst.

Give me a diaper blowout any day. No problem. So long as it means that I don’t have to endure wee little germ-infested fingers making contact with my soft-tissued organs.

I’m not sure they understand just how much I find this new interest of theirs to be my own personal form of torture, but my goodness, hell is real. And in it lives eye-poking toddlers.

I’ve attempted all of my parenting go-to’s to get them to stop:

  • reasoning (“Mommy doesn’t like it when you do that.”)
  • bribery (“Stop right now and I’ll give you a cookie!”)
  • empathy (“You’re making mommy cry!” and “You’re giving mommy a boo boo!”)
  • yelling (yep, I do that, too), and even,
  • acceptance (*show no reaction and they’ll no longer find it amusing. Just let is happen – *poke, poke* – oh lord, please end this*)

Of course, I could just stand up. Normally, when the eyeball attacks happen, it’s when I am sitting around. I’m either enjoying a coffee or meal, watching TV or scrolling through my phone, or even just having fun with them. But the point is: I’m low and within reach.

It always starts with Sophie pushing up my glasses to the top of my head, which makes her proud for some reason.

” I did it!” she exclaims, followed by a couple of hand claps.

And then as I take in her sweet smile and gestures, Chloe is behind me going in full speed for the jab.

They’ve coordinated their attacks, like velociraptors.

I say, “No poking!” and they respond with, “Yes, pokee!” and chuckles.

I do and say everything I can to get them to fend off their claws before I finally turn into Chris Pratt and give them something to fear.

And then the fun is over. They’ve ruined it. For me, at least. They continue to laugh at their own joke, while I am forced to stand in a corner wiping tears from my eyes.

I’ve lost yet another battle between twins and an outnumbered parent.

But we will not lose the war that is toddlerhood!

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